Thursday, June 04, 2009

Twitter and the Centennial Conference

From the NCAA News

to the Centennial SAAC ... what do you think?

"Twitter and college athletics may seem like an unlikely pairing, but dozens of coaches, conferences and athletics departments are aggressively using the microblogging Web service to keep pace with a new generation of prospects and fans.

Twitter, which limits users to 140-character posts known as “tweets,” is designed to provide a quick glance into what a person – or entity – is doing, thinking or feeling. Twitter doesn’t require an Internet connection and can be accessed with a cell phone, with the communication appearing as a text message. The service is free.

The Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which stridently opposed text-messaging between coaches and prospects, hasn’t taken an official position on Twitter yet and will discuss the technology at its July meeting in Denver. The SAAC itself uses Twitter to communicate with members and potential members.

Chair Matt Baysinger, a former Kansas student-athlete, said that some of the SAAC’s main concerns with text-messaging – the cost and the lack of professionalism – are mitigated with Twitter. To receive tweets to a mobile phone, a prospect would have to sign up for Twitter, “follow” a particular coach and have the coach follow the prospect in return, and agree to have messages sent to a mobile device. Baysinger said it’s likely that people who would go through all of that would not be worried about the cost. He also said the frequent lack of professionalism in the medium is mitigated by the absence of personalization.

“At this point, I don’t feel Twitter is a personalized medium. It’s meant to be public information. It’s meant for everyone, which puts it in a different category from a text message,” Baysinger said."

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