Any followers of the Avalanche or this here blog are probably aware that the Colorado Avalanche have not always been very quick to embrace the "new media" - such as blogs and social media outlets; they were one of the last NHL teams to have an official Twitter feed and Facebook page and have a long-standing policy against granting press credentials to bloggers like yours truly. They haven't always been very big on embracing "old media" either, but that, as they say, is another show. [UPDATE: I've been told that the Avs were actually one of the first to have a FB page. #bloggersdon'tfactcheck]
It wasn't that long ago that the Avs' Twitter presence was essentially nil. It was big news when Matt Duchene created an account and even bigger news that he actually used it. Slowly, Avalanche players began creating their own accounts. Dan Winnik. John-Michael Liles. The trickle picked up in intensity. Ryan O'Byrne. Erik Johnson. Greg Mauldin. Yesterday, David Jones and T.J. Galiardi created accounts (Galiardi's being particularly full of win). All of a sudden, the Avalanche have a substantial presence on Twitter.
But there's one new Avalanche account that really has me raising my eyebrows: Kyle Shohara. Don't know him? He's the new Website / Media Relations Coordinator for the Avalanche (I believe he has quietly replaced Craig Stancher). This is new territory: an Avalanche front office member with an active (and engaging) Twitter feed. And, oh by the way, he's a former blogger.
That's from Jared Harding, who apparently is a digital and social media strategist for KSE. The fact that the Avalanche are even talking to a social media strategist is amazing when you think about the Iron Curtain Media of just a few years ago. In a word: woah.
I'm not sure exactly how far the Avalanche will loosen the reigns here, and I can comfortably predict that I won't be getting press credentials anytime in the near future. But, times are changing and the Avs apparently are trying to change with them. It may be small steps for now, but at least there's movement. I've been critical of their stonewalling policies in the past, and I applaud the team for lightening up a bit. I'll definitely be watching this one as it progresses.