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Media and Websites
Digital media is an effective way to reach out and communicate with other teams. Social media is also an easy way to promote and market your outreach events. FIRST challenges teams to help make FIRST loud, and social media is an easy way to do this. FIRST defines social or viral media as "low/zero budget and homemade content... viral content is something that premieres and is spread person-to-person on the Internet." There are many forms of social media, but here are a few of the most popular used by FIRST Robotics Competition teams.
Facebook is a fast way for your team, including ours, to post pictures, share articles, team updates and videos. Many teams have decided to use Facebook instead building a formal website.
Twitter is an easy way to keep your fans updated about the many events your team attends. It is a useful (and popular) way to connect with teams before and during competitions. When creating a Twitter account, be sure to include FIRST in your Twitter handle so that FIRST can follow your team. Often regionals will have their own hashtag for teams to use. For the Minnesota FIRST Regionals we use:
- • #SuperiorRegional for Lake Superior Regional;
- • #NorthernLights for Northern Lights Regional;
- • #DoubleDECCer to refer to both Duluth events;
- • #NorthStar for North Star Regional;
- • #10KLakes for 10,000 Lakes Regional;
- • #MSHSLrobots for the State Championship.
1816 (@FIRSTteam1816) keeps an active Twitter feed throughout the year. When starting your team's Twitter, here are some recommended "must follows:"
- • FIRST (@FRCTeams, @FIRSTweets, @FTCteams, @FIRSTLegoLeague): The official Twitter accounts for all things FIRST;
- • Minnesota FIRST (@MNFIRSTRegional): The official Twitter for all things Minnesota FIRST;
- • High Tech Kids (@HighTechKids1): High Tech Kids is the FTC and FLL affiliate partner in the state of Minnesota;
- • Robot Inspection (@MNFIRSTLRI): Updates from Jon Stratis, our Chief Robot Inspector in Minnesota;
- • GOFIRST (@MNGOFIRST): An alumni organization at University of Minnesota that supports all levels of FIRST programs.
- • Bot Chat (@Robot_Chat): A weekly Twitter forum to get teams to share ideas and progress during the build and competition season. This is a great way to connect with teams across the country.
YouTube is a great place to share video updates about your team. These can range from prototype ideas and robot reveals to highlights from your outreach events. FRC 2052-KnightKrawler posts regularly on YouTube. Check out their regular vlog posts during Build Season!
Instagram is a picture sharing site. It is a great place to post pictures of your outreach events and team activities. FRC Team 2283 Panteras Up keeps an active Instagram account.
Need help getting started? Here is a presentation given at Minnesota SPLASH by an 1816 alum that overviews the use of social media and best practices.
When it comes to developing a website, good coding practices are important no matter what templates you decide to use. Team 1816 uses Drupal and inserts custom code so that pages display properly in all web browsers, platforms, and mobile devices. Our website originally launched in the 2007 season. It has since been re-designed by student team members several times. Here are several resources used by our team to get started.
- • HTML Dog lists HTML, CSS tutorials and lots of other pertinent "stuff.": HTML Dog
- • Develop a website: W3Schools
- • Dig even deeper into web development: Tuts+ Code Tutorials
- • Design tips abound here: Tuts+ Web Design Tutorials