How many have seen the movie Social Network? It is a terrific story of the man behind Facebook. But Social Networking is much more than Facebook, and if you went to Twins Fest this past weekend, you found out that Twitter appears to be the social network of choice for many Twins people and several players.
I reluctantly joined Facebook about two years ago, completely oblivious to what it was all about. I had just heard that it was a way to interact with friends and family, but in my case, it was also a way to potential drum up some interest in my first book. I like Facebook, and it certainly has a lot of great features, but primarily it is a great way to keep up with your friends. I have also been able to interact with a lot of people who have been reading SethSpeaks.net for several years.
It was about 18 months ago that I reluctantly gave in and set up a Twitter account. I figured, "I have Facebook, why would I need or want Twitter too?" Well, over those 18 months, I have found out just how great Twitter can be. It can be incredibly addictive. The immediacy that it creates can be both positive and negative. Twitter is a tremendous place to find out Twins news fast. Most baseball news is broken on Twitter. It can also be frustrating when you are watching a game and a player strikes out, maybe even in an important situation, and he suddenly becomes a bum.
For me, I use Twitter as a way to gain information quickly. I put many opinions on there in a day. I love Re-Tweeting other baseball people whose opinions I value so that those who read me can hear other opinions. In my mind, being on Twitter is a must for baseball fans.
Before Twins Fest, Danny Valencia signed up for Twitter, and he immediately was looking for followers. Incredibly, in four days, he has accumulated over 4,600 followers to his Twitter account. He has said that he will give a signed bat to his 5,000th follower. He has been showing pictures from the Diamond Awards, Twins Fest, a commercial and the Twins Caravan as well as answering some questions from readers.
Pat Neshek has been the most fan-friendly Twins player for a long time. He has his blog at PatNeshek.com which includes a forum with a great community of participants. He has been on Twitter for a long time and occasionally answers questions.
Denard Span started his Twitter account following the Twins 2010 season. He has already racked up over 16,000 followers already. He shared a lot during Twins Fest, and throughout his offseason. He answers fan questions as well.
Michael Cuddyer has almost 11,000 followers and he just signed on to Twitter in the last two months. He is tremendous at answering many questions from his fans every day.
On Sunday, the Minnesota Twins official Twitter Feed announced that there would be a special Q&A with Span and Cuddyer in a special Twins Fest location to be tweeted at a certain time. Fans would need to show that specific Tweet to get into the room. Many Twins fans attended the event, but the first person in the allowed in the room after showing the Tweet was new-Twitter add, Drew Butera.
Rob Delaney, who was claimed last week by the Tampa Bay Rays, is on Twitter. Craig Breslow is quite active. Another former Twins player, Tommy Watkins, is a frequent Twitter contributor. He is now the hitting coach of the Beloit Snappers whose manager, Nelson Prada, is also on Twitter.
There are also several Twins minor leaguers who have become Twitter people. Top prospect Kyle Gibson is new to Twitter. Carlos Gutierrez is a regular contributor. Outfielder Rene Tosoni is new to Twitter too. Other minor leaguers on Twitter include: Pitcher Chris Province, shortstop and 2010 2nd round pick Niko Goodrum, Hard-throwing pitcher Bruce Pugh, power catching prospect Danny Rams, Netherlands hero and Twins pitchings prospect Tom Stuifbergen, non-roster invite and shortstop Brian Dozier, and 2010 draft pick, pitcher Nick Alloway.
You will also want to follow Dustin Morse, the Twins Manager of Baseball Communications, who does a nice job on Twitter keeping fans updated.
Of course, there are many people on Twitter that you can follow. Many (or most) bloggers are on Twitter at this point. You can follow TwinsCentric, or any of the four TwinsCentric bloggers (John Bonnes, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman, Seth Stohs).
Twitter definitely is becoming more and more popular in baseball. Whether that is good or bad is up to you. In my opinion, it is a terrific vehicle for gaining new information, for interacting with players and to find out information even more quickly.
What are your thoughts on Twitter? Are you a Twitter person, or is there a good reason you're not? I'm always curious what people think of this new phenomenon. Is it something that is here to stay, or should teams crack down on their players? (also, if I'm missing any Twins players on Twitter, be sure to link to them below.)