Talking New Media at the Washington Redskins Training Camp: The Tweeter
Washington Redskins Wide Receiver Trent Shelton uses Twitter. He does not tweet his every move. Instead he tries to tweet inspirational messages. Trent talked to us about finding the right balance for using Twitter and other social networking tools.
Ashburn, VA (Aug 6, 2009) - Washington Redskins Wide Receiver Trent Shelton is not the type of tweeter the NFL or team management seems to be concerned about when talking Twitter bans or fines to players such as Antonio Cromartie for tweeting about how bad the food is at training camp. In fact, he wants to keep his Twitter activities as far afield from football as he can.
What the former Baylor University player has found is something he did not expect. When introduced to Twitter by a partner in his production company, he said "This is dumb!" But his partner pressed him, telling him to give it a week before passing judgement.
"At the end of the week I was hooked," said Shelton during a break at the Washington Redskins training camp in Ashburn, Virginia. "I now realize that it is the best networking tool he has found out there."
So what does he tweet about? "God is very important in my life," said Shelton. "So I like to tweet inspirational things I find, and to talk about Christian scripture that I find helps me day to day."
If I have to think about what I am about to post, I just don't do it.
Trent Shelton, Washington Redskins
For him, when he is on the football field or in team meetings, his focus is on football, and not on Twitter or other social media tools. He also thinks outsiders commenting on team rules regarding Twitter may not understand what is being done at the team level.
"Coach Zorn is not always up on the latest in technology. But what has asked us to do is not to use it when we are at practice or team meetings, or anytime else where it is not appropriate,' said Shelton. "He also asked as to be mindful of how we use the tools, and how peoples views can be formed by reading what we say or post. His number one piece of advice is to be cautious."
So what is Shelton's rule when it comes to posting? "If it is something I have to think about before I post, I just don't post it," explained Shelton.
Shelton is open to new contacts, and he usually accepts friend requests on sites like Facebook.
"As long as they have a picture on the profile, and they look legitimate, I am not one to say no if they want to be my friend."
When asked if he aspired to have as many Twitter followers as Shaq, he laughed."I am not Shaq!"
As the NFL and its teams look at Twitter (and other social media), they might look to the example being set by Trent Shelton as a tool to educate their players and coaches. Sometimes it is a lot more effective than putting out blanket bans.
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