A new and improved year

WESTMINSTER, Md. – Since the launch of mcdanielathletics.com two years ago with our website partner PrestoSports, we have been able to bring you new features on a regular basis and improve the ways you connect with the Green Terror. The 2011-12 year will be no different. In fact, we may have more new features and improvements that at any other time to the point where we wanted to introduce them all in one place.

Mobile McDaniel

The first version of our mobile site launched during the winter season. However, if you've visited it recently, you will notice it now more closely mirrors the desktop version of mcdanielathletics.com. The site is skinned in McDaniel green with the same header you see when visiting on your computer.

Accessing the mobile version is simple. When you go to mcdanielathletics.com on your smartphone, you should be redirected automatically to the mobile version of our site, which gives you access to all of the same information – just in a format more friendly to your phone.

For more information on using the mobile site as an iPhone app, visit http://blogs.prestosports.com/2010/08/20100824_mobilenow_as_app

Related to that, you will begin to see square barcodes on programs and other publications. These are QR Codes and can be scanned with your smartphone to access any piece of information. Each schedule card this year will have a code that directs you an updated composite schedule as well as one that directs you to our live stats landing page. Each program will contain one that directs you to live stats for that sport. Look for other uses as the year goes along as well.

Social Media

We are actively involved across the popular social media platforms. However, we want more interaction from our fans this year. You can use Twitter (@mcdanielsports) or our Facebook fan page (facebook.com/McDanielAthletics) at any time to share your thoughts. Below is a quick guide to Green Terror Social Media

Twitter: Find us, @mcdanielsports. We use Twitter to send every news release as well as score updates throughout contests and final score alerts. It is also the first place we go when a game has been postponed or cancelled. Twitter, for us, is our first line of information to our fans.

Facebook: Find us, search McDaniel Athletics. On Facebook, we post links to every news release. Our goal moving forward is to use our Facebook fan page as our primary medium for interacting with fans. This is where we are going to ask for your input on certain items. We want your feedback on these questions and we want you to post information, comments and questions here. We will do our best to respond in a timely manner.

Foursquare: This tool allows friends to check-in, helping others know where they are. Anyone who uses the application can check-in to any of McDaniel's athletics facilities. We're also working on possibly offering specials in the future but nothing has been decided along that front so stay tuned.

YouTube: For the first time, we are launching a YouTube channel, mcdanielathletics. Now any video that we post to our regular website will also be posted to YouTube. To find any video we upload, all any user will have to do is go to our official channel.

Hashtags: Those who use Twitter know the advantages hashtags can have. The use of hashtags makes searching for a single topic easier for other users. They also allow for multiple users to participate in a conversation by following a single hashtag. When tweeting about McDaniel sports, there are a number of hashtags people can use – some of which are part of a larger initiative. The simplest hashtag is #McDaniel anywhere possible. However, there are other Centennial Conference and Division III hashtags, you may consider using:

#ccfb: Any tweet about Centennial Conference football
#ccfh: Any tweet about Centennial Conference field hockey
#ccsoc: Any tweet about Centennial Conference soccer, men's and women's
#ccvb: Any tweet about Centennial Conference volleyball
#ccxc: Any tweet about Centennial Conference cross country
#cchoops: Any tweet about Centennial Conference basketball, men's and women's
#ccswim: Any tweet about Centennial Conference swimming
#ccwrestle: Any tweet about Centennial Conference wrestling
#cctrack: Any tweet about Centennial Conference track and field, indoor and outdoor
#ccbase: Any tweet about Centennial Conference baseball
#ccsoft: Any tweet about Centennial Conference softball
#cclax: Any tweet about Centennial Conference lacrosse, men's and women's
#ccgolf: Any tweet about Centennial Conference golf, men's and women's
#ccten: Any tweet about Centennial Conference tennis, men's and women's

#d3fb: Any tweet about Division III football
#d3hoops: Any tweet about Division III basketball, men's and women's
#d3wrestle: Any tweet about Division III wrestling
#d3b: Any tweet about Division III baseball

The #cc hashtags are great to follow for score updates especially but are also very useful for news and other information, especially around championship time.

