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The Problem with Twitter- The Dan Dakich Paradigm

The Caleb Swanigan decommitment represents a growing problem online.

This guy though...
This guy though...
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

You all saw the news yesterday that broke on Twitter from numerous people that Caleb Swanigan has decided not to sign with Michigan State and instead will look elsewhere. The rumored destination at this point is Purdue. That's all rumor though so please don't take anything I'm typing here as fact. The problem is that once someone puts something on the internet it's easy for that information to snowball. Twitter makes it especially difficult with their 140 character limit. There's only so much nuance you can put into 140 characters. Make no mistake though, I love Twitter. If you know how to use the medium properly and follow the right people you can get breaking news on any number of subjects before anyone else. The problem there of course lies in knowing the right people to follow.

About a month ago I made up a completely BS story on my twitter account (@jumboheroes) about which way Swanigan was leaning in his recruitment. I prefaced it with two tweets saying that what I was about to tweet was completely made up and I had zero evidence to back it up. So what happens? I wake up to something like 20 notifications on Twitter of people retweeting or favoriting my odds for where Swanigan would land. I have absolutely no credibility when it comes to recruiting. I have no sources. I give people no reason to think I know what any 17 year old is thinking. None. Yet there's my tweet being passed around like a loose cigarette. Yesterday though might've taken the cake in regards to Twitter issues.

I don't like Dan Dakich. Let me be up front about that and get it out of the way. I think he's a great basketball mind, a decent enough coach, and a fairly good analyst when he actually wants to be. What he's become though is a shock jock. He yells at callers, calls people dumb, and basically feels that anyone who doesn't agree with him is a moron. That's all well and good for radio ratings I suppose, and if ratings are all he's after then I suppose he's doing a great job. What he should strive for though is some semblance of credibility. I got into it with Dakich, and Bob Kravitz to a lesser extent, about three years ago. I can't remember exactly what had been said or written by the two of them but on my old site I wrote a post criticizing the type of "PLEASE LISTEN TO ME I'M IMPORTANT" media the two were using. Somehow, Dakich got wind of the post while on air and said that I obviously was a sad blogger who lived in my parent's basement and that if I came to Purdue's practice he'd punch me in the face. I'm paraphrasing here but that's the gist of it. I've since been blocked on Twitter by him. The guy has become a caricature of himself. He's a parody. He screams and yells and calls people morons. Yesterday though he tried to be a real journalist on Twitter and things got weird.

By now you've probably all seen the tweet that Travis posted about last night saying that:

Now, what exactly does that tweet mean? Does that mean Swanigan is coming to Purdue? Does that tweet mean it's done as in not happening? It's honestly sort of difficult to say. But my question is why send a tweet like that at all? He's just inviting controversy at that point. He's got 140 characters to explain himself. Including spaces he used 26. I wasn't a math major at Purdue but that leaves him 140-26=114 characters with which to work. He easily could've clarified his position to mean he's either coming to Purdue or not coming to Purdue. Instead, he railed against bloggers and claimed (somehow) not to be media.

I don't know how a guy who hosts a radio show can be considered not media. That's a whole other issue. Again, after taking offense why not clarify your comment? Instead he went on the offense against bloggers again all while using it to promote his radio show.

Yes, I understand the irony of complaining about his ridiculous self-promotion and general hackery all while writing about him and showing his tweets. Quite frankly though I'm tired of it. He had time to respond and argue with folks over Twitter last night but not time to make sense of his original five word tweet? Tell me that's not a guy crying out for attention?

This represents a bigger problem on Twitter and the internet as a whole. Who is credible? Would you think a guy who worked for the BTN, works for ESPN, and was a former Division I head basketball coach be credible? So would I. That being said, Twitter is a fickle beast. If there's one thing we've learned from Painter to Missouri is not to trust anyone but Brian from GBI. That's really it. Everyone thinks they have sources, everyone wants to feel special and connected, but the hard truth is hardly anyone knows for sure what goes on in the mind of these 15-18 year old kids. Let's try to remember that and take all of this hoopla with a grain of salt and let the process play out.