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Twitter And Radio Talk Show Hosts: A Cautious Tale

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It doesn't matter what your opinions on Twitter are, it's something that's out there and being used by millions of people daily, including most of the SBNation blogs and myself (@CloneChronicles for the blog, and @Mark_Kieffer for me).

What I like about Twitter is that I can interact with people (where else could I interact with Shaq?), get breaking news, and get a feeling of the vibe that's out there in the world. I realize it's not for everybody, and this isn't a post to try and get you to be involved with Twitter if it isn't your thing.

Amongst the people that are out on Twitter are Journalists, and members of the media, particularly radio show hosts. Radio Show Hosts are trying to use Twitter to promote their show, their agenda, and whatever else. What's cool about that, is that the local guys have a small enough following, that you can routinely interact with them. I know for me, there were times when I want to call into a radio show, but couldn't, and sent a tweet to the host with my take, and he responded. Kind of neat!

Well, as I learned on Selection Sunday, there is a dark side to Twitter as well. Apparently local radio show hosts are not well equipped to deal with this new level of interaction.

Enter, @sportstalkmatt, better known around these parts (and Omaha) as Matt Perrault, host of the "Matt & Miller" show in KXnO. Now Matt is a guy who is very opinionated and polarizing. He's a guy you're going to agree with 10% of the time, and disagree with about 90% of the time, depending on the topic. But in the past, I've had decent interactions online with Matt. I thought that he was a decent person to follow on Twitter, because he posts crazy, random stuff that you'd never agree with (although it's entertaining), and there's a good chance he'll respond to your comments to him.

**Now before I proceed, I want to be clear about something. Matt's tweets are public. When he responds to a follower, everyone can see the response, by going to his Twitter page. I always handle e-mails and private messages as off the record (unless the e-mailer and pmer is OK with me share), and nothing I'm sharing was said in private**

Ok, back to the story. Now it was Selection Sunday, and the big news around Iowa was where UNI would get seeded, as they're the only quasi-local team doing any kind of postseason. In short, he was outraged that UNI was seeded 9th and shared via Twitter. I was surprised how outraged he was, considering UNI played in a 1-bid conference, played 0 ranked opponents, and lost to a horrible Evansville team. Nevertheless, he was outraged about something that in the scheme of things wasn't going to matter (UNI isn't going to cut down the nets in Indy, sorry).

I told Matt:

UNI is unathletic. They get what they deserve. Why does it matter where they go, if they aren't that good to begin with? They aren't going to beat UNLV in the first round, relax

I will admit that my take is debatable, and was curious what his rebuttal would be. He was quick and to the point:

You really don't know what the fuck you are talking about - you cover sports?!! Sad

I am not going to lie, that wasn't quite the response I was expecting. He had to go personal and swear? Seriously? He's a guy I've had conversations with on Twitter before, I've even called into his show! And that isn't even the bad part.

The bad part is that just about a week ago, Matt spent an ENTIRE show devoted to the Jamie Pollard e-mail to Matt Rainey. Matt went on the offensive about Pollard's edgy response to an ISU fan, but he's perfectly fine with cussing out one of his Twitter followers, and radio show listeners.

Needless to say, I wait about 15-20 minutes, and gave him the chance to see this point above, and all he said was that I am a joke.

To me, that shows me enough about what the guy is all about. No longer am I a listener to that station on my drive from home. Big deal, right? I'm just one guy. Fine. But these sorts of things work themselves out. If you go to his page now, you will see that those personal attacks are now deleted from his page. If a guy can't stand by what he says, then he isn't the kind of person I want to interact with anyways.

Just a cautious tale to those of you out there on Twitter, or entertaining the idea. It's a great place to interact with people and get information. Just realize that if you disagree with a radio or TV personality about something that's trivial, that you could get cussed out. I learned the hard way, and I don't want to see anyone's feelings hurt.

With sports we're passionate about it, and I can get emotional about this stuff. But I promise to you that by posting comments on here or following on Twitter/Facebook, or having a conversation with me, I won't disrespect you for the public to see. I have my opinions, but the main reason why I do this is because I want to know what you, the reader thinks. I really do. I love talking sports and debating topics, so do not think just because I have a take on a particular issue, that we cannot talk about it.

To all those quasi-known people out there that are exploring Twitter. If you can't handle interactions with fans/supporters/listeners/viewers, then maybe Twitter isn't for you. It clearly isn't the place for sportstalkmatt.