Shaq Meets Fans at 5 & Diner in Phoenix Through Twitter
As we reported on this blog back in November, Suns star Shaquille O'Neal's on Twitter, the "micro-blogging" site where users can post short messages on the Internet (through computers or their cell phones) that detail what they're doing at any given moment. (For example, Shaq Twittered on January 16 at 10:57 p.m.: "I cant sleep gotta get 2 walmart").
But it was this Twitter from Shaq last Thursday that really caught the attention of Twitter users in Phoenix: "Im at 5 n diner n phoenix."
Two local Twitter users saw Shaq's message and raced to their local 5 & Diner, where they found Shaq sitting in a booth by himself. They debated approaching him, and he must have heard them whispering about Twitter, since a few seconds later, Shaq sent this message via Twitter: "I feel twitterers around me, r there any twitterers in 5 n diner wit me, say somethin."
The pair approached Shaq, who told them to have a seat, and the three sat and talked and took pictures. (You can read the whole story, first-hand, here).
Many verified celebrities -- including MC Hammer, L.L. Cool J, and millionaire Richard Branson -- have Twitter accounts, but none have been as enthusiastic about the site as Shaq. He sends updates to Twitter an average of three times a day, and often sings the site's praises and bonds with other Twitterers in his updates: "Twitter me this, twitter me that. Hello to all my twittereans, This is the shaq Love u guys" (January 1, 10:10 a.m.)," "To all twitterers, if u c me in public come say hi we r not the same, we r from twitteronia, we connect." (February 19, 3:37 p.m.)
Shaq has already used Twitter to give away tickets to Suns games, and he's been avidly trying to recruit other sports stars to sign up for the free Twitter service. Up until a few weeks ago (when he apparently canceled his account for reasons unknown), legendary hockey star and Phoenix Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky was on Twitter, allegedly at Shaq's behest.
And most recently, Shaq has succeeded in recruiting fellow Suns player Steve Nash to join Twitter. Shaq sent a Twitter update on February 4 saying that he was trying to get Nash to join, and he succeeded -- Steve Nash started putting updates on Twitter on February 13. Nash's last Twitter, on February 19, read, "Diesel, 5 n diner has great chili and milkshakes but i know you're on a diet so you had a salad!!"