Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Twitter: Love/Hate

While I’ve found Twitter to be the most unique source of instant information and communication, the other side of that debate is validity of that information. Twitter is used for politics, sports, music and life in general and it is a vast and ever growing community. As with any large community, you’ll get your share of jerks residing in it and it’s your job to figure out who you can trust.

As I basically use Twitter for my little hockey addiction, I’m pretty entrenched in the hockey bubble that grows exponentially each minute. Every day, new “sources” for NHL information sprout up. With last weekend’s Kaberle situation looming large in the Hockey world, a prominent Leafs blogger who goes by @Jeffler decided he couldn’t take it any more. He wanted to prove how easy it was to plant a rumor in Twitter and how easy it is for so many to get conned. He even TOLD everyone that he would be doing it. But because there is SO much information coming through the wire every nano-second, his little test proved his point. Here is his report of what happened.

Now, what does @Jeffler’s test tell you? Well, first that there are indeed unscrupulous people out there that love to make fools of other people which makes it pretty damn hard for those who are trying to be responsible with their information. And second, we are a land of info-junkies.

Someone who is about to learn is Islanders center and funny man Rob Schremp who started a twitter account yesterday. It became active that morning and started with the simple statement “Hello NY & NHL fans, Schremp is now on Twitter!!! It took a few hours for certain very connected media types to verify it was him and then “Re-Tweet” his whereabouts in order to get more followers.

“Hey everyone lets see if I can hit 500 followers today! I will follow the next 10 people that RT This! #PassThePuck”
was the next tweet on Rob’s account.

With the new account receiving the blessings of Michelle Kenneth, Jeff Marek and Bob McKenzie, 500 was an easy target to reach. Actually, by 5:30 pm the @RobSchremp account had reached 1,867 followers. By 7:30 am today, as he was tweeting about his morning, Rob was up to 2,323 followers.

Pretty funny considering that tough guy Steve Webb created a twitter account (@SteveWebb20) last week and is only up to 685 followers so far. And he’s pretty honest with his Tweets:

Jumped on a flight back from Whislter only to end up sitting next to a guy getting sick in the B Bag. Made for a long trip home

So, while I know that the entire concept of Twitter has its pitfalls, you cannot deny it’s hold on the landscape of social media and the hockey community as it is today.

Now, who else from the hockey world do we want to see sending out their thoughts across the web? Hmmm?

And don't forget about the @NYIslanders contests and Twitter Q&A's with players! Ask a question, get an answer. Today it's new Islander Zenon Konopka!

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