Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

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Monday (Social media at the Twins game) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Twins fans Updated: August 16, 2010 - 9:34 AM

The biggest gripe we generally have about modern communication -- specifically social media like Facebook and Twitter -- is that it tends to isolate us while theoretically connecting us. Sure, we can communicate with friends, Internet friends and strangers in real time -- but how shared is the experience exactly if we are all in our separate little spaces?

On Saturday, though, we turned social media upside down -- and made it into a media social. (OK, it wasn't quite like that. But we've been determined to use that phrase since it happened).

When we had a last-minute extra ticket to the Twins/A's game, we thought about selling it. Indeed, as it turned out, there were plenty of folks on the street looking for tickets -- even singles. But instead, we decided to put it up for grabs on Twitter. And yes, this meant we were opening it up to all 1,360 followers. Anyone who happened to be on Twitter at that moment -- again, be it friend, Internet friend, enemy or complete stranger -- could have it for free and sit with us for nine innings of baseball up in section 323.

The winner ended up being ccfMRF -- also known as Dan Murphy. We'd never met Dan before. We recognized his Twitter handle; that was about it. And to tell the truth, his background picture doesn't exactly inspire confidence (kidding). He works on the digital side for an ad agency, we would later find out, and just happened to be on Twitter while doing some work Saturday. At around 4 p.m., plans were made to meet outside the ballpark in fewer than two hours. We told Dan we'd be in a brown T-shirt; he said he'd be there with a single red rose. We were 99 percent sure that was a good joke, and it was a relief to confirm that hunch.

Dan turned out to be a really good guy -- he even reminds us a little of our good friend Crentist, who just moved to Alaska. He bought us a couple beverages in exchange for the ticket -- a nice, but not necessary gesture. We traded some heckling stories and some running stories. The Twins and Brian Duensing quickly dispatched of the A's in right around 2 hours, 15 minutes. On the way out of the ballpark, we bumped into MinnPost's own David Brauer -- another person Dan follows, as it turns out. We introduced Dan and David, had a nice chat on the way out and ducked into a local bar for one more cold one just ahead of a heavy rain.

This time, we bought the round. After the two of us unleashed a comedy routine on our poor server (Mikaela?) that might still have here reeling, Dan declared that the evening was a prime example of how social media was supposed to work. With its speed and ability to link, Twitter can be a great connecting tool.

By the time we stepped outside 30 minutes later, the rain had passed. We ran and caught a bus over to the U of M's Rarig Center for a Fringe Festival show -- the second bus we nabbed with 15 seconds to spare that night -- and met up with the RandBall Better Half, who still thinks we're crazy for opening ourselves up to random strangers.

Our prevailing thought is this: most of the people who read this blog or follow us on Twitter are probably the kinds of people we'd want to meet.


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