Twitter Continues to Hog the Sports Technology Spotlight

Erik Linask : Sports Technology
Erik Linask
writer

Twitter Continues to Hog the Sports Technology Spotlight

strasburg.pngTwo interesting pieces of information emerged today about Twitter - that San Francisco-based micro-blogging site that made headlines last week when St. Louis Cardinals filed a lawsuit against it, for publishing an unauthorized page that makes light of a tragedies involving a pair of Cardinals players and an embarrassing incident for La Russa himself.
 
First, Cambridge, Mass.-based Internet marketing software provider HubSpot, Inc. reported - based on a study of 4.5 million Twitter accounts over nine months - more than 9 percent of all accounts are inactive. HubSpot also found that - despite reports that Twitter accounts have grown from 1.6 million to 32.1 million in the past year or so - more than half (56 percent) of users don't "follow" anyone, have never tweeted (55 percent) and have no followers (53 percent).
 
Despite that, Twitter apparently figured largely in coverage and communications about a 34-year-old event that last night got unprecedented coverage by sports media outlets, due mostly to a phenomenal baseball player who's developing under the watchful eye of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.
 
 
Mark Newman, enterprise editor at MLB.com, reports that this year's MLB draft - formally called the "2009 First-Year Player Draft" - saw not only unheard-of TV coverage (ESPN has been pushing the thing for months, mostly riding on the back of San Diego State University phenom Stephen Strasburg), but also through a running commentary on MLB.com through Twitter.
 
Here's how popular fans' "tweeting" about the draft was: the term "mlbdraft" rose as high as No. 5 on the list of most popular trending topics for the micro-blogging site.
 
According to Newman's report, Ben Cook, a Cardinals fan who with an "MLB rumors" blog, said the draft was "a breakthrough event" as far as the sports technology went.
 
"Broadcasting the Draft on MLB.com was a nice step to open it up to new fans like myself who hadn't paid much attention to the Draft in previous years," Cook reportedly said. "But incorporating Twitter took fan interaction to an all new level, allowing instant feedback and some great conversations to happen. The NFL Draft may be more popular, but it's a purely spectator event. MLB figured out a way to bring fans into the process and let us feel like we're part of the event."