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As an weekend disc golfer, I never thought I was "good enough" to play with the pros. Last year was the first year I though I should join the PDGA and maximize my membership and try to "grow the game" in the Charlotte region. I started a Disc Golf Blog and in my first year playing I ended up with one win and multiple placements in local disc golf tournaments. So how does the PDGA embrace social media sites to build the community?

Use Social Media to Build a Disc Golf Community

What the PDGA needs to do is embrace social media to the max and secure social media profiles that seem to have been brand jacked by local disc golfers. Currently the PDGA has a Facebook fan page that has just over 1,000 members and a Twitter account with under 600 followers. I have more followers then the PDGA combined accounts. This needs to change as Disc Golf is a global sport.
There is a great opportunity here for the PDGA to take advantage of technology that is really made for the fans and followers. Disc Golf is a sport that has a dedicated fan base and needs to tap into that core audience and deliver. Here are a couple ideas:
  • Engage the fans on Facebook, Twitter, and Ustream. The PDGA needs to talk with the fans who are posting on their wall. They need to interact with people talking about disc golf on Twitter, and even have pro disc golfers give live lessons on Ustream! It’s time for the PDGA to build a culture where disc golfers and disc golf fans come to the PDGA’s social media accounts when they want to talk or find out more about the sport.

  • Create content and promotions that allow the fans to reach out to the pros. For example, have players create personalized videos about various topics (the best shot I ever hit, my favorite disc golf course to play, etc.). Even better, set up disc golf clinics around the U.S. where social media fans who play the game can get a chance to meet and interact with professional disc golfers.
Love to hear everyone's thoughts.

Tags: media, pdga, social

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I thought about how to reply and after thinking about it, I think that your thoughts are correct, just thought I'd let ya know....
I think it would be a very smart idea. I'd love to see more of that for sure.
Thanks for the feedback guys, hopefully more disc golf companies and associations will get involved with the community.
Some of it is due to doing business as usual. The PDGA requires money to run. Some revenue can be obtained by drawing people to the PDGA site itself to see the Advertisers that have paid to have their ads ran there. While branching out into the various avenues of media, the ultimate goal should be to draw the audience back to the home site.

Just a thought.
Great post Roy! I couldn't agree more. A lot of my time off the course is spent studying all things media, which is increasingly including 'social media'. It is an amazing tool for "ordinary" citizens to use themselves (for free!) to create and spread knowledge about whatever interests them. (The Iran protest movement and Obama presidential campaign are just two examples that showcase the power of social media.) Just like Roy, it seems to me that our community could benefit very much if we harnessed the power of social media.

But the big question is: HOW? A platform is literally useless if there are no users sharing content, engaging with others', building community, etc. As some of the literature on social media illustrates quite well, the "if we build it, they will come" relationship is all but void in most cases of social media. Building the platform is not enough; we need to find ways to foster community and participation in it if we are to be successful in this endeavor.

So, how do we continue to build our social media community--and thus grow our sport in turn? One way to start would be to get Brian Graham, John Duesler, et al. involved in this discussion. I think working in cooperation with the PDGA will be key, but I expect the everlasting issue of time/money will come up immediately, as I'm sure they're stretching the budget about as far as they can already. But that doesn't mean we can't work WITH them to build our social media community!

Here are a few practical suggestions about how this could be done:

1) Utilize the web-resources we already have to build the social media community. DGRUS is a perfect platform to expand from, as we surely have built a solid community by now, thanks in big part to Terry Calhoun. (We already have a "twitter users" club here on DGRUS, but with a measly 18 members, its not much of a start, yet.) We could/should also utilize the PDGA website and other high-traffic community sites to inform other disc golfers about the developments we are hoping for, how they are happening now, and how others can join in.

2) While web-based communications are obviously very important here, we should not ignore the potential of face-to-face communication. Therefore, I suggest something like a flyer/conversation campaign to be implemented at tournaments--especially those that draw the largest fan base. While starting with the majors and NTs would probably be a good idea, we could also consider taking a page out of Rick Rothstein's book by mimicking the way he runs the Ice Bowl schwag. That is, we could have (free, digital) resources available online for downloading/printing and we could encourage others to spread the message in their area.

Of course, all of this will only take us so far. Before it will get us anywhere, we must have a clear idea of 'where we are going' and have built a platform that is ready and capable of sustaining such growth. I'll stop brainstorming for now, but I truly hope that this conversation doesn't die. The more discussion that continues in this direction, the more likely we are to succeed at growing the sport, especially via our social media community!
Scott - this is true,, but would you also say that the ultimate goal is to get members and raise participants in PDGA sactioned events; not just going to the website?
Thanks for the solid suggestions Steve.

