I have long-promoted the use of Twitter over the last year in any and all of the sports that I cover because, with more than 550 million registered users — and growing — the social media site has become a platform for the most up-to-date information pretty much as soon as it happens.
Twitter has become an essential tool for sports journalists to keep tabs on what’s going on around the league, be it college commitment announcements, injury updates, game or match results; there’s any number of informative uses Twitter can have for a reporter. This tweet from Kennedy volleyball coach Ellen Casey last night is a perfect example of how quickly you can spread good news and/or promote your team:
Kennedy Gaels place third in Madison high school Dodger Volleyball tournament! #lohudvolleyball
— Ellen Casey (@EllenMCasey) September 7, 2013
Student-athletes use it more for its “social” media purposes, connecting with friends, teammates, and if they’re lucky enough, their favorite celebrity. If you’re a student-athlete, surely you’ve seen the long-term ramifications that can come from a 140-character (or less) utterance. If you’re a Twitter-less parent, fan, or coach reading this, surely you’ve worried what your kids are saying that can be directly accessed by how ever many “followers” they have and can be read by hundreds of millions of users around the world.
I still maintain that Twitter is one of the best inventions of our generation, especially as a sports journalist. As you’ll see during this season, and especially during the section tournament, while I am at one game, I can “follow” my colleagues at other matches for real-time updates, rather than wait to hear about it.
My colleague Mike Dougherty and former basketball partner-in-crime beat companion Phil Terrigno published an exceptional, detailed feature in today’s edition of The Journal News about the misuse of Twitter, and how it can affect student-athletes. It is, in my opinion, a must-read for all sports fans — particularly student-athletes.
Here’s the full article from Mike and Phil, I promise it will be worth your time.