Monthly Archives: April 2009

Too Much Time Tinkering with Twitter

I sat down with the intention of writing a blog about Shaq tweeting during half time. I know this is old news, but now that Twitter has officially arrived as a social media power, I thought it would  be fun to debate whether athletes should or shouldn’t be tweeting during games.

If you have ever blogged before, you know that in order to make your post a little more interesting you want to post links to other sites with more information, use pictures and videos to support your ideas etc.. I typed “Shaq + Twitter” into my google search bar and started going through some of the links that came up.  Approximately 738,000 pages were found, and the very first one was a link to Shaq’s twitter page

All I wanted to do was get some “Shaq-tastic” quotes, maybe post a pic or two of Shaq, then explain to everyone why professional athletes tweeting is such a interesting idea. Then I got what I like to call, “Bill Sledzik’d.” 

Before I knew it, I was watching videos of Shaq-quote’s,

and Shaq-rap’s,  

and Shaq-dunk’s.

Next I was reading articles about Shaq-tweet’s, and checking out who Shaq is following on twitter and who those people are following. Then I found some musicians that I listen to, like Common, so I start reading his blog. Next thing I know, four hours have passed, I am following 40 celebrities on Twitter, and have not accomplished a single thing. Yet I allowed over 50 people to communicate with me, whether they wanted to or not. 

Brooke Burke “told me” what her and her family did for Easter. 

Common “told me” about his blog. 

Tony Hawk “told me” that he found a DMSR (whatever the hell that is).

The most intriguing find of the night was Paul Pierce on twitter. Pierce doesn’t only tweet about what he had for dinner, or who the Celtics are playing next, but he uses it to promote charities that he supports and organizations that need donations. He also uses it to promote ticket sales for upcoming games and let his followers know where his next appearance is going to be. 

I find it very refreshing that there are people using these social media tools to have a positive impact on the community around them, not just to inflate their ego or promote their vanity, and I am sure there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who don’t care about any of this and think Twitter is a complete waste of time.  Those same people probably think the last four hours of my life, along with the last ten minutes of their lives that were spent reading my blog was a waste of time.

Those are also the same people who are missing out on the tangents in life that can be so interesting and enlightening, even though we should stay “on task.” 

Four hours ago, I was among the group who thought Twitter was a waste of time. I thought I understood it, I thought it had no real value other than being a time waster, and I thought athletes tweeting during games was an ok idea, but they should probably be focusing on the game. 

After four hours of “wasting time” I think I can say with some confidence that Twitter might not be such a bad idea after all. Why not have Shaq tweeting during games? Maybe more people will tune in to because they feel like they have a more personal relationship with Shaq. Maybe the audience that feels like they are too far removed from the sports world to care about it will be rejuvenated by the new level of interaction with the athletes. Or maybe people think players won’t be as focused on the game as they should be and lose respect for the game. 

I think that over the years it has been proven that fans love to be involved. If Twitter helps a person feel move involved with their favorite team or athlete, then tweet away Shaq. If your tweets put only one more body in the stands, you can call it a success, and if it doesn’t, who cares? You can’t lose anything by trying. 

I am starting to love this whole social media (err.. wasting time) thing. Having athletes get in on it only makes it that much more fun.