Twitter hits EMU athletics

Eastern Michigan, its athletic department in particular, isn’t immune to the Twitter phenomenon. It seems nowadays everyone is connected by the newest social network craze sweeping the Internet.

Among others on Twitter, you can follow EMU football coach Ron English, men’s basketball coach Charles Ramsey and women’s basketball coach AnnMarie Gilbert.

To the uninitiated, Twitter is a networking Web site in which users post updates, or tweets, on their status or thoughts and links to other sites. The caveat is all posts must contain 140 characters or fewer. Users can follow others to stay updated on their posts.

“You know what? It’s good,” said English, who tweets often. “I like to use it, particularly when I have something to say.”

He said it’s a way for him to get connected to his new surroundings. English previously was an assistant coach at Louisville and Michigan before accepting the EMU job in December 2008.

“I like it because people like it,” he said after practice a few weeks ago. “You know my wife said this week, after living in Ann Arbor for five years, ‘It’s nice to come over here and be a part of another community and be a part of another city and get involved in it and get a following here.’ ”

Getting involved in a community seems to be a gravitating aspect of the service, be it online or face-to-face. People use the site to stay connected to friends, family and just about anyone or anything.

Scott Schultz, EMU’s director of sports marketing, draws conclusions of a similar nature.

“Not only does it allow us to provide information, but it also allows us to share a different side of EMU athletics,” Schultz said. “It just provides a more interactive experience with our fans and our students.

“What we’re trying to do is to continue to come up with creative ways to use these mediums and to provide information to our fans and make it more interactive for them, and allow them to feel more a part of what we have going on here.

“We’re just trying to create more awareness, more buzz and more excitement.”

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