The Blockhams in "TWITTER STALKER"

Submitted by Six Zero on January 31st, 2012 at 7:19 AM

TWITTER STALKER

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As if I have to tell anyone, Aquaman and company have created a great series of interviews over at the Tremendous blog.  Check 'em out, if you haven't already.

THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs every Tuesday here at MGoBlog, and at least every
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Comments

Seth

January 31st, 2012 at 12:25 PM ^

[UPDATE: EDITED THIS DOWN]

The way I see it, my interaction with Michigan players and future Michigan players is that they play football for the team I am profoundly invested in, and which I cover professionally.

I don't follow recruits on Twitter or Facebook because high schoolers are notoriously bad at using social media without exposing their personal lives and because of that I stay away entirely. The few M guys I follow are guys like Koger or Woolfolk or Woodley who have remained very cognizant of the public nature of their posts and use these platforms to reach the public without being filtered by the media.

As for height and weight, that's very public information that is provided by the player and his coaches to many public sites, from the high school program guys to the recruiting sites. All the "Big Boned" articles sought to do was put those sizes in context of the position(s) these recruits might play. I stated explicitly that the BMI ratings were not to be taken in any other context, and why that is, and in case you didn't believe me I had a health professional confirm for readers that the BMI ratings say zilch about the players' respective health.

Body size and shape obviously can have an effect on more than football prowess. Of course people are judged by whether they're overweight, too short or too tall, etc. And I do see discussion of physical attributes step over this line with recruiting--the OMG Shirtless meme on this site mocks those who step over that line. But there is quite obviously nothing about attractiveness in saying Ondre Pipkins is sized like Gabe Watson and Mario Ojemudia is kind of similar to Pierre Woods. The comparisons speak only to how these players might perform in Mattison's defensive system, and provide a better context on Signing Day for evaluating the biggest defensive line class Michigan has brought in since I can remember.

MGoShoe

January 31st, 2012 at 1:36 PM ^

...Seth/Miso. I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with you doing your ht/wt analysis. My criticism is aimed well above this specific piece. You and I both know that there are numerous instances of analysis/speculation on a recruit's character and academic prowess that accompany discussion of athletic prowess. I'm not saying you have or haven't personally done this or even that there's much of it on this site, but what I am saying is that the whole business of analyzing recruits in this day and age of information availability is inherently invasive.

I find the constant refrain that following recruits on Twitter is stalkerish to be silly. They choose to make their accounts public (or if they're private, approve a follow request). They choose to write what they write. Followers choose whether or not to interact with them and they choose whether or not to interact back. There's lots of freedom of choice going on there (and it's all "very public information that is provided by the player").

Comparisons to Facebook are interesting, but those interactions are between "Friends" vice "Followers" - although we both know that for many FB users, the definition of "Friends" is not:

Friend, noun

  1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
  2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
  3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?
  4. a member of the same nation, party, etc.
  5. (initial capital letter ) a member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.

...there does seem to be an important distinction to be made about the two sites and the expectations of the persons who interact via them based on the characterization of their role (friend vs. follower).

I respect the line that you've set for yourself, but to extend your personal line to others seems a bit moralistic.

I'm sure that as you've taken your principled stance against following recruits, you've seen tweets by one of the "few more interesting current/former Wolverines who provide some insight into the team and real personalities" or journalists that you follow that was a RT of a recruit's tweet. I assume that you've never clicked through to see the original tweet and its context, because if you did, you're doing exactly what you decry. If you haven't, bravo for your consistency.

 

Seth

February 2nd, 2012 at 7:15 PM ^

It's not a "principled" stance. I just felt creepy is all. My feelings are not the standard for anyone else --- they're my own weird ass feelings, and only apply to me.

However I do think it comes to play when we're talking specifically about an article I wrote about recruits, because if I was twitter-following all of these guys AND writing about their weights it might suggest what you suggested about over-analyzing strangers.

That was the only context I meant.

thisisme08

January 31st, 2012 at 3:00 PM ^

You know I was just talking about that with my wife as thats about that only way I can follow Twitter as it normally dissolves into a retweet fest where all you see is @[email protected]@c
XX reply topic: As--end of 140 characters.

Steve Breston sent out like 55 tweets Sunday all pretty close together and its just like seriously? Were you really on your phone for 4 hours just sitting there w/ twitter open? I mean damn even w/ a 4.5 inch screen that would get annoying.