Our new favorite story: Eddie Matz writes in the latest issue of ESPN’s magazine about his assignment to be part of the top 100 stories of 2009.
Namely, he was given the task of writing about how Twitter has made athletes their personal mouthpiece.
If we could link to it, we would. Just not sure how much of this we can reproduce without getting ourselves or anyone else in trouble — you gotta buy the mag to see the whole thing — but coming in at Story No. 28, right after Mark Buehrle’s July 23 perfect game and right before that March 12 game at Madison Square Garden between Syracuse and UConn — six OTs during the Big East tournament — is the Twitter examination. For which Matz starts off with:
I hate Twitter. There, I said it. I hate Twitter because I fear one day it will render my job obsolete. I hate Twitter because everybody talks and nobody listens; there is little dialogue and a whole lot of monologue. … I hate Twitter because it breeds vanity, narcissism, geo-centrism and every other self-serving neurosis. I hate Twitter because it reaches the masses like Facebook on steroids. I hate Facebook. And steroids.
Matz goes on to deftly explain why, having said that, he hates having to write about it, but will anyway because, well, that’s his job. Funny, then, when he tries to contact those athletes who Twitter, to talk about the experience. He tried contacting them through their Twitter accounts. Very few of the 1,173 pro athletes listed on twitter-athletes.com responded.
You can actually see Matz’s attempt to contact them at http://twitter.com/ESPNeddiematz. Yes, you can watch a journalist at work. Getting worked over by the medium he’s supposed to be reporting on.
And that bothers me, because it feeds my deepest issue with Twitter: Everybody’s more than happy to talk at you but nobody wants to talk with you. Even Twitter execs follow this rule. Two e-mails to company headquarters requesting an interview go unanswered. … I’d pick up the telephone (call me old-fashion) but there is no working number to be found. … I tweet company creator Jack Dorsey and CEO Even Williams. Surely they’ll respond, I think. I am playing by their rules. But I never hear back.
Full disclosure: We recently hopped on with a Twitter account, just to see what happened (www.twitter.com/tomhoffarth). We’ve used it only to announce a recent blog or column posting that may be of interest to some. Right away, we were given a shout-out by SI’s Arash Markazi (who not only has http://twitter.com/Arashmarkazi but his own Wikipedia entry worth noting at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arash_Markazi) and SportsByBrooks.com creator Brooks Melchior (http://twitter.com/SPORTSbyBROOKS) and we started getting all kinds of emails saying people are following me.
Why? Why not. It’s how it works. I guess.