Also, over the summer a #whyd3 hashtag was introduced out of a conversation about just that – why a student would choose Division III. This tag has been used in a number of ways, including sharing about the good things being done by Division III student-athletes and athletic departments as well as why athletes chose to go to a Division III institution. This link explains more about it: http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/myconnect/public/ncaa/resources/latest+news/2011/july/twitter+query+attracts+diii+advocates

Likes: Just like we can (and do) post every news story to the official McDaniel Athletics Facebook fan page, anybody who has a Facebook account can post a link directly to his or her own personal page and it's as simple as clicking the "Like" button in the top-right corner of every page on the McDaniel Athletics website. By default, the main image shows up with a link to the story in the form of the headline with the first few words of the story. A user can also add his or her own comments to post with the story.

Statistics

Users coming to mcdanielathletics.com will continue to see improvement in the way stats viewed. We began to introduce the use of enhanced statistics over the last year. However, the implementation will be much more complete this year. The expectation is that opponent totals will be fully integrated into these reports and more reports as well as more in-depth reports will be available allowing us to completely discontinue the use of the traditional HTML reports. The new enhanced statistics present all of the same information in a more user-friendly and clean manner and allows different columns to be sorted, depending on the information the user wants to know. Splits are also available for both team and individuals.

Live in-game statistics will still be available as they always have. However, look for the potential for improvements on the way those are viewed as well. More to come on that as we know more.

Video

We dove into the video realm softly last year with our season preview videos. We will continue to offer those 3-4 minute videos of each coach previewing the season and, hopefully, the early spring weather will be much more cooperative this year.

In addition, however, we are now going to add a video component to each of our postgame recaps. The traditional text recap of each game will still be posted, though possibly in a shortened form. At the end of each will now be a short, one-minute interview with a player about his or her performance, the game or the season in general – whatever seems most appropriate for that day. We may also feature the coach once or twice during the season if there was a milestone or some other need but these will focus mostly on the student-athletes. Understand, though, for some road games there may be a delay until as late as the following morning until we can get in touch. However, we will do our best to let you know at the end of the story who to expect a video interview from and when to expect it.

We are also expanding and improving our live video streaming of home contests. We have moved from a free service to a paid provider, Pack Network. It will still be a free-to-view stream to users, though. We can't do all of the events we want to because we need hardwired access to the campus network, which is not available at any of our remote fields and will not be available at Bair Stadium until the renovations are complete. That limits us to just the Gill Center for this year. We will stream all weeknight volleyball matches, any dual wrestling matches and all of our home basketball games. We're not going to reveal all of the secrets about this just yet but we're excited about the potential this has. We have an internal goal of providing the best basketball live streaming video of any Centennial Conference institution and think it is very realistic but will let our viewers be the judge once November rolls around. If all goes as planned, we will expand that same top-notch quality to all of our broadcasts and expand to other facilities as soon as we are able.

We also have a couple of other video initiatives that we are still working through some details on, so be on the lookout for the announcement and release of those in the coming months.

Rosters

Finally, as you click on an athlete's name from one of our rosters, you will notice some slight changes – and those are just the beginning. The first thing you will see is the complete roster is now along the right side for you. In case you want to jump directly to another player, you no longer have to go back to the full roster.

The information below the biographical information is also now tabbed. We are still wrestling internally with exactly how to use the profile page most effectively with approximately 430 student-athletes so expect that to be a work-in-progress. There is also a "Stats" tab with the player's game-by-game statistics. Look for improvements to that as the year goes along and more tabs with more features and information. We've been told that once the improved statistics integration is complete to expect player-specific photo and video capabilities among other exciting ideas.

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