What are you doing?
That is the question Twitter users want to know.
You may have noticed that coaches and athletes are starting to use something called Twitter to communicate with fans and friends. Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates on what they are doing at any particular time. Twittering or tweeting as it is called when you make an entry has hit the UW campus big time with football coach Steve Sarkisian and basketball player Jon Brockman posting a couple of times per day to let people know what they are up to.
Twitter is one of those things I would never would have thought of because I really don't need to know what everyone is up to. Some refer to it as text messages on steroids because rather than one on one communication anyone can read your messages by visiting your Twitter page.
I do phone text occasionally when I need to get a message out to my wife when I don't want to disturb anyone by making a phone call during work or at a meeting. Our text messages are rather boring and amount to would you pick up some milk on the way home or what do you want to eat tonight. My nieces and nephews on the other hand spend most of their free time sending text messages to their friends to the consternation of their parents. So I guess Twitter and Text Messaging have a lot more importance to a twenty year old then a fifty year old as the Seattle PI's Jim Moore wrote in his column yesterday.
What I do find interesting about Twitter is what the sports stars and coaches have to say each day on their Twitter page. For example Washington basketball star Jon Brockman has his own Twitter page and on the eve of the biggest game of his life he shares what is going through his mind in one sentence.
Starting to feel the energy around campus and in the gym at HEC-ED, tomorrow is going to be a crazy game! Biggest game of my career.
Not exactly an earth shattering revelation but I think you get the picture.
The one guy I do find pretty interesting is UW football coach Steve Sarkisian who uses Twitter as a recruiting tool and a way to stay in touch with fans, family and friends. What makes it particularly interesting to me is that under former coach Tyrone Willingham we never had a clue of what he and his staff were doing until game day. Even when he had a press conference he basically said nothing. With one sentence on Twitter Sarkisan says more than Willingham may have said in a couple of months during the off season
Our coaches phones are blowing up from recruits calling in! We also had some great unofficial visits today. GO DAWGS!
Once again one sentence but you get a good idea of what he and his team are up to on a given day simply by visiting his Twitter page. If you are a rabid Husky football fan who has been starved for attention over the past six years this type of communication is extraordinary especially during the off season when we previously never got a single shred of team information.
I think what is happening at Washington right now is exciting because the Purple Curtain has finally been torn down. If you are a Husky fan your lust for information about your favorite team is finally being fulfilled.
If you are a casual observer the excitement created by the flow of information just may be enough to get you to buy some season tickets in 2009.
If you are a recruit a head coach who embraces the way your generation is communicating just may be one of the key factors you need to decide to take a serious look at Washington rather than Oregon, California, USC, or UCLA.
Steve Sarkisan hasn't coached a single game at Washington yet but every indication from the day he was hired shows that he is on the right track to restoring the football program to its former prominence.
It is all about creating excitement for everyone connected to the program to get some forward momentum going. Sarkisian understands and embraces that. If you are a Husky fan that is great news.