May 1, 2009
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Twitter, twitter, twitter. The newest addition to the growing list of social media has inundated society the last few months, and Western Carolina Athletics is on the cutting edge of this new phenomenon.
For those who haven't joined Twitter, or may not be following Catamount Athletics, you can do so at http://twitter.com/Catamounts . Western Carolina athletics began a Twitter site on March 13, 2009, just days before the women's basketball team played in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. At first a beta test, the athletic department now uses the quick hit tweets (what messages on Twitter are called) to give fans final scores of games, time changes for games and even information on promotions and Catamount Club updates.
Fans who join Twitter right now can be the firsts to know who the new Lady Catamount Head Women's Basketball Coach will be. Followers of Catamount Twitter will know who the new coach is before anyone else, receiving a tweet before it is released on catamountsports.com.
So, for some who are still asking "what is Twitter," the answer is easy. Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates, tweets, which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. Updates are displayed on the user's profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them.
Fans can also get the Twitter messages sent to their phone. After signing up for Twitter, go to settings at the top of the page. Click devices and click "turn devices on." Then enter your cell phone number, make sure to place a +1 before your area code, and you then text 40404 and enter the code provided. To get updates of certain people or organizations you are following, go to who you are following and hit yes for device updates on.
Catamount football fans can also follow Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach Keith Heckendorf, who has also started a Twitter page. Check it out at http://twitter.com/CatsOC. Heckendorf spring the spring football season giving updates on the team and its progress and expect even more insight when the club reports for fall camp in August.
Also look for continued commitment by Catamount head coaches and selected student-athletes to begin their own Twitter sites in the fall of 2009.