Friday at 4: Only a Poll Regarding Twitter

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I have been sitting on this one for a while. It was like the $20 my mother gave me when I first went to college. She asked me to fold it into the deepest corner of my wallet and use it only in an emergency when I had no other recourse whatsoever.

This “Friday at 4” topic was to be used only on a week where I had no other idea whatsoever. Any suggestions for next week would be appreciated — this empties the reserves.

The question at hand is intended to educate and inform how to best proceed in populating this space. It may not be a democracy around here, but having a better idea how to cater to you few readers does not seem like a bad strategy.

(Editor’s Note regarding the poll: Though it will not seem like the poll registered your click before you hit “Vote”, if you click on one of the options, and then click “Vote”, it will register.)

After the past two weeks, this seems a particularly-pertinent query. Five different Notre Dame roster moves came to the world’s attention largely through Twitter: the outgoing transfers of junior offensive lineman Tristen Hoge and sophomore offensive lineman Parker Boudreaux, the incoming transfers of fifth-year senior receiver Cameron Smith from Arizona State and sophomore safety Alohi Gilman from Navy, and the injury-forced ending of senior tight end Tyler Luatua’s career.

There was a day not long ago — truly, not long ago, if this scribe was accustomed to it — when those moves would have been announced via an email to beat writers from Notre Dame’s sports information department. Then, those writers would have scrambled to rewrite the press release in appropriate fashion and get it online.

Now, one has to hope to check Twitter at the coincidentally right moment in order to get a story online quickly.

Or, one can decide a 30-minute delay on such a posting is hardly something to fret about.

Neither strategy is inherently right nor wrong. They do, however, serve different subsets of readers. Thus, the poll, with the acknowledgement that it is a self-selecting poll, and, on top of that, some version of the scientific method must be skewed by tweeting a link to this column about Twitter.

Personally, Twitter has always served as an aggregator and distributor of news and information more than it has as a source of wit and commentary. Those “followed” are chosen for the news they relay, making the feed the aggregation. Those “following” are recipients of whatever news is subsequently distributed.

A site such as this serves that latter role just as well for anyone less focused on the immediate.

Admittedly, Twitter also serves as an outlet to delay productivity. On the rare occasions productivity and Twitter meet, it all-too often includes a mistake. Tweets do not get proofread like these posts do. Halfway through this week, I twice tweeted it was still Monday. That version of writing is quicker, more frantic. Wednesdays become Mondays, Scott (Pagano) gets mistaken for Chuck, and late-night typos are lumped in with public policy.

As for why this week presented no other ideas for a late Friday afternoon distraction, the only other musing at hand concerned where Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson could go in the NFL Draft in 10 months. The in 10 months clarification rendered it a personal pet peeve. Thus, it was discarded for the time being.

And as for that $20, if memory serves correctly, it was used on pizza the first week of October freshman year. Who can find fault with that? It was pizza, after all.

A pizza sounds good right about now, doesn’t it? Considering the time and day of this scheduled post, go ahead and grab a beverage to accompany it.