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Twitter or Not

by Paul Kukla /
Paul, I followed your advice recently and signed up for a Twitter account to follow all the NHL news.  Some people are great to follow, others just seem to throw stuff out there with no sense of the salary cap and it just doesn't make sense. What can be done about this? – A hockey fan in Boston.

Well, hockey fan, Twitter is just like real life. In our daily routine we have numerous choices to make and I do hope most of them are the correct ones. Just because someone is on Twitter does not make them an expert on our game, but you have to decide that for yourself.

I am sure in real life you have run into a person who supposedly knows everything about a certain topic, but when you actually sit down with that person, you realize it is all hot air and fluff. 

My suggestion is stick to the people you actually have heard or read about in the past, someone who has a proven track record and is well-respected within our sport. At times that person may be wrong regarding a trade or a signing, or you may not like what they are tweeting, but in the long run you are much better off following a person like that than a person who tells you what you want to hear or just tosses stuff out there just to try to get the "hockey insider" tag attached to their name.

My family now uses Twitter. The kids now write book reports in less than 140 characters. Everything is done in short, non-descript sentences and I, for one, blame Twitter. Even the hockey people on Twitter now just write a headline but I want more, more than 140 characters!!! – John from the great city of Nashville.

I understand where you are coming from, John. If I didn't have to use Twitter to keep track of all things hockey, I would not be a fan.

I exchanged e-mails with Eric Duhatschek, a columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail, and you may be interested in what he says about Twitter: "I like it and I find it a useful tool to get a quick comment out there, but I do mostly analysis at this stage of my columnizing life and do find the 140 characters limiting in terms of trying to flesh out an argument or a point of view."

While trying to keep up to date with all things hockey, I started following people on Twitter. Some say they have sources but never name them.  Do you know who these sources are? – BB

The sources range from someone who is well connected in the hockey world to your mailman. 

I read about a trade/signing on Twitter, then I read about it again and again and again. Not many people will give credit to the person who actually broke the trade or signing. Why? – Hailey

Sometimes, Hailey, it comes down to who can type the fastest. Then there are those people who want people to think they "broke" the story when they really did not. Those are the people who want the "hockey insider" tag attached to their name.

Personally, I try to give credit where credit is due. Others don't follow that pattern and just post it as their own.

One day, just one day on Twitter, and I am done with it. Too many made-up stories for my liking. – Larry M. in Michigan

Again, Larry, you must follow the right people in order to get what you are looking for in Twitter. A good place to start is the NHLTweetMix.

I have also received numerous e-mails like this: How do I get recognized on Twitter?  I can't seem to gain any followers.

For some people, it does take time to get recognized. My suggestion is tweet about what you know.  Don't make things up, and soon people will begin following you.

Will Twitter ever replace blogs? - Kasey

Geez, I hope not. Personally, I consider Twitter an added benefit to my blog/Web site. People can read just a brief synopsis on Twitter, then go to my site for more information. Also, with no revenue stream directly tied to Twitter, many of us would soon be out of business if it was just Twitter or bust.

Have an enjoyable week during these dog days of summer. Soon hockey will be back and our lives can become normal again.

Feel free to e-mail me at, follow me on Twitter or check out Kukla's Korner for the latest hockey news and action.

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