I think it is equally important that the PRO's of the game get involved especially those in younger generations who have adapted these technologies into their daily tool-sets. Community is a necessary element if we are going to grow the game and digital assets and mobile devices are all part of the equation. From having disc golf "tweetups" to community disc golf clinics social networks are developed for this type of blended on/off-site interaction.
Having served on the PDGA board of directors for 5 years, I'm pretty sure that the reason it doesn't currently do more with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter is a lack of available staff resources; probably even to manage volunteers doing it for them.

Pete May, who was on the board with me for much of that time, used to regularly bring up the concept of the PDGA establishing a very inexpensive non-PDGA member accessible association with minimal benefits, aimed at beginners and those not all that seriously into competition.

I started this network primarily to have a "safe" place for people to engage with each other without the personal attacks and bashing that, at that time, were pretty regular happenings on the PDGA DISCussion. (I think that situation has been dramatically improved.)

It has occurred to me from time to time that DGRUS has evolved into a version of what Pete used to suggest the PDGA needed, albeit "no cost" instead of "low cost."

Roy is corrrect, the PDGA and by extension all of disc golf, would benefit if the PDGA could develop a more extensive presence on what I call the "public social media" like FB, LI, and TW. But there is that issue of staff time, even the time to manage volunteers, much less for staff doing it themselves.

I'm responsible, among a zillion other things, for social media for my employer, which is a professional association of people who plan for the future of higher education campuses. It takes a LOT of time to do it right. More time than I even have when it's part of my job.

If I could afford to retire, I'd offer to manage that stuff for the PDGA as a volunteer, maybe managing other volunteers . . . but I can't :( and while still working, I can't even find the time to do FB, LI, and TW well for this network. Sigh.
It is a very daunting task indeed, I believe the DGRUS is a great extension of the PDGA and greater disc golf community. I don't think it would hurt for them to join the conversation and embrace the community that has been built by disc golfers alike; and build off of that solid foundation.
Well, thanks, but I think we're barely okay. I mean the community is great, but the tools and functionality I can manage to offer are just "okay". And I think what we do with FB, LI, and TW is mediocre at best.
Sorry I missed this last message Terry; just wanted to add that I think you do a great job managing and keeping this community active on this social network. Continue the good work and I hope this conversation continues.
Hey everyone,

Due to the fact that there are SO many social outlets available these days, I rarely find myself here on DGRUS. I apologize about that but I think you'll soon see why. I am good friends with Terry Calhoun and I think I'm even member number 6 on this site! However, with all of that being said, I'm almost socially media maxed out. You guys are onto the right idea here but as the conversations have gone - what's next?

About me:
My full time job is disc golf. I teach classes, I run leagues and tournaments, I work with youth groups, church camps, scouts, and corporations. I also sell all of the equipment, design courses, and play professionally. With that being said, it seemed to make sense that I create my own Twitter and video blog updates. Sure, I have my company website (which is just days away from a serious make over www.lifetimediscsports.com) and I also use other tools like Facebook, YouTube, Blip, the PDGA discussion board, Constant Contact, iRegisteredOnline.com, DiscGolfScene.com, and eBay all to help spread the word about disc golf, my services, and my products. I'm now incredibly honored to be a part of the core www.DiscGolfPlanet.tv crew as well for our 2nd live internet broadcast.

What is my point? I DO DISC GOLF FOR A LIVING AND I STILL CAN'T KEEP UP WITH IT ALL. Now I'm not saying that the PDGA and others shouldn't be trying, I'm saying that if we all try - we should do our best to be the most efficient.

Look at the blogs and sites started by so many of our top pros. Wait, most of them have fallen by the wayside by now (ie most of zonedriven). Primarily because they (understandably) are more excited about going out to practice, play, and teach clinics then to come back and pound away on a keyboard. Also, they find it tough to write a blog which can take an hour to type up when so many people are covering their moves via discussion boards, Facebook updates, Twitter, or even through live or wrap up event videos.

I guess I have so many thoughts running through my mind right now that I might have gotten off track but I felt that I needed to reply to this thread and say the following. I LOVE the idea of incorporating and using social media to the max but the method(s) we choose must be concise and executed by people in it for the long haul because this is a LARGE undertaking.

Hopefully I can check back on this thread next time I have a 'spare' moment :) Thanks guys!

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