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Fostering Communication in Dynasty Leagues


We live in a hyper-connected world in which people stream their weddings to the Internet, share their location constantly via their mobile phones and, ultimately, can bring total strangers together from all around the world, for many years at a time, to play fantasy football. With the flick of my finger I can send a message to someone on the other side of the planet. Today is a great time to be alive!

While we have this capability, we don’t always use it, or even foster it, in many leagues. Communication and interaction between owners is paramount in any successful dynasty league. The more engaged owners are, the more vibrant and enduring a league will be. Owners are able to develop relationships and can better understand what makes everyone “tick.”

With communication being so important and the vast number of tools available to dynasty leagues, it’s downright criminal, and extremely lazy, if league commissioners aren’t working to connect the owners in their leagues!  If you are one of those commissioners I’m talking about, get on the ball and get your league connected with the following resources:

Twitter (www.twitter.com)

If not for Twitter, many of those involved with DLF wouldn’t even know one another. Twitter allows for connection with a vast number of fantasy football experts, as well as current and potentially future league mates. Individual messages are limited to 140 characters, but this is rarely very limiting. The ability to create lists of users allows for a great way to organize those you follow into logical collections.

Many fantasy football trades are conducted over this service as well. Countless desktop and mobile clients exist for this service, so you aren’t tied to any one location or client. Additionally, Twitter, due to its huge popularity, has a massive amount of third party supporting sites that allow you to do things easier, faster or differently than twitter.com does.  While you’re there give all the DLF staff a follow at the names listed in the footer of this page. We encourage you to chat with us any time you’d like.

Facebook (www.facebook.com)

I’d be remiss without adding the single largest social network on this list. While not designed specifically for close communication between small groups, it is the single most likely website where you’ll find all of your leaguemates. Personally, I’m opposed to the site, but I do acknowledge its usefulness.

One interesting feature a league could try out is the timeline feature. This feature could track wins and losses, important trades and league championships. There’s not much to say here that hasn’t been said a million times about this site. If you don’t know more than I could write about Facebook then you’ve been living under a rock or in a nuclear bunker for the past three to five years.

Google+ (plus.google.com)

If Facebook is a shotgun, then Google+ is a sniper rifle. One takes a broad approach to connecting users, the other is laser focused in its attempt to do the same. Google+ has a much smaller user base, but works on fostering group interaction – perfect for a small group of people like a dynasty fantasy football league. The circle concept Google has developed keeps interactions between the group private and only viewable by those associated with the group.

Google Documents (docs.google.com)

This collection of applications by Google is meant to compete with the Microsoft Office suite of products. The usefulness here for a dynasty fantasy football league is that the documents produced or edited by group members are viewable and editable to everyone else in that group. We here at DLF use this suite of products to help run the site you’re reading this article on. This suite of products is perfect for keeping league rules on, tracking salaries and contract years and any calculation spreadsheets developed by or associated with a dynasty league. If it’s good enough for your friends at DLF then why not give it a try!

Voxer (www.voxer.com)

Here is where we start to get to the more niche applications. While not widely known, Voxer is perfect for bringing a dynasty fantasy football league closer together. Voxer allows push to talk communication between two or more users. In Voxer you can have a conversation between your opponent for the week or send a voice message out to the league as a whole. It’s a great way to stay in touch during the off-season, send out trade offers or trash talk during the season. I actually require all owners in the league that I am commissioner of to install the application on their smartphones. Voxer is an amazing tool to bring everyone in a dynasty league closer together and should be an essential companion to your league website.

WhatsApp Messenger (www.whatsapp.com)

Similar in nature to Voxer, this application allows for sending pictures, video or voice messages to groups. If your entire dynasty fantasy football league is on this application, you can essentially have a mobile chat room in which everyone is notified of updates to the on-going chat. This application is what I prefer for chat rooms within a league, but I prefer Voxer for the push to talk features. The downside on WhatsApp Messenger is it is not free, while only .99 cents; you’re bound to hear some gripes if you require league members to buy a paid application.

Voice Broadcast (www.ifbyphone.com)

This application is designed to be used for marketing purposes, but I find this helps with the sanity of being a commissioner. By downloading and signing up for the free account on the website, you can send short burst voice messages that ring the phones of those you select. An excellent use for this is to send reminders out to your league on Thursdays that a game will be played that night and to set their lineups, notify league members of the start of a draft or to notify the league of any important issues, polls, dates or deadlines. I would urge any commissioner who uses this application to use it sparingly as overuse will annoy or anger league members if you use it for every small thing about the league. It is very useful, however, for important information that requires immediate attention.

