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Volume 26 No. 227
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Social Studies: How Twitter Started Dan Orlovsky's Second Career

Dan Orlovsky's wife Tiffany once came across a notebook from when he was 10 years old, in which he wrote he wanted to broadcast games for ESPN when he grew up. Several years and a dozen seasons in the NFL later, Orlovsky (@DanOrlovsky7) is living out his childhood dream. Despite his resume, Orlovsky had to find another way -- social media -- to get his foot in the door, and has built a reputation for providing insight via short clips on Twitter. His foray -- almost two years ago during a Dolphins-Panthers "MNF" game -- wasn't planned. He noticed how Panthers QB Cam Newton had changed a play at the line of scrimmage -- the end result was a touchdown. He said, "My wife was like, 'Why don't you make a video of it and put it on the internet.' Initially I was like, 'That's a stupid idea.' I didn't really have social media back then. ... I had maybe 1,000 followers on Twitter, 100 on Instagram." Shortly thereafter, Orlovsky posted the 2-minute clip. Orlovsky: "I woke up the next morning and it had gotten pretty good reception. In that moment I said, 'That's my in. That's something.'"

Must-follow: I love following Adam Schefter because you can appreciate the amount of time and attention to detail he puts into his work. Daniel Jeremiah, because he is strictly the eyes of a scout. Todd Blackledge is constantly a positive reinforcement guy. I like following (Pat) McAfee strictly to laugh. He is a nut.
Favorite app: GrubHub because I order so much food, but I don’t use apps that much. I’m old school -- pen and paper.

Average time per day on social media: I don’t spend a lot of time on it, but during the season, I look at social media 50 times a day during the season, sometimes for like 18 seconds.

What made him stand out:
This goes back to me being a 15-year-old high school sophomore. I was 6-foot-5, 180 pounds, had a size 15 shoe and ran a 6.2 (40-yard dash). If I was ever going to become something in football, it had to be in the details. Finding out how to think -- the same in college. At UConn, if we were going to beat teams more talented than us, I had to figure out details and tells of defenses that we could attack. A lot of that was prepping for the moment, for the career. Then eyes: I think my eyes are a little bit different. I think differently to begin with; I try to look at things differently when I'm watching tape and try to see things that tell a story.

Using social media to his advantage:
For a while, I thought people wanted more of that stuff, that people wanted to know more about why things were happening. Because of technology and because of how many games are on and the ability to watch a game, people don't need you to tell them what's happening. They see it for themselves. But no one knows why it's happening. I always thought people want to know why because they are obsessed with football. When it happened, I knew I was onto something. I didn't know exactly the steps of social media. I just knew that was a big deal. People really want that stuff. That's when I got NFL Game Pass to gain access to some tape.

Social posts complementing studio work:
I look at them as being very much the same. That is the world we live in, where it is paramount to have a presence in that stuff and paramount to remain vigilant in how you use it. From Day One, social media was a weapon. That's all I ever looked at it as. It was my own ESPN. Before I ever had the opportunity to work there, I had ESPN -- my Twitter. I still look at it like that. It is a weapon and if it is used the right way, it can be a massive advantage to you and the people you work for. I'm very conscious of how I use it and when I use it. The television is the most important piece, but I don't have to do much work for the social media stuff. The stuff that gets done on television, I'll clip and post it on Twitter.

Dealing with the haters:
I don't care if they think they know more than me. That's like me saying I know more about their work than them. There's no chance. If they feel that way, congratulations. I don't ever get upset with passionate fans and fans who say crazy stuff to me. I have a job because of those people. Passionate fans and even the ones that cross lines are what makes sports.

I have very specific times when I disconnect: 3:30 in the afternoon on weekdays when my kids come home from school. We have a cabinet in our kitchen, I put the phone on the top shelf, it goes there for 30 minutes and I'm just hanging out with the kids. Then I'll go back to work for another hour or so, then from 6:00 to 8:00, I put my phone away in that same cabinet. At the same time, during football season, there is not a ton of time to disconnect. When I go on a lunch date with my wife on Thursdays, my phone stays at home. I have to be strategic with it.

If you know anyone who should be featured for their use of social media, send their name to us at