June 24, 2009
STARKVILLE -- Terms like Yahoo, Google, Twitter, and Facebook are entering the vocabulary of coaches on a more regular basis.
Mississippi State has upgraded its Twitter capabilities in the past month, and its coaches have begun to realize they can use this technology to their advantage.
The MSU athletic department consolidated its Twitter offerings so coaches and administrators who maintain Twitter accounts can be found at one location: mstateathletics.com.
Fans should click the Twitter icon on any page of the athletic Web site to access the new page. Fans also can access Facebook from the site.
MSU football coach Dan Mullen has just started using Twitter. He said Facebook is a better avenue of contacting recruits.
"There are more recruits on Facebook than Twitter," Mullen said. "You have recruits on Facebook you can e-mail. It''s amazing enough when talking with young people they will check their Facebook e-mail 10 times more than they check their e-mail account, so you''ve got to e-mail them on Facebook to communicate with them."
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and to read each others'' updates, known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters, displayed on the author''s profile page and delivered to other users -- known as followers -- who have subscribed to them
Mullen said using any means necessary to communicate with recruits is important because "our world is based on the decision of 17-year-olds and where they are going to college."
Even though he considers Facebook important in recruiting, Twitter reaches out to the fans.
"We need to sell season tickets and get fans to the games, so Twitter allows you to help with the fanbase," Mullen said.
MSU baseball coach John Cohen enjoys using Twitter to send out information to fans. He said he recently shared a visit with two former Bulldogs on Twitter.
"(Twitter) allows me to tell our fanbase I ran into these guys and it was great experience, or we are off recruiting and things are going very well," Cohen said. "You can''t be too specific because if you use names in several cases you are into some NCAA rules problems and you don''t want any part of that. It enables people who really care about the program to keep up with what''s going on."
MSU Athletic Director Greg Byrne is pleased with how his department is using the Internet. He believes its popularity will continue to grow.
Through the first four months of 2009, MSU''s Web site recorded 4,768,750 page views, a 15 percent growth from last year.
"Revenue generated from Maroon to the Max subscriptions, plus various sources, experienced a significant growth from 12 months prior," Byrne said.
Byrne used Twitter a couple of weeks ago to announce he received a good report from the doctor concerning the melanoma he had removed.
The surgeon removed all of the cancer and Byrne thanked everyone for their support.
"It is amazing how many folks have told me they are going to go get checked now," Byrne said on Twitter. "Please take care of your skin and get checked."