Sunday, February 27, 2011

An Apology to Twitter

When I first found out about Twitter, I thought it was an interesting way to communicate with people. But I was late to the party, and I got a little jealous. From there, I decided that I was above the new social networking site and that I would never join. Two years later, I'm finally on Twitter and I kind of like it. And that's the story of me and Twitter.

At least, up until now. The problem with myself and Twitter is that I was so anti this website, that I am behind the eight ball in every single way. I have far less followers than many of the other Wisconsin bloggers out there. I still don't frequent the site as much as I should if I want to not only promote my blog more but also engage in conversation with these fellow bloggers. There are people out there that I know have refused to follow me for how aggressively I made fun of Twitter and the people that used it. I'm not complaining, these are the facts. And that's fine. But for that, an apology needs to be issued.

I feel such a disconnect from the social networking site because of how reluctant I was to get on, and because how I don't spend enough time on it now that I'm there. I thought the site was stupid because I didn't find it credible. Now, it's how news is broken. No longer do we need to wait for an athlete to enter the media room for an interview. Instead, the athletes take to Twitter to share their opinions and interact with fans.

I always used to see people tweeting to athletes and I thought it was so desperate that people wanted interaction that badly with their favorite stars. But some of the best parts of Twitter is the breaking down of the wall between athletes and fans. Look at Aaron Rodgers. He's been "giving out belts" to people on Twitter when they ask him if some accomplishment of theirs is belt-worthy, and it's been one of the more entertaining things I've seen an athlete do in a while. For Rodgers, it has to be fun to see these people taking so kindly to his celebration and to him. For the fans, it's awesome to get a tweet back from the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. I used to think there needed to be a wall between the athletes and the fans for no other reason than that's how it's always been. Twitter is proving me wrong.

Look at a site like CheeseheadTV. Packers tight end Tom Crabtree received a bunch of Twitter followers only after he made an appearance on their weekly call-in show, in which they plugged his Twitter account. The site's co-founder Aaron Nagler has made a lot of contacts with players that frequently tweet back to him, and Nagler in my opinion spearheaded the charge against PFT's Mike Florio when Florio was quick to bash Rodgers after a bad public relations moment. These are all examples of the way that the new world of media works these days, I am behind the curve because of my unwillingness to accept that as soon as I should have.

While CheeseheadTV gets it right when it comes to Twitter, they are just one of the many Wisconsin sports themed blogs sites that do. When I did a Q&A with Pocket Doppler last year, I spoke at great length about how I love blogging so much because even though a lot of the people that blog don't know each other, it still feels like we're all part of a community. Twitter has not only strengthened that community, but allowed many of this state's fine bloggers to meet each other face to face, as well as to meet the people that frequent our sites. Meanwhile, I'm still holed up in my North Fond du Lac apartment because I came after Twitter like Buzz Bissinger came after Deadspin.

Sorry to go all Nick Barnett on you and pour my heart out about Twitter, but I just feel like for how much I used to come after the site and those who Tweeted, an apology needed to be issued now that I'm fully on board. I still need to work on using the site more not just to promote my blog, but to reestablish the connection with the Wisconsin sports community that I may have had in the past. I will work on that, but in the meantime I wanted to make it clear that once and for all, I no longer hate Twitter.

Thanks for your time.


james said...

(As you know)

I Love Twitter.. It's the closest you can get to talking to your favorite athletes without being in the same physical place. I've "Talked" (meaning I replied to them, and they replied back) to Tom Crabtree, Larry Fitzgerald, and most recently John Axford. "I am thinking about drafting @JohnAxford with my next fantasy draft pick" he then replied with "Do it! Do it!" Logically I did it.

ohyeah, this is where I plug. @WiscSportsTalk

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