Greg Galant – Long Island’s Social Media Visionary

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Greg Galant and his buddies watched in dismay, day after day, as the parade of vessels barreling through Huntington Harbor sent the sea creatures they were trying so desperately to hook scurrying for safer waters.They continued to cast their lines for an entire summer, hoping something would bite; anything. Yet the season passed to no avail—the group with nothing to show for their determination.“I was never an expert fisher by any chance,” Galant laughs.No worries; he’d be reeling in a much, much bigger catch soon enough.The Huntington-born whiz kid cast a much wider net, turning his real love—technology—into a social media-inspired juggernaut that now carries him across the globe, worlds away from the North Shore waterfront village where he first began developing websites for local businesses.It was the mid-’90s, and many Americans—at least those who owned computers at the time—were just getting acquainted with the World Wide Web. Galant, however, the son of two Newsday journalists, had already been dabbling with coding and the inner workings of the Internet and was more than ready for the oncoming revolution about to sweep the globe. He credits suburban melancholy.“Growing up on Long Island I was always very much into tech,” he says, “very bored like a lot of kids were.”At 14 years old he began drilling into local businesses the importance of creating a website. Local newspaper The Long Islander and a French philosopher, of all people, were among his first patrons. His client list would soon be replete with businesses the world over—willing to take a shot on someone not yet old enough to drive because “nobody knew what they were doing on the Internet,” at the time, he says.Galant, now the CEO of Sawhorse Media, the umbrella company for Muck Rack, a social media site for journalists, and the Shorty Awards, which annually honors the best in social media, is an unassuming 30-year-old who wears a full dark beard and carries himself with quiet confidence.Social media drives everything he does. The Shorty Awards, which appeared on the scene in 2008, went viral on Twitter, forcing his team to make accommodations for more journalists than they initially expected. Shorty Awards was also one of the first to use Twitter as a nomination site.Galant wasn’t sold on Twitter at the social media site’s outset and actually admits he didn’t think it would be a success, but he became one of its first million users—his Twitter handle @gregory putting him in its exclusive “first name” club. It’s because of his initial skepticism that Galant chose the famous Big Duck in Flanders as his profile picture instead of his own headshot—an icon of his roots which he keeps to this day.A lot of what Galant has done in his short and wildly successful career has been on the whim.And to think, it all happened because he was a bored teenager on Long Island.last_img read more

Uthappa wants ban on overseas players lifted

first_img(BBC) – THE Indian cricket board should lift its ban on players competing in overseas Twenty20 tournaments, says former India batsman Robin Uthappa.The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) bars its men’s players from joining franchise leagues other than the Indian Premier League (IPL).“Please let us go, honest to God,” Uthappa, who won the World T20 in 2007, told the BBC’s Doosra podcast.“It does hurt when we’re not allowed to go and play.”The BCCI rules mean Indian players cannot take part in lucrative competitions such as Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) or the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) while no Indians have yet been signed for the new Hundred competition in the UK.However, female players Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur have played in the Women’s Big Bash in Australia and the Super League in England.“It would be so nice if we could go and play at least a couple of others because as a student of the game you want to learn and grow as much as you can,” said 34-year-old Uthappa, who has played in all 12 seasons of the IPL since it was launched in 2008.Earlier this month, India batsman Suresh Raina said the BCCI should change its rules on overseas T20 competitions.Former India captain Sourav Ganguly took over as president of the BCCI in October, and Uthappa is hoping the board will now be open to change.“Ganguly is a very progressive thinking human being, someone who has always looked to take India to the next level. He actually laid the foundation for where India cricket is now,” said Uthappa.“We’re hoping that he will look at this at some point.”This season’s IPL, due to run from March 29 until May 24, was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.last_img read more

Trojan football must look inward

first_imgAubrey Kragen is a senior majoring in communication. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Release the Kragen,” runs Fridays. The Trojan football team is no stranger to controversy.Last year it was the firing of head coach Lane Kiffin and the departure of beloved interim head coach Ed Orgeron.Before that it was He Who Must Not Be Named and the improper benefits that led to USC’s sanctions.This year it’s Josh Shaw and Anthony Brown.Shaw, the senior cornerback and recently-named co-captain, caused a media firestorm by claiming to have sprained his ankles while rescuing his nephew from drowning. He then left us all dumbfounded when he admitted to making all of it up.I struggle to understand why he decided to fabricate such a far-fetched heroic story. He could have made any excuse and not brought such national attention to the story.But Sports Illustrated senior writer Lee Jenkins, who spoke in my class Wednesday night, provided some thoughtful insight. He lamented the fact that many young athletes like Shaw don’t have the right people around them to advise them against rash decisions.But it’s hard to imagine that there was nobody to advise Shaw otherwise when he has more than 100 teammates surrounding him, as well as a supportive and understanding coaching staff.At Pac-12 Media Day this summer, junior co-captain and defensive end Leonard Williams harped on the fact that this was the tightest-knit group of players he had every played with.“This is one of the closest teams I’ve ever played on,” Williams said. “I feel like the biggest part was just that we had to deal with so many coaching changes [last year]. We loved Coach O. We wanted him to be here. … Dealing with that we realized that this really is a job and at the end of the day coaches can come and go but we’re gonna have each other, so that’s how we got so close.”Williams also sang the praises of the new coaching staff, who he said has been extremely open and helpful to all of the players.“You can go up to them and talk to them about anything, it doesn’t have to be about football,” Williams said. “If we have a problem off the field we can go to our coach and ask them for advice and help and stuff like that.”That sounds like exactly what Shaw needed this weekend — a handful of people to be there for him and steer him in the right direction.On the heels of the news about Shaw, Sarkisian announced that senior running back Anthony Brown had decided to quit the team. Brown posted to multiple social media forums that Sarkisian was a racist.Though what Williams called “one of the closest team he’s ever played on” might not have saved Shaw or Brown this time, it’s crucial that the Trojans continue to look to each other for support and get closer. They should band together, block out the media (except for this column, of course) and focus on preparing for their opening game against Fresno State this Saturday.When I really think about it, I don’t think this should be that hard to do.I might eat these words later if it turns out that Shaw was involved in some sort of criminal activity or that Sarkisian really does hold racist views, but Shaw’s lie and Brown’s allegations barely hold a candle to the controversy Trojans have faced in the past. Though they might be more bizarre, the consequences are far fewer — other than our families, friends and potential employers cracking jokes about this for years to come.Despite all of the chaos, I doubt that Williams and the rest of the Trojans will step onto the field on Saturday afternoon thinking about their teammates’ follies.Hopefully they will be thinking about giving their all each and every play. Hopefully they will be thinking about beating the Bulldogs.Like senior co-captain and linebacker Hayes Pullard said after practice on Wednesday, “The game is played between the lines.”The Trojans learned how to keep their focus on the field the hard way last year, somehow making a run for the Pac-12 South title despite the multiple coaching changes they endured.I believe they can do it again. The turmoil the Trojans are going through to start this season will only make them closer, and, as Williams insisted, that will make a tangible difference on the field.“[W]hen you’re close to someone they’re like your brother,” Williams said. “You’re gonna fight for your brother that’s next to you.”Without Shaw and Brown, the remaining Trojans once again only have each other.I fully expect the leaders of this team to step up, calm the storm and bring an extra spark of passion to the game on Saturday.Fight on and Beat the Bulldogs.last_img read more