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The Powers and Pitfalls of Social Media



Tuesday morning started off with a few interesting tidbits on the Twitters.

First, something set off Desmond to the point that he felt it necessary to fire off this baby…

Then Weeden and Gina followed it up in agreement…

Finally @glang1 dropped this to cap it off…

Other people weighed in intermittently but these were the four I wanted to focus on.

Twitter (and the Internet in general, really) is such a fascinating thing to me. It creates this free market of humor and exchange of information unparalleled (and I know this sounds extreme but it’s true) in the history of the world.

My brother and I were talking the other day about podcasts and about how humans have essentially been “podcasting” — which is nothing more than two dudes sitting down talking about stuff and telling stories — since the beginning of time.

It’s not a new concept, it’s just been reformatted and redistributed in a new way.

Twitter is much of the same.

It allows people like me and the guys who run this site to take our conversations — conversations we’ve had since we were old enough to know what a double dribble was — into the public.

The purpose in doing this is often multifaceted but for me it’s been an opportunity to enjoy a creative outlet away from my sometimes-boring desk job. It’s also been a way to put a little extra cash in my pocket my wife’s purse.

While I agree with the four folks above that Twitter often gives a microphone to people who should not be doing karaoke (if you know what I mean), those people can never build (or maintain) an audience to consistently preach their irrationality to.

If you’re going around tweeting at 17-year olds about what college they should attend or dropping “hey Weeden, get off Instagram and go work on that INT problem!” on Instagram (as someone did today[1. I won’t even delve into the illogicality of working on not throwing a pick.] chances are high (like Miami-defensive-backs-at-a-concert high) that I’m not going to follow you and nobody else is either[2. Unless your name is Skip.].

So yes, Twitter does sometimes suck for the people (athletes, celebs, etc.) who are constantly trolled and ripped on by people who are too scared to even ask for their autographs in public, but the good outweighs the bad by quite a bit.

The good for the OSU athletic department (Lang) is that he gets to build excitement with fans online, stir up the real-life convo through a quick-hit method of distribution.

The good for players (Weeden/Desmond) is that they have an opportunity to singularly promote the things they are passionate about without having to go through PR people. It’s a direct line to people who care about them.

The good for writers and bloggers (me/Gina) is that we have an opportunity to build a tribe of readers and ask them what they want, what they’re interested in, what stories are hot. It’s also a gold mine of data and information that I don’t think I could run this blog without.

Unparalleled, indeed.

Just don’t tweet at recruits. Ever.

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