With very little effort and some desire to keep a dynasty league whole and interacting, a savvy commissioner can transform their league from a desperate group of individuals into a close-knit group of friends with little to no turnover for long periods of time.

A league that binds itself together can expect games and seasons which are much more fun and rewarding for all those involved. Using just a couple of the applications I’ve outlined will make a huge difference in how you interact with all of your league members and will transform your fantasy football season from a few months a year to a multi-year, around the calendar experience.

Have fun out there!

21 Comments
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BigB
10 years ago

Great article Ghost! My league uses Yahoo to host the actual scoring in season, so we use quite a few of these year round. We set up a private group on Facebook for broader communication, host a spreadsheet for full rosters and contract values as well as the league rules on Docs(Drive, whatever it’s called now!). One thing I would throw out is the group video chat on Google+. I haven’t made use of this yet, but from what I’ve seen it’s easy to get the a group together(especially in my league where we have a commissioner board more than one single one) and even integrate documents, web sites, and video links into the same meeting. Great for leagues that are spread out more.

sixshooter
10 years ago

Sorry but I prefer the more conventional methods of communication. Between the league message board, email and phone, I have absolutely no problem communicating anything necessary to any owner in my league and do not wish to use any other method to communicate as is the case with most any other owner in my leagues. Comments can be made at the same time a trade offer is made which is another means of communication during the negotiation process. Keep it simple!

Ryan Krcil
Reply to  sixshooter
10 years ago

I think the inability to grow with the times helps the older members, but I think it is important to keep up with and support for all and any younger members.

sixshooter
Reply to  Ryan Krcil
10 years ago

Huh….inability to grow? That is not the issue at all. The main (3) leagues I am in consist of just about everyone at least having a Blackberry or Smart Phone not to mention ipads and trust me, most are very skilled when it comes to technology and the average owner’s age is probably 30 to 35.

Maybe it is different in those leagues where most know each other well enough to talk some trash on the message board and if we wish to negotiate a trade, it is simply done through the website or if things get dicey, we simply send the owner an email pick up the phone and either text or call the person. And as far as group chats, not sure what site you use but I use a couple different sites and all of them allow for group chat message boards, live chat, etc and yes……it even sends an email to notify you of activity.

However, I am also in some online leagues where I do not know anyone and not sure how this would be any different.

In either case, I much more prefer to have all communication through one means and if someone wants to do the facebook thing…..then fine I guess. Our league used to have a facebook page just for the league and nobody has used it in 4 or 5 years because we all prefer to just use the league’s site no matter if it is CBS Sports, Fox Sports, RT, Yahoo or whatever……no need for all the extra fluff. This is fantasy football…not a reality tv review board!

Sorry, but that is what it seems to me. Has nothing to keep up with the times that is for sure because in the industry most of us are in……you would drowned if you didn’t keep up with technology! This is more about using the technology wisely and to me using one site that does everything is much more wiser than to have to go to facebook to do this, google to do that, skype to see me do this or do that……keep it simple, not because we are dumb and not able to “keep up with the times” or are “older” but because it makes sense!

thomas selvey
Reply to  sixshooter
10 years ago

You obviously do most of your fantasy football from a desktop… Most fantasy websites lose a lot of functionality when you do most of your browsing from a mobile device. That is where these app’s come into the picture. You act like using different services makes the transition between them a tedious process. it is 2 clicks on my smartphone to get to any of them, and they all work more effectively then a fantasy football site.

With your average age in the mid thirty’s it doesn’t surprise me this seems unneeded. Older generations do not seem to grasp the nuances of the tech the generation below them. It has played out with the .com’s, web 2.0 companies and now the mobile web.

Ryan Krcil
10 years ago

We currently use a lot of these. You should also look into GroupMe! Its a group messaging service that we use when bidding on free agents.

Google Docs is by far the most valuable for me as a commissioner. Very powerful if you know what you are doing.

Meens
10 years ago

I officially can’t argue that Fantasy Football isn’t geeky anymore. This site was good while it lasted. Thanks for the previous good work.

