Originally published at: HOCKEYtalk where the tweets include media and retweet info, etc.
Twitter is an interesting phenomenon, isn't it? Immediate and less intrusive than Facebook which is like reading someone's personnel file, Twitter is like standing next to someone at a party and overhearing little snippets.
I've only had a twitter account for a few days, resisting the pull like one does with dentist visits and break-up dates. To say I find it overwhelming might be stretching it, but only a bit. I do find it immensely fascinating.
Back when I first started out, research meant hours and hours in dusty old libraries and archive vaults, bent over micro-fiche machines, scouring through yellowed newspapers and rifllng through boxes of un-indexed material. Once tasked with finding out all I could about Bobby Hull, I spent three weeks looking in people's attics and going through their old photo albums and driving around Woodstock and St.Catherine's and Belleville, asking old-timers if they remembered him. Many did and it was one of the best few weeks of my life, frankly. I heard some GREAT stories.
All of them would take more than 140 characters to tell. In fact, 140 characters wouldn't even cover the preamble that old-timers like to add to their stories. You have to build your own stories today. Today you get the facts and have to weave the story around them. New rules. Once you get used to them, you can start to see the stories lurking behind the hash tags.
Always and ever interested in the human bit of things, I find Twitter, while not exactly a reliable research vehicle, does provide an amazing insight into the human being behind the name, or in this case, behind the jersey. I was doing some work-work today and had to find some things on Twitter and while I was travelling around, tracking down the feeds I was looking for, I found myself on something of an impromptu link scavenger hunt. Which had nothing to do with the work at hand. That's what the middle of the night is for. That's what I told my editor, anyway.
In short, I got sidetracked. I started following player's follows and followed-by links and realized that Twitter is like any other social group – full of cliques, insiders, outsiders and hangers on. I know that the rest of the world has known this for some time and that I am definitely late to the party but ... hey ... better late than never.
Twitter is for Kids (and media savvy old folks)
Well, not exactly "kids". And remembering that they are all kids to me. Many of the older players have Twitter accounts but they seem like the kind the nice team PR lady sets up for them and they never use. When they do use them the tweets are very matter-of-fact and informative.
The younger guys, the 25ers and under, grew up with Twitter and they have the sort of comfort with it that removes the stiffness, the sense of "publishing" themselves. The younger they are, the more their Twitter feeds read like the sorts of things they'd say to you as you were driving down the road, headed home from a movie or a game or dinner out. It gives you, the reader, a sense of familiarity ... the good kind.
Some players, like Sidney Crosby, do not tweet. Whether that's brand protection, disinterest or just a lack of time, is hard to say. The ones that do can make for a very interesting surf through the endless and fast-moving twitter master feed.
Here are some of the NHL player tweets I found today that made me smile or shake my head – each one telling me something interesting about the person who tweeted it. And because I am avoiding the work-work I mentioned, I thought I would share.
Due to some formatting limitations at this site, the tweets themselves can't be posted. To see the photos and other details that go with each tweet (which is MUCH more fun), you're better off to read the rest at this article's original home .
James Neal, Crosby's teammate and fondly known as "the Real Deal" has a little fun with #87′s recent breaking news farce. On so many levels, this was cool. They must laugh about this stuff when they get together.
I skipped the line at the DMV 2. Just incase anyone was wondering. — james neal (@jneal_18) August 12, 2013
Taylor Hall, hot-shot forward and captain candidate for the Edmonton Oilers expresses a poignant human emotion when he wonders whether anyone else feels the same way. If it helps, Taylor, no, you are not the only one.
I don't even let Instagram videos play because I can't handle the second hand embarrassment. Am I the only one? — Taylor Hall (@hallsy04) August 10, 2013
Pavel Datsyuk's feed is always interesting. He is either the nicest man in hockey or he's a PR genius. He always ends his tweets with something positive and friendly, like a wave out the car window as he pulls away. Of course, he's pretty used to saying things as he's pulling away.
Ovie! How can you read Ovie's Twitter feed and not love him, just a little. He loves the exclamation point. In fact, everything he says seems exciting and when he's not saying "hahaha" he's using "!!!!". What might be annoying in some people is just downright charming in Ovie.
Andrew Bodnarchuk is addicted to Candy Crush, too! Yay for all of us who feel vaguely ashamed of our game addictions. I once spent an entire pay cheque playing Space Invaders in a bar. Thank the gods there was no Twitter back then,