For those of you who don’t know what Twitter is: According to their website, “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”
So, what happens when a 33-year old Suns fan pretends to be Shaquille O’Neal, providing the world wide web with fake impersonations of what the real Shaquille is doing that day? Shaq will find out about it and put his foot down!
Sports Media Challenge, a media training and consulting company for athletes, is run by Kathleen Hessert, who has worked with Shaq for several years. Once Kathleen filed a complaint to Twitter about the Suns fan pretending to be Shaquille O’Neal, executives at Twitter had the man’s Twitter site removed.
Now, Shaq maintains his own Twitter account called “The_Real_Shaq,” and Ward Andrews, the 33-year old Suns fan has an archive of his Twitter postings, under the account named, “notShaqONeal.” Perhaps, the outcome of all this is the influence that social media can have on the fans of the NBA, the Twitter community, and the entire world wide web.
Shaquille O’Neal understands that influence. He just wanted to make sure that the “Real Shaq” was using Twitter and not some imposter. The_Real_Shaq now has thousands of subscribers to his Twitter feed and only the sky is the limit. He is certainly keeping us all entertained with his constant Twitter updates, that is for certain!
Check out these revelant links, including the article that made the New York Times, the reaction on Deadspin, a site for sports fans, and “The_Real_Shaq’s” Twitter page: