Swabbing The Tweet Deck

May 23

Time for confessional. I have become that which I once despised.

Apparently my tenure at KNBR has left me utterly corrupted. First, I started playing fantasy baseball with some co-workers, deigning to frolic in the sand box because I lacked the competitive outlet of a late, lamented nationwide computer baseball league.

Now, it has come to this: Hi, I’m Ray, and I’m a Tweeter.

I originally jumped onto the Tweet Deck because it’s a great news reel. I followed many news outlets and reporters who broke their stories first on Twitter. It dovetails nicely with my work on the air.

Being a Tweet snob, however, I wouldn’t actually admit to emitting anything that was called a “Tweet.” I deemed it as beneath me. I saw too many Tweets about people informing the world that they were making a souffle, or how gosh-darn cute their kids are.

Soon, however, snobbery gave way to reality, and let’s face it — I was already on Facebook. Even my on-air friend Tom Tolbert has broken down and gone to the Tweet side
( @ByronJR23 ).

Twitter is simply Fast Food Facebook. It’s drive-by nature appeals to my short attention span. Glibness is viewed as a gift in the current society, but it’s also the easy way out.

When I’m in a more expansive mood I’ll post something on Facebook. When I am truly deep in thought I will blog ( although that deep thought isn’t always evident ). It’s apparently not enough that I’m already on the 50-thousand-watt blow torch.

Also, let’s be dead-flat honest: I blog, I tweet, I post because I like attention. That should be obvious already: I’m in radio. Any of you in the social network who deny being a little attention-starved is lying. It’s a generation where everybody can become famous, in one way or another.

How did we get by before all this social media? We’d write a letter to the editor, or call a talk show. Then churn our own butter. Thankfully for you and me, the talk shows are still there, and easier to access than ever thanks to cell phones.

I’ve been in broadcasting for some three decades, and it has been all about change. When I started we had records ( LP’s and 45’s), turntables, reel-to-reel tapes, and cartridges or “carts.” Then it was cassettes, CD’s, and the digital and computerized age.

The use of Facebook and Twitter is simply another step in that evolution. While all this can be written off as narcissistic babble, it also serves a purpose. It’s another way for we as sports fans to have a communal experience, and a way for our radio station to interact with listeners and fans. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

Some samples from the Tweet Deck on Monday:

After Oklahoma City’s collapse in Game 4 of the NBA Western Finals vs. the Mavericks, @darrenrovell solicited headlines. Examples:


After the Angels beat the A’s and Brian Fuentes lost in his fourth consecutive outing, I asked this question: if a reliever who gets a lot of wins after blown saves is a Vulture, what is a reliever who loses four straight ?

@PeterNAnderson : “jobless.”

@fscott24: “the anti-Burba.”

@tompinky: “BWheezie.”

Stuff like that is fun, a running conversation among sports fans. Twitter also provided some real news a few minutes later as John Shea and others reported that Fuentes was ripping A’s manager Bob Geren.

So, I’ve learned to separate the positive from the negative in the Twitter Universe. Is it a sign of growth that I’ve even managed to get by the stupid name “Twitter” ? Catchy, but stupid.

Of course, you’ll get the people who crawl out from under a rock to say something ugly. Now those creatures have Twitter, Facebook, emails, and my blog as spewage outlets. There’s nothing in the Wild Wild West of the Internet that stops them from pressing “send” with their itchy trigger fingers.

So in my line of work, you simply have to develop thick skin. I always remember something a former TV news director of mine said: “it’s on its’ way to Jupiter now.” It’s another way of saying that words can be lighter than air, and you learn to ignore the hate and move on.

Wow, a blog about Twitter and Facebook. That WAS a catharsis. My own words have almost convinced me that I’m not crazy for being sucked into The Social Network. Almost.

2 Responses to “Swabbing The Tweet Deck”

  1. Greg Olzack Says:

    You’re in luck, I feel that there’s still hope for someone that will use the word “deigning” in today’s world.

    You can also resurrect yourself from your self-imposed literary Purgatory by asking yourself the rhetorical question, “WWGD?” (What Would Gary Do?).

  2. Jim from Napa Says:

    I think Ray if you are in business like marketing, the media, a famous athlete or celeb, and big business and techy companies, twitter is great.

    I think for the regular person it just shows us how self absorbed and shallow we are.

    No I dont care if you are hungry, no I dont’ care what you are deciding to eat, and no I dont want to hear comments on how dancing with the stars went.

    Unless they are talking to Obama about the economy or about the Iraq situation, not one tweet I’ve ever seen is worth much of anything.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: