With all the hemming and hawing and people jumping off the bandwagon and back on and deals not getting done and then finally getting done, things have been a little on the heavy side around here.
Perhaps I could interest you in a light-hearted diversion? Perhaps a little rumination on that slightest of Web 2.0 diversions... Twitter.
For those of you who are on Twitter and follow Amar'e's feed, it's kind of a mess. (Not on board with this whole Twitter thing? I'll be addressing that in another post.) Below is an open letter to Amar'e with a mild critique and step by step rehab for his Twitter persona. It is written with nothing but love for the big guy.
Let me start by saying that I like you. We've never met, but by all accounts you're a pretty great guy. It's why I want to talk to you about this Twitter thing. You have got to get the hang of this if you're ever going to be a Superstar 2.0.
I'm glad to see you've backed away from the debit card promotion. I think teaching fiscal responsibility is important and it's OK to push your product on Twitter, but you've got to be smart about it. Twitter is first and foremost about engaging your fans. The best and worst of your Twitter presence can be summed up in your most recent Tweet:
Breaking News!!! Stat is Dead, Reincarinated as Sun Tzu. Fans I'm holding on strong, this is the hardest recovery.http://twitpic.com/a6xba
The photo of you at your recovery table after eye surgery? Brilliant. Shows you candidly trying to get back in the game. Reiterating a new nickname that is not catching on? Not so much. You read "The Art of War." You believe in its philosophical underpinnings. This does not make you Sun Tzu. Self-bestowed Shaq-bestowed (h/t to scotthoward42) nicknames are tricky at best (Should've gone with "The Punisher"). This is not an "at best" situtation. Amar'e'sTwitter rehab plan after the jump...
You see, I think you're confusing self-promotion with self-aggrandizement. I understand that you're out to promote "Amar'e Stoudemire: The Brand." That's totally cool. And while I don't think that borrowing Tupac lyrics to compare yourself to Jesus is the best image-making move in the world, "Still I Rise" is a pretty dope mantra for a Phoenix Sun. There's nothing a Phoenix likes more than a pile of ashes to rise from, and it's safe to say that last season's playoff shut-out qualifies as a pile of ashes.
Here's a bulletpoint recovery guide to taking back your Twitter account:
- Let go of "Sun Tzu" for a while. I'm not saying it can't be your nickname. I'm just saying stop hitting your tweeps over the head with it. If it's a keeper, if you live up to it, it'll stand on its own merits. But the constant repetition is not helping the cause.
- Show, don't tell. Like I said, that picture is brilliant. Make it a story instead of saying "this is the hardest recovery," how about "Hour 7 on the table, need new songs for my iPod. Tweeps?"
- Relax. Goof off. One of the reasons @therealshaq and @dwighthoward are titans of the Twitterverse is their fearlessness as clowns. I'm not saying you have to start dropping fart jokes or putting on wigs while playing "Rock Band." But show us the lighter side of Amar'e. It can't all be debit cards and physical therapy, can it?
- Engage your fan base. Interactivity is the key to social networking. Don't just respond to well wishes. Solicit feedback from your followers. Nothing makes a fan's day more than a quick back and forth with his or her favorite player. Heck, @REALjasonkapono is even soliciting nickname ideas from his followers (hint, hint).
- Be creative. The masters of the Twitter universe always keep us guessing. Repeating and re-tweeting the same old tropes is a twurnoff. Can't think of something snappy, follow the time-honored tradition of famous people everywhere: hire a ghostwriter. (If you have a hard time finding one, I can send you some writing samples of mine.)
- NOW sell. Once you've followed the steps above, you followers aren't going to care if you hawk debit cards, sneakers, video games or whatever. You've just got to win them over first. NOTE: you can't be overbearing about it. Chris Bosh and Charlie Villanueva are actually losing some followers over their race to 50,000.