Posted: 8/25/2011 4:35:07 PM
I’ve gone from a Twitter skeptic to a user and, now, an advocate.
This is saying something because I used to be somewhat of a Twitter hater. I vowed to never join, and figured the world needed another cyber outlet for people to express themselves like I need another bad beat.
Still, the conceptual motto, “What’s happening?” irks me when people take it literally. I don’t care what you are ordering for lunch, and I have no desire to share with the world what’s on my menu, either.
Not to mention, when the urge strikes me to say something, 140 characters usually won’t hack it. I need room for my words to breathe.
Even so, about 6 or 7 months ago I decided, as a trial experiment, to create a Twitter account and see if it helped with my sports handicapping. I had heard it was gaining a bit of momentum in that regard, and I wanted to see for myself.
It works. I have found Twitter to be a valuable source of game-day tidbits and information that I wouldn’t otherwise know. Regional media outlets that cover specific teams usually are pretty fast to Tweet news about late-breaking injuries, weather conditions and even the occasional pre-game quote can help you assess a team’s mindset.
I’ve found it particularly helpful during this NFL pre-season, both because of the limited access to games and the rampant personnel moves because of the lockout. I’ve stored away many tidbits of information about how certain teams and players are performing, and it might pay off down the road.
In a general sense, I like how media use of Twitter has evolved with respect to the speed with which you can get out news to the masses. For example, if John Daly collapsed in front of you in a clubhouse, you’d have to run to the payphone, or later your laptop, in order to break the scoop.
By then, he might have been revived. With Twitter, you can own the scoop – it’s a nice public record for that purpose as well – from your smartphone, then give Daly some CPR, if you are so inclined.
There are some misguided uses of Twitter among media as well. I don’t care to hear Buster Olney send a Tweet about every pitch that is thrown during Sunday Night Baseball (come to think of it, I need to “unfollow” him).
I think it’s a poor vehicle for a one-on-one conversation with someone, and I also think it’s a bad substitute for a personal diary (that means you, Marcellus Wiley, who seems to use Twitter as a public self-help journal).
But if you send out useful tidbits that can help me win a bet, you might have yourself a follower.