Spanning the Twitterverse: Social Media in Sports

Spanning the Twitterverse to bring you the constant variety of tweets….the thrill of the retweet….and the agony of the unfollow.…the human drama of the twitter timeline….This is CadChica’s Wide World of Tworts

TWORTS

I posted earlier today a couple of tweets from ESPN’s social media columnist, Maria Burns-Ortiz, regarding the fun of fake Twitter handles. You know, the ones who use names of famous people and “pretending”, or not, to be those famous people. My post here.

Ms. Burns-Ortiz has some great tweets out there about what I call “Tworts”. In case you haven’t read my blog before, it’s a combo of Twitter & sports (yes, I thought it up all by myself). I am a firm believer that Twitter is having and will continue to have an affect on sports, athletes, sports media, and all others involved. I mean if we can have a guy taking beer orders at Mariners games via Twitter, safe to say Twitter will, if it hasn’t already, change the whole entire sports experience.

The flip side of that is of course, interpretation of tweets. With the recent controversy surrounding Rashard Mendenhall’s ill advised tweets regarding Osama Bin Laden and 9/11, which I blogged about earlier ,in my opinion it will only get worse unless teams address it head on. The need to hold pre-season/in-season/post-season social media seminars with experts in the field. The NFL, in an effort to keep controversy at bay, need to do this with all rookies coming in. Knowldege is power. And knowledge of social media and how to use it can produce great dividends.

Some athletes get it but many don’t (some would argue Mendenhall doesn’t). Ms. Burns-Ortiz RT’d (re-tweeted) this below from the LA Times newspaper. Great article and insight.

MY TAKE: I think Twitter is phenomenal (stating the obvious I know). But, Twitter can be used in ‘phenomenal’ ways for athletes’ benefit. Case in point? Heath Evans@realfreemancbs, tweeted this back on May 2nd. Had I not seen this tweet, I never would have known about the work that Evans and his wife are doing.

This is the kind of stuff that athletes should use Twitter for. Sure followers are nice but if you’re going to have a large following, why not use your platform for something good instead of just spouting off nasty or controversial stuff all the time? Random tweets are fine (i.e. tweeting about a good workout, what movie you saw, etc..). As an athlete, even the ones who aren’t as big of a household name, using Twitter to affect the world around you in a positive way is how Twitter can work for you, not against you.

However, far be it from me to say “you should only do it this way”, because that’s not true. If an athlete is willing to stick his neck out and tweet something controversial, go for it…provided they are willing to deal with the consequences. If they aren’t, then teams had better get their acts together and start having those social media seminars I mentioned earlier. It’s not just the athletes. The same goes for every member of the team organizations as well as extended families of both athletes and organizational personnel. The title of the seminar: SOCIAL MEDIA: HIT ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK.

As I’m sitting here thinking about it, I think the sports media should follow suit too. There’s some really stupid stuff being tweeted by the sports media lately. Not posting any examples but just something to watch out for. 140 characters is enough to get anyone in trouble if you’re not careful. Including me.

CadChica Sports

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