Admin
Reply to  Meens
10 years ago

Well, it certainly would be tough for some to argue the geekiness factor if your league used all these! Every league is certainly different and a commish should always consider any way to improve their league. Maybe these fit, maybe they don’t.

Over the past few months, our writers have been thinking a little out of the box in regards to content ideas to add a bit of variety to the site. As a result, we’ve had a total of 118 articles so far since January on a variety of traditional and untraditional topics.

Some of these have been our common player evaluations, while others have been lightning rods, so to speak. Opinion pieces like this are always going to strike a chord with some and not with others.

Regardless, thanks for the read!

Allen Churchman
Reply to  Ken Kelly
10 years ago

Meens speaks for himself. The amount of content that you’ve put out since the start of 2012 dwarves your competition. Keep the good stuff coming!

Meens
Reply to  TheFFGhost
10 years ago

Yes, I speak for myself. I don’t want to be a troll. So Ill stop. I just thought it was a bit overboard. Nothing more than an email address or phone number is needed in my opinion. In response to Ken, the early off season was very good. I just noticed a huge drop off lately, no biggie, i understand you have to reserve content for the subscribers. I just read this article and all I could think was “Yikes”

Admin
Reply to  Meens
10 years ago

Thanks for clarifying Meens! We have lots lined up for the week, so hopefully something fits your wheelhouse a little better.

Jacob Ehmann
10 years ago

I use google docs and google sites for tracking and archiving stuff for my league…currently trying to find a good live chat alternative…switching fromcbs to myfantasyleaguue and it seems that the live chat may be one of the features that isn’t an upgrade. Any one know how to imbed a chat into google sites? I will check the forum as well.

sixshooter
10 years ago

I believe Ken said it best…..it all depends on your league and those associated. Nothing wrong with expanding communication but I guess I just don’t see the benefit of using multiple sites when one can do all the things necessary and sometimes having more options can actually cause communication to be lost which I have seen before.

When I first started participating in fantasy football, it was all done using excel spreadsheets for tracking purposes and using phones, email and voice mail for entering starting lineups. Trades were an after thought because of lack of communication.

Then, the next best thing since sliced bread came along……websites that did all the work for you! And those same websites have expanded to basically do anything and everything for not only the commish, but the owners as well!

Myself, I prefer using one site for all so that communication is not lost! But, at the same time, nothing wrong with networking with other owners in the league if that is your preference. Myself, I prefer to use the site for online leagues where I do not know the other owners. Otherwise, I will pick up a phone, send an email or whatever so Ken is right….just because one league, and it’s owners, prefer one way…..doesn’t mean that another way won’t work for another league….I guess…….just seemed like kind of a silly article for a fantasy site to me but obviously some found some value in it so who really cares……I still find some worthy content on the site just as I do others and will continue to take a piece here or there from each site and decide what is worth while and what is not!

Danton Goulet
10 years ago

If any of you are on Twitter, I definitely suggest you follow the DLF staff. If I send out a question or comment, I always get a quick response. A fantastic tool! If you are not on Twitter, get on it.

Kelsier
10 years ago

I think Ghost is on to something with this article; I’ve ripped him in the past, so it’s time to give him his due. Keeping guys connected leads to a higher level dynasty experience. Some owners like only logging in once a day, or once a week during the slow season, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, a lot of guys are wired a bit differently, and want to be playing/talking/trading constantly. Finding ways to accomodate this need expands the dynasty experience for these owners, and potentially for the entire league.

I’ve actually thought a lot about starting up a smartphone only league. No insult intended to those who don’t like to connect this way, but having guys able to respond within an hour or two, as opposed to days, makes a commissioner’s job so much easier. It also could make for an incredibly dynamic league environment. I’m sure there are a few leagues like that already…anybody know of them? If so, look me up on twitter (@smashingsilver).

Admin
10 years ago

I think the bigger picture here is that there are other forms of communication out there that make it easy to stay in touch with other league members. If your league doesn’t have any communication issues, then this article may not be for you…in my experience, most leagues have some.

Obviously, as the voice of DLF on twitter (@DLFootball), I think twitter is a huge tool in a dynasty owner’s arsenal, regardless of league communication. I’m not endorsing it because of that role however. I’m endorsing it because it’s made me a better owner.

You might be surprised how “new” technology could benefit your league. If not, what’s the harm in trying?

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