Thursday, February 19, 2009

Finally, A Use for Twitter

Sean informed me a few days ago that he had been following "The Real Shaq" on twitter. 

"You realize that 'The Real Shaq' is probably a 5'4 White, 14 year old emo kid who's getting his jolly's from the attention, right?" I asked him.

"I don't know. I think it's really him"

Today Sean and I were discussing rumored trade situations over IM, and the possibility of Shaq being traded to Cleveland.

"Well, I just got a twitter from The Real Shaq, and he's at 5 & Diner right now," Sean informed me.

"Let's go then" I said, assuming that I'd finally put this "Real Shaq" crap to rest.

Twenty minutes later we were pulling up to the restaurant and looking for the big black truck that he's rumored to drive around town. "Maybe that's it" Sean said, pointing at an older, but nice Van and laughing. As we pulled up I saw the Superman symbol on the grill.

Maybe that is it?

We went in, and to my surprise the MDE(Most Dominant Ever) was sitting in the corner booth by himself. We gave the man a nod and "Hey" as we walked to our table and were soon whispering back and forth like 12 year old girls at the 7th grade dance.

"You go talk to him" I said, while tugging nervously on my dress.
"No, you go talk to him" Sean replied while flipping his hair.

We placed our order, and spent 10 minutes trying to work up the sack to go say something.

"Should I tell him I'm glad he's sticking around?"
"Go tell him you're his twitter buddy"
"Should I ask for a picture?"

Given another 2-3 years, I'm sure we would have worked up the nerve to go talk to him, but before that could happen Sean's iPhone buzzed with a "tweet" from Shaq.
I feel twitterers around me, r there any twitterers in 5 n diner wit me, say somethin

"Hey" Sean said, with a slight bit of confidence.

Returning to our hushed whispers I asked Sean, "Should we go talk to him now?"
"I don't know, should we?"

"Yes, you should" a very deep voice entered our conversation from 2 booths over.

We quickly hopped up and rushed over like like two eight year olds who had just heard the ice cream truck pass by.

"I know it's dorky man, but can I get a pic with you?" I asked, slightly intimidated.

"Of course" he said, "Pull up a seat" The behemoth slid over and patted the booth next to him. As I pulled out my phone to take a picture he snatched it out of my hand and inspected it.

"What's this got? Windows Mobile?"
"Um... yeah"

Jesse and Shaq
Doing my best to look tall. Thanks for slouching, Shaq.

He gave it the once over before handing it back and showing off his Google Phone. We talked for a bit, and snapped a photo for both Sean and me before shaking hands and returning to our table. I almost got the feeling he wanted us to hang out, but we didn't really want to push our luck.

"Make sure you put that on your web page" he said as we walked away.

After he'd left, our young waiter came over. We asked if Shaq had actually eaten anything since his table was empty when we'd gone over.

"He ordered like 20 dollars worth of food" the kid stammered out, obviously thrilled to be talking about it, "And he left me a 160 dollar tip. Then he asked for a Sprite and gave me forty bucks for it."

Sean and Shaq
Sean and the big Shaq-tus.


We got back to the office, and saw that Shaq's last twitter was basically calling us a bunch of panzies:
To all twitterers , if u c me n public come say hi, we r not the same we r from twitteronia, we connect


Not to be outdone "The Real Nash" wrote:
Diesel, 5 n diner has great chili and milkshakes but i know you're on a diet so you had a salad!!


Twitter accounts for: Sean and Jesse.  Feel free to follow us.

142 comments:

  1. "'You go talk to him,' I said, while tugging nervously on my dress.
    "No, you go talk to him," Sean replied while flipping his hair."

    I lawled. Cute story! Is this the one on 16th? I usually only go there if it's like 2 AM and for some reason I'm not at home watching something I tivoed (so, in other words, rarely).

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  2. My friend Rachel has a condo by the Biltmore and has seen him a few times at the Fry's down there, so I assumed that's the one he'd be at. I'm not sure if there are any others downtown.

    I'm pretty sure nobody goes there unless it's 2AM or you're stalking a celeb.

    If you've been inside the place, which closely resembles a converted airstream trailer, you'll realize how well he fit.

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  3. thats just fuckin sweet all the way around...totally impressed to see shaq poking with the new tech...youd think he would be, i dont know, practicing free-throws or something though. BTW, you and sean are twins man...if it werent for the glasses im not sure i could tell you apart...i'd recommend a paternity test, for legal reasons.

