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September 28, 2011 / benwolfson08

Soccer and Social Media

Wilshere reached out via Twitter after his ankle surgery on Sept. 26

This post will examine the ever popular social media network Twitter and an article written by Haewoon Kwak, Changhyun Lee, Hosung Park and Sue Moon titled, “What is Twitter, a Social Network or a News Media?

Twitter is a technology around three years old that becomes more and more popular to our daily lives each day. It is a micro-blogging website where users have 140 characters per post to write what they say.

Why Twitter is so popular is easy. It’s fun, easy to use and the short messages are effective yet can break major news. Also many celebrities/athletes/public figures have Twitter accounts where they can interact with fans and such.

I have had a Twitter for a couple years and currently follow almost 500 people. Besides following my roommates and friends my favorite part about Twitter is being able to get news instantly.

Here are two pictures taken from Jack Wilshere’s Twitter. The Arsenal midfielder is only 19 years old, but has almost 890,000 loyal Twitter followers. He interacts with his fans constantly, challenging them to FIFA, posting pictures of him hanging out with Jack Marshall (a clinically diagnosed youth he has befriended) and of course supporting his club, Arsenal.

Twitter has gotten to the point where it is relied upon for breaking news. For instance in the above picture, the Guardian perhaps the best newspaper in the world used a picture that Wilshere had tweeted from his hospital bed in this article.

Many of the Arsenal players have Twitter accounts besides Wilshere such as Robin Van Persie, Emmanuel Frimpong, Aaron Ramsey, Thomas Vermaelen, Wojciech Szczesny, etc.

Another benefit of Twitter is it is a global community due to trending topics and hashtags. Hashtags which are just # this symbol plus a topic. For instance if I tweet about Arsenal I’ll often do #Arsenal or #AFC so it shows up with thousands of other tweets. During games people will do this to have global discussions regarding Arsenal.

I use Twitter for the majority of my news whether its breaking news that Osama bin Laden was killed or news that Tom Brady got a haircut — it all shows up on Twitter.

This summer when I became a fan of Arsenal, I started following many different British sports journalists, Arsenal players, and Arsenal bloggers so I am constantly updated with team news.

Twitter is a phenomenon that is growing daily and has become accepted as a news source for many people.

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