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Notes on a hashtag, or why CLBvNYR is not a way to get into a conversation with RBNY fans

A sincere effort to help out our soccer-loving friends in the national media...

Don't worry, it's not just you: we're not sure what MLS is up to either
Don't worry, it's not just you: we're not sure what MLS is up to either
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Dear Media Types,

This one is for you.

In recent weeks, you may have noticed a concerted effort by our mutual friends at MLS to get a "new convention" going for conversations about games involving the New York Red Bulls on Twitter. Don't say you weren't informed.

You heard about it. (And bless you, Jeff Crandall, for gently pointing out where the fans are hanging out on Twitter these days.)

Problem is: Twitter is social media, and the fans who hang out on Twitter chatting about RBNY haven't really bought in to this new convention. What's that? You're just following the instructions of the league?

That is your prerogative, though it might be humbly suggested the standard one ought to seek is the one with maximum possible exposure for one's thoughts and work. Or just the one that has been standard long enough to actually be regarded as standard by those who get excited by RBNY games. Anyway, we'll get to that.

Right now, MLS looks all geared up to plug its novel and misguided "NYR" designation for RBNY (or "NY" as was -and ought still to be - before NYC FC apparently caused panic at the league's department of abbreviation) all over again for this week's match against Columbus Crew.


I'm not suggesting for a moment that you should listen to a know-nothing blog. You're a pro, media type - OaM respects this.

But there are a couple of things you might want to consider before firing up that #CLBvNYR, assuming your intention with any foray onto Twitter is to communicate with a broad base of fans rather than to advance some peculiar and opaque MLS hashtag agenda.

If you only tweet to chat to employees of MLS or fulfill the media directives of the league office - sorry for the interruption; enjoy your day. If you plan on using Twitter to address a wider audience, however, bear in mind #NYR is the designation for a New York area sports team with (and this may come as a shock, so sit down) a larger following than the New York Red Bulls. And much of that following has a passing association with Twitter.

Rangers fans are going to love you and your soccer talk!

Except, you're not necessarily even to going to run into any Rangers fans over at CLBvNYR, because...well, here's the most recent Tweet referencing that hashtag:

Those are some photos you should check out by the way. Seriously. Markus Holgersson had the armband for RBNY that day. It wasn't a great game for the Red Bulls - Henry didn't play and the team lost 2-0 - but it was a part of that Shield-winning season nonetheless.

And those photos are criminally underviewed because that Tweet is one of only three that had ever been posted to that hashtag up to just after midnight on March 27 (until fairly shortly, when MLS ramps up its windmill-tilting team). All by the same person: a talented and enthusiastic photographer and Crew fan who presumably found a more receptive audience over on a part of Twitter people actually use.

Somewhere like #CLBvNY, for example.

Look! Even MLS used to use it!

More recently, it has been a channel used by people interested in the match you are likely to want to talk about soon...

...and RBNY itself...

...and someone MLS has heard from on this subject already.

That's where the conversation is happening. And we'd love for you to join it.

Please: #CLBvNY. That's where the crowd will be, reading what you have to say - assuming you are receptive to requests for you to put it where you can be read.


It's social media: come be social.

Thank you.