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  4. Id just like to point out that I was not sure if it was him or not in the beginning either, but that I had more faith than Jesse. Id also like to point out that my head is gigantic, and in fact, bigger than Shaq's. That is all

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  5. Wow, how unreal. Such hilarity. I thought the real Shaq was some white suburban kid myself.

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  6. Somehow, despite two baseball teams, a basketball team, and a football team, I never ran into anyone in Chicago.

    Well, except D3rek J3ter. But that's a different story.

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  7. And I have a man crush? I heard Shaq is going to get a restraining order against short white nerds...

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  8. Congratulations! What an awesome story and thanks for sharing! Twitter ROCKS!

    EP

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  9. Awesome story. I really enjoyed reading it.

    Shaq is the #1 likable guy the NBA has ever had.

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  10. Awesome - You guys seemed to be the only ones with the balls (or the time) to go meet up w/ Shaq!

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  11. Wow Jesse, I'm quite surprised by this. You're usually very comfortable making the acquaintances of strange, large black men, a skill learned from your mom, so I wouldn't think Shaq would be any different.

    Now Sean is going to be Shaq's #1 fan, huh? Somewhere a sad Barbosa sheds a tear...

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  12. This is awesome! Just yesterday I saw this Tweet from Shaq:

    To all twitterers , if u c me n public come say hi, we r not the same we r from twitteronia, we connect

    I thought, "Dang, when he's here in Utah playing the Jazz I'm going to track him down!"

    Thanks for the "proof" that @the_real_shaq is FOR REAL!

    Here's how I got Shaq to follow me.

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  13. Well, I've been informed that the Van was not older. I guess it just had that classic van look to it. My bad. We took a picture, but it had his license on it, so you don't get to see it.

    I can't stress enough how likable and cool the guy was.

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  14. awesome story guys! just tweeted about your story http://twitter.com/frosteeice

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  15. i'm very happy about this story. very happy. well done.

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  16. Well, it's not every day I find you on reddit. :)

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  17. Coolest story, Shaq rules. Gotta love Twitter - it makes special things happen.

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  18. d top of the tree on reddit too!

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  19. Coolest story ever! I appreciate your nervousness - I would have been too!

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  20. I get giddy when I read his posts. CamelShaq Mtn. Hilarious! I'm a bit J-Lo that you met him. I wanted to drive over, but too far. He is hilarious and I'm glad I'm one of his twitaliens in the twitternation.

    Happy Tweeting Tweeples!

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  21. You actually have pictures taken too! Nice.. LOL

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  22. Very funny, guys, and I'm envious that I've never tried anything like this. The writing is well-done and makes it seem very real.

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  23. Haha, you guys deserve to act like teenage girls. I know I would have! Sean - proof positive on the head issue..

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  24. Very Cool (ding!) story. Glad he's total wicked cool with the peeps. Always thought he was anyway. :o)

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  25. Great story and that is the beauty of twitter. More athletes/ leagues should be using it to engage with their fans like the Diesel.

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  26. Shaq had said in an interview a long time ago that "The Real Shaq" was real

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  27. We can still be friends, right? I mean, can you still find time between hanging out with your NBA buddies to go to the Red Lobster and watch Smallville with me? Well, me and Leandrinho are going to a gentleman's club tomorrow night to celebrate Carnival, drink some cachaça, and watch the girls samba. I'd invite ya but you'll probably be shopping for antiques with Nash or something. Stay off the 101 - it's got major construction issues and you know who's paying for that.

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  28. Ok THAT is a funny story. Glad I followed the link to read it. He's on my list and I too thought that it was SO not him.

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  29. Can you post the pic of his van with blurred license plate?

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  30. That is a great story. Most people are nice ... some people just forget it momentarily.

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  31. That's such a damn cute story!! I am SUCH a skeptic about the celeb-twitters, assuming they're all fakes. I guess not all are!!

    That's just too fuckin awesome that Shaq gave that waiter kid $200 in tips. What a damn sweetie.

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  32. Oh my goodness! How cool is that! Thanks for the smile! Good story...

    adiaha

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  33. that was so good I had to go check "The Real Shaq" out myself; he's got mad shot-texting skills.
    But one question, what the hell is a Google Phone?

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  34. I follow Shaq myself, and saw that tweet. I don't think he was calling you pansies, he was saying that the fact that you both use twitter makes you both a cut above the rest of the world, or other fans.

    Because of this incident, I will never unfollow Shaq, ever!

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  35. What a great story. He's a good sport to fulfill a boy' dreams.

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  36. Great post, thanks for sharing with the netz!

