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Social Network "Phoneographers" Go Pro In Soccer's FA Cup

Suddenly smartphone-wielding, tweet-happy pic snappers are living #tothedream. Right next to those long-lens photo journalists.

Social Network "Phoneographers" Go Pro In Soccer's FA Cup

Two smartphone football photographers will be standing alongside the pros next to the pitch at this weekend's FA Cup semifinal in the U.K.

Amateur photographers, dubbed "Phoneographers" for the event, will be given prime positions at the important soccer game so that they can capture moments of action and share them instantly via Twitter using the hashtag #tothedream.

The idea is to make the game a little more real for fans who are monitoring events using social networks because unlike the shots of a professional photographer, or even TV-grade video footage that's broadcast on the air, the social photography is more personal and immediate.

The move demonstrates how critical social media is becoming to all forms of TV production, and parallels a growing trend for TV watchers to accompany their program-viewing with data they gather or watch on a second screen device like a tablet or smartphone. Some experiments have even tried integrating live Twitter feeds directly into a TV show broadcast so that the social media content is part of the transmission itself.

[Image: Flickr user scottcalleja]