Monday, July 20, 2009

#Rays fan guide to the twitterverse

As many of you already know, I'm a freak when it comes to the social networking site twitter. Most games, I have my Tweetdeck (more on that later) up on the computer... furiously typing 140 character observations to fellow #Rays fans in the twitterverse.  Even though I may be watching alone, I've always got several other #Rays fans watching along and twittering away. It's like a virtual sports bar! We even get the occasional (and sometimes, not so occasional) Yankee fan or Red Sox fan.   We can engage fans of the #Rays opponents, asking questions and talking smack.  We get links to breaking news and we get links to good analysis.
For some, the Twitterverse is much like a deep, scary forest.  A place you may look through but never enter. I wanted to create this guide to help #Rays fans navigate the Twitterverse, so we can have even more people joining the party.
Here are some things you need to know when it comes to the #Rays twitterverse:
1.  #Rays - You've probably noticed in this post that I referred to the Rays with a # symbol in front of them.  I do that for a reason.  The hastag symbol makes it easy to follow #Rays threads. All you have to do is search "#Rays" and you'll get posts about the team.  The hashtag symbol helps differentiate between posts about a bar call "Ray's" or someone getting sun "rays."  You can still search for "Rays," but you'll have to wade through the posts.  Serious Rays twitterers use the hashtag for their posts.
2. Tweetdeck or other twitter applications.  In order to get full enjoyment of twitter during games I use the tweetdeck application.  It makes it much easier to sort and reply to all kinds of tweets during the game.  I found I was missing a lot of tweets when I was just using the twitter web access. Once I went to tweetdeck, I found it much easier to interact.
Basically you get a series of columns with your twitter feed, your replies, and your direct messages. You can also add columns for searches. I have columns for "Rays", "#Rays," my username, and the Rays' current opponent. You can also add columns for the Rays starting pitcher or a specific player. The possibilities and the columns are as endless as your imagination.

Screenshot of Tweetdeck
These applications also make it easier to follow people.  Generally, I follow just about anyone who mentions the Rays or the #Rays.
3. Mobile Tweeting.  The other thing I really like about Twittering the #Rays is the mobile aspect.  On any given game day, you can find #Rays fans actually twittering from the game. Some send pictures, others send game updates.  Either way, it makes you feel like you're closer to the game.  It also works the other way. You can twitter while you're at the game.  If you have an smartphone or iphone, it makes it easier to interact. If you're like me with just an old fashioned SMS camera phone, you can still do some interacting at the game.
4. Gameday Tweets. Another great aspect of twittering the #Rays is getting updates before and during the game.  Instead of waiting for the broadcast or the next day's newspaper, you can find out instantly why someone has been scratched from the lineup.  Also, Joe Maddon has been twittering lately with his words of wisdom. Interesting stuff.
5. The art of the retweet.  The retweet is when you repost someone's tweet to all of your followers. This is valuable because sometimes and interesting tweet from someone you may not follow can escape your notice.  However, when someone you follow retweet's it, you can see it and get the information. I also like to retweet articles of interest or some interesting observation someone makes.
6. The #Rays Twitterverse Roster. This list is by no means all inclusive. I came up with it by going through my followers and #Rays posts over the last few days. I also took twitter suggestions. There are plenty of fans that I tweet with out there, but I don't want to publicize without their permission. If you'd like to be added to the roster as a fan, just leave your twitter link in the comments, send me a tweet, or DM me. I'll get you added.
Here's the list, in not particular order (except for the first one):
As I said before, this list is in no way all incompassing. I'll will continue to add to this list throughout the season and I'll put up a permanent bookmark on my homepage.  Just let me know if you want to be added!
Also, we've created a Twitter/Facebook crossover page for #Rays fans. You can go here to join:
You can also e-mail me any suggestions for this list at m_weber @


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