A big announcement was made early Monday morning on Twitter, news that is significant to every sports fans: Bill Simmons is moving to Facebook. Sportsguy33 says: “The good folks at Facebook helped me create a page. Should have done this 2 years ago. Oh, well. www.facebook.com/billsimmons“
For those who aren’t familiar with Simmons, or those who don’t care about sports, this is still news. Simmons’ story is fascinating, and his success is a combination of talent, luck, and foresight. He rose through the ranks of ESPN writing at length about sports and pop culture, appealing to a wide range of fans. Never a beat reporter, or professional athlete, two roles that often lead to national success in sports journalist, Simmons ventured into podcasting and gained an audience talking to writers, athletes, movies stars, and of course his circle of humorous and insightful friends.
From podcasts, Simmons eventually embraced Twitter despite many hesitations at first. Once again, he was able to appeal to mass crowd by using it to discuss things that most of the public would be familiar with and likely enjoying as well. He tweets about games he is watching or attending, momentous events in pop culture (like Charlie Sheen), and reality television.
Now taking to Facebook, Simmons will continue to share his insight and ideas with legions of followers. He added another Tweet following his announcement.
“PS: Avoided Facebook just cuz I enjoyed Twitter more, but FB’s ability to post videos/pictures was the big attraction for me. Could be fun.”
Facebook has already allowed Simmons to write updates exceeding 140 characters, and he is soliciting ideas on how to best use the page. He has already shared memorable pictures and funny videos, and a Facebook page already seems like a wise move. His far-reach does not escape his grasp.
It is hard to cataloge him; he has adapted to the changing world of media, and paired his initial love of writing with social networking. He is able to appeal to people through different formats. There are some who love him just for his writing; others simply listen to his podcast, while some were introduced to him by his New York Times bestselling Book of Basketball. He has reached fans by appearing on TV, in particular the hit show Pardon The Interruption, and has a close circle of friends in Hollywood from his days writing for The Jimmy Kimmel Show. He is able to write interesting Tweets in less than 140 characters, while writing articles that exceed 10,000 words; and his book was over 700 pages!
Facebook won’t be the last stop for Simmons. He recently disclosed that he will have his own website, a spin-off from ESPN and his page there. There are no sure details, other than that Chuck Klosterman and Molly Lambert will be some of the podcasters and writers. Though he jokes that time may be passing him by, Simmons continues to gain in influence and popularity.