Can Fans Trust The Mad Twitterer’s Musings?

July 30th, 2009

Joe thought it was more than a little interesting recently when Stephen Holder of the St. Petersburg Times touted how he and his fellow scribe, the Mad Twitterer Rick Stroud, will keep fans up to date on Bucs minutia from training camp by using their blackberries to communicate via their individual Twitter accounts.

And when there’s news you need to know about, we’ll often alert you with our Tweets.

Joe applauds any way fans can be brought closer to the Bucs and better informed. And if using the newest electronic gadgets and hippest social media fads are the best way to connect with fans, all the better. 

(Post intermission: Joe wants to take this time to pimp his own Twitter account and his own Facebook account.)

But Holder’s boasting of his and Stroud’s use of Twitter reminds Joe of an issue he’s going to be totally serious about. Joe’s not trying to be a smartass here.

First off, Joe has absolutely nothing against Stroud. For all Joe knows Stroud is such a cool guy, he’s in line to succeed Pope Benedict some day. So let’s get that out of the way right now.

A few months ago, Stroud, on his Twitter account where he brags how he is an NFL beat writer  (even using “NFL” in his Twitter account’s username), posted he was “hearing reports the Bucs might be interested in Marvin Harrison.” This was picked up by not only Joe but also and even BSPN.

A few hours later, quite early on a Saturday morning, when the only sane people awake are fishermen, divers, runners, insomniacs and those returning home from late-night trysts, Stroud lashed out at those quoting him from his Twitter account, angrily informing all that not only was the Harrison item nothing more than empty talk, that he would never post real news on his Twitter account; rather, that’s what is for.

Curiously, Stroud a few days later deleted the Harrison item from his account. How quaint?

So Joe has to ask in all seriousness: If Bucs fans are advised to monitor Stroud’s Twitter account during training camp, is there actually going to be Bucs news on Stroud’s account, or is Stroud using this as some weak attempt to copy Jackie Martling’s Or in Stroud’s own words, will the posts be nothing more than “agent-driven speculation?”

After all, Stroud himself stated that real news would be on, not his Twitter account. Those are not Joe’s words; those are Stroud’s.

And Joe’s willing to bet the great media ethicist of our time, Eric Deggans, a colleague of Stroud’s, will not write about this on his blog (nor has he ever documented this incident; yet prominent national sports blogs have). But God forbid if Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune pulled a similar stunt. Deggans would be writing a 30-inch expose on this, chortling how no one from the Times would ever be so reckless.

2 Responses to “Can Fans Trust The Mad Twitterer’s Musings?”

  1. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Ok Joe here’s Mr. Lucky’s take on this whole “Twitter” business – it’s overblown hype – PERIOD.

    I understand that communication is the key and with only 140 characters allowed Twitter is limited. Sure the use of Twitter is “instaneous” but in reality how much instaneous information does a persone need?

    Indications where Twitter is useful: Hot geopolitical instances (can anyone say Tinneman Square or Iranian elections)

    When about to place bets – (a player just twisted his ankle in warm-ups and won’t play in the big game)

    When there is real NEWS that affects peoples lives – i.e., IndyMac is closing at 5 pm and no more withdrawls.

    For terrorists monitoring twitter – see the Republican from Ohio who Twittered (tweeted) when his “secret” committee group landed in Iraq and updated the general public to their positions every 3 hours. Boy I bet al Queda loved to monitor THAT one.

    But even those are rare instances where it matters to a choosen few. For the most part The majority of tweets are nothing more than useless self-absorbing rants/raves from individuals seeking attention or those having an agenda they wish to promote.

    It I were there NFL commissioner I would BAN, yes BAN all twittering from any and all NFL camps. Why? Does the public really need to know ALL the scuttlebut that occurs in the lockerroom at each and every camp?

    Plus how about a disgruntled player twittering about a coaches comments/plans? Wouldn’t that be worse than the video tapping the NE Patriots did?

    Then there is the “miscommunication” that could take place – hence making the reliability of any tweets suspect.

    In short tweets are nothing more than unsubstantiaed rumors. Now some rumors are true and some are not. The one thing all rumors have in common is this – they are like toothpaste; once put out there they’re messy and can’t be put back into the tube.

    So Joe, Tweet away…I know Mr Lucky won’t be following you or anyone…I’ll wait the extra 10 minutes to read about it on while downing a Caybrew and smoking a Buccanero.

  2. Joe Says:

    Mr. Lucky:

    >>> I’ll wait the extra 10 minutes to read about it on while downing a Caybrew and smoking a Buccanero. <<< Joe is more than appreciative to have such a loyal reader!