"Twitter In Sports"
Question: What do Barack Obama, Shaquille O'Neal, Oprah, Jay-Z, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Lance Armstrong, Pete Carroll, the NHL, NFL and Tweety Bird, have in common?
Answer: They all "Tweet."
Tweet??? Isn't that what Tweety Bird does?
"Tweeting," or "tweets" are microblogs of 140 characters or less, on the social networking site, Twitter.com.
In fact, the NFL used Twitter last week to announce draft selections and the NHL had a "Tweetup" to announce the NHL playoffs.
What's all the chirping about? So, I sought out NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell for some answers.
Kay: "What is Twitter?"
Goodell: "It's all the rage! It's so cool! It's the latest and greatest electronic communication tool that the NFL admires and embraces."
Kay: "You're really are into it, huh?"
Goodell: "We can send out instantaneous information (Tweet's) via a cell phone to anyone in our circle of Twits. We send tweets about teams, owners, players, coaches and fans in an instant."
Kay: "You send candy to twits?"
Goodell: "No, no, not sweets, tweets'. A tweet is a short blast of information and twits are the recipients of the tweet."
Kay: "I am really confused!"
Goodell: "First there was snail mail, then came the telephone, followed by email, text messages and now Twitter."
Kay: "Can anyone get a tweet?"
Goodell: "Sure, just sign up and get 'em right now!"
Kay: "Who does the Twittering?... Little birdies?"
Goodell: "Anyone can do it, but we have a special "Twitter Unit" made up of twits' that send out NFL news and updates at the NFL headquarters in New York."
Kay: "So, you have a bunch of twits' sending out really cool short emails'?
Goodell: "Yeah, it's like our own news network; we also "Twackle."
Kay: "Twackle?" Don't you mean tackle?
Goodell: "Oh, Twackle is a term to organize the tweets by event, league, player or team."
Kay: "That's a twongue twister!"
Goodell: "It took some time to get used to all the different terms, but it's too easy now."
Kay: "What are some of the other terms?"
Goodell: "Twitterati', is a term we use for A-listers on Twitter."
Kay: "I was called a twerp' when I was a kid, does that count?"
Kay: "Twit, twackle, tweetups, you sound like Sylvester the Cat! I taught I saw a twitty cat'".
"What kinds of applications would Twitter be used in?"
Goodell: "Anything you want to be made public in a hurry. Police and Fire departments use it to broadcast public emergency information for things like weather warnings and Amber Alerts. It allows anyone to communicate with anyone instantly. From endorsement deals, recruiting messages, announcements, draft picks, to simply telling what you're doing at the moment. It allows us to reach out a huge audience instantaneously."
Kay: "I can see the number signs in your eye; you must be planning huge marketing plan to capitalize on this new technology?"
Goodell: "We plan on offering our own NFL Twitter Network, where fans can pay to get tweets from teams, players and coaches."
Kay: "The Comcast Cable contract with the NFL Network just expired; shouldn't you be putting your efforts into getting that deal done first? Maybe you can 'Tweetup' with them?"
Goodell: "Hey, Kay, you got it!"
Kay: "Got it?"
Goodell: "A 'Tweetup'; that's when Tweeters meet face-to-face."
Kay: "Twatever!... I just twant to twatch Tootball games on the NFL Network!"
Copyright 2009 Steve Kay