Friday, June 26, 2009

Bienvenue a Montreal: A Blog Box Journey

Welcome everybody to my first Blog Box excursion. Things went well this morning. That is of course if you consider waking up at 4:30 AM to go to LaGuardia for a 7 AM flight to Montreal as normal.

Either way, we're in our hotel across from the Bell Centre and will be awaiting our media passes for the Draft this evening.

Don't forget to check in with the other guys websites:

Tom over at Tiger Track, Mike over at IslesBlogger and Ken at OkposoNet, as well as IslandersCrazy where I'll be joining in as a panelist later tonight on his Live Blog.

Now on to the heart of this post. Over the past week, I've been trying to finalize an interview with NHLtweetup creator, Dani Muccio (@dani3boyz). If you haven't gotten the memo, NHLtweetup is quite the event and is in town for Draft. I picked her brain for some information on not only the Draft, but the Islanders and the also the NHLtweetup. Here's what she had to say...

1) With the NHL Tweetup becoming such a huge international success, how do you manage to stay so grounded?

I never imagined a simple idea would lead to international events… but I'm not any different a person than I was before the first NHLtweetup. All I've done is give the hockey fans on Twitter the tools and the guidance they need to do what they already know how to do, just on a broader scale.

2) I noticed that you were an "ex-blogger". How come you gave it up and switched exclusively to Twitter?

Twitter is my blog. :) Writing is very time-consuming for me. I tend to be very wordy and critical of myself spending too much time editing and rearranging what I've written. Twitter doesn't allow for any of that. It forces you to be quick and concise. I don't think I'm missing anything tweeting as opposed to blogging, either. I share what is holding my interest more often than one does with a blog. You have the ability to post pictures (Twitpic) that coincide with your thoughts and your messages are delivered to your audience rather than the reader needing to come to you. For me the real benefit is that I can update instantly from just about anywhere when there's something I want to share and get immediate feedback.

3) After doing some "exhaustive" research, I found out that you're a die-hard Islanders fan. What are your feelings on how this Draft will effect the future of the franchise?

This year's Draft is so important to the Islanders, I decided I wanted to witness the announcement of the first round pick in person. It would be the first draft I'd attend which also meant leaving the country for the first time.

4) Put yourself in Garth Snow's shoes for a moment. Who do you choose with the #1 overall selection after 2 solid months of deliberation?

If the first pick of the draft were up to me, Tavares would be it. He has been under a microscope for years being critiqued in every way possible. Regardless of how critics have chosen to pick him apart, his records speak for themselves. He is #1 pick material. If I needed a second choice, it would be Duchene. A well-rounded player who isn't afraid to take it to the net. The Isles need a good shooter. They could have the best defense around but without a goal scorer, the games would end tied at zero.

5) What are you planning for the Draft version of the NHL Tweetup? How many people do you expect to be there and where are they all coming from?

The Montreal Draft NHLtweetup has been collaboration between four Montreal hockey tweeters, the NHL, myself, and a myriad of sponsors and helping hands from all over Twitter. What started out as just a get-together on Saturday to watch day 2 of the draft at Ye Olde Orchard, evolved into a group of us attending the first round of the draft at the Bell Centre with tickets courtesy of the NHL, a ball hockey game between tweeters Saturday morning, the original NHLtweetup that was planned Saturday afternoon and ice skating on Saturday night. From the online RSVPs, we’re expecting approximately 75 people at Saturday’s NHLtweetup. We have hockey tweeters from New York, Boston, Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Washington DC, Connecticut, and Toronto just to name a few.

6) How can people who won't be in Montreal join in on the fun of the Tweetup?
People that would like to follow tweets regarding the weekend’s events should follow @nhltweetup, check periodically, and filter Twitter for the #NHLtweetup tag throughout the weekend. If you actually want to SEE what’s going on you can watch a live stream of the action shot by Eklund at You’ll be able to watch Friday’s draft, Saturday’s ball hockey game and the NHLtweetup will all be live-streamed in addition to various events over Friday and Saturday.

7) What are your plans for your next event after the Draft? UFA Day (July 1st)? Training Camp?

With all of the preparation and excitement revolving around the Montreal event, planning anything beyond this hasn’t been brought up or even crossed my mind. Simpler events can be thrown together rather quickly so keep an eye on for NHLtweetups being planned in your area. As long as someone is willing to host on short notice, I’m willing to help them pull it together and promote it.

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