    @ericfickes

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  37. That is REALLY COOL!

    "tugging nervously on my dress..." Too Funny!

    And I love how you've written it up here... could totally be a case study for Joel Comm's Twitter studies... I'll be forwarding it along to him.

    So cool!

    Warmest,

    Jonathan Kraft
    Strive4impact.com
    CarrieAndJonathan.com
    IslandReefWork.com

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  38. Nice story. The largest connection people from Twitter it´s true. Real virtually. Hanx.

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  39. "You go talk to him" I said, while tugging nervously on my dress.
    "No, you go talk to him" Sean replied while flipping his hair.

    THE BEST PART!!!!!

    LMAO!

    so great guys!

    I am so glad you got to meet my HUBBY!

    ok would be hubby!

    he is fantastic!

    I can't believe more people didn't go over.

    i mean it was an open invitation people!

    how often do you get that from someone as fly as Shaqi Ill?

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  40. I'm sure you know this, but you are hilarious. Awesome story!

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  41. thank you so much for posting this

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  42. Crazy cool. I used to work across the street from that place!!

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  43. Thanks for posting. I was wondering if that was really Shaq on twitter.

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  44. That was a great story dude. It's tales like this that make you love the Internet.

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  45. Just another example...

    Of...

    How...

    Twitter is not bullshit.

    #payattention

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  46. That is an amazing story. I thrilled that he was interested in connecting and it really gives me more respect for Shaq.

    Very cool

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  47. Amazing how things like this can happen.

    Great storytelling!

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  48. Great story guys. I saw Shaq's posts real-time and was wondering who would be the lucky peeps to me the Diesel. The accompanying story is icing on the cake.

    So, out of curiosity, just how much traffic did your blog get as a result of this post?

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  49. What a great story, Shaq is the best!

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  50. GREAT stuff!!! The days of being unapproachable superstars are ending quickly thanks to athletes like Shaq! This stuff is great!

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  51. I think he totally wanted you to hang out with him.

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  52. That was a funny ass story guys! I actually read the tweets from Shaq and was wondering if there would be some people going there...Since I'm from Germany it was slightly difficult for me to get to 5 & Diner in time! ;)

    Awesome read!

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  53. Dude, that is such an awesome story. Great pics too!

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  54. Great post. The guy definitely knows his phones! http://tinyurl.com/bgugkv

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  55. dude that's awesome... have him add me https://twitter.com/jasondemers

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  56. I dig the story. Gotta follow shaq now... just gotta :-)

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  57. LOVE IT! I also follow Shaq on Twitter and wondered what all that was about. So neat! Love the pictures. :)

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  58. Hilarious. I'm so glad you shared this. The photos are great, too.

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  59. Shaq's too cool. Good face on the NBA.
    God story guys.

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  60. This is great! Thanks so much. Hope it will continue.

    you can get interesting post about web usability and technology on my Web Usability Blog.

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  61. That is sweet. Love shaq, love twitter, and love the connections is facilitates. What a cool story.

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  62. Nice! I must agree that I would have probably acted the exact same way. I wonder if this story will help convince some of my friends that twitter is worth trying out.

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  63. What an awesome story and a great guy.

    I too have a Shaq story. Just after the Lakers won the Championship, I was working at Tivo and was scheduled to go to his place to set it up. (They were brand new back then, he definitely likes his tech toys.)

    There were 'Thank you Shaq!' signs posted throughout his gated community. There were news crews and probably close to 100 people at his place doing interviews and stuff. He still took the time out to come over, say thanks and shake my hand. What a massive hand.

    He couldn't have been cooler. This just confirms what I saw. Too bad there aren't more like him.

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  64. Great story and glad to see there are decent celebs out there! Glad you guys (girls) got your pic!

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  65. That's awesome guys. I remember that tweet and thought it was pretty funny he would tweet something like that. Cool beans.

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  66. Realtor Susan- in Tracy, CAFebruary 21, 2009 at 4:02 PM

    Amazing stuff this land of social media. I guess even if you're Shaq it can be an amazing thing.

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  67. Oh My GoD!

    This is so cool, Shaq is a gadget dude!

    Where did you get that GPhone Shaq?

    "don't worry about it!"

    I so have to post this in my Blog!

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  68. Great, great story. nice post. Thanks. Keep twittering.

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  69. This story is awesome. Thanks for the laughs.

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  70. wow i read shaq's tweets that time, didn't know he actually saw some of his twitter followers at the diner. nice story!!! :P

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  71. what a bunch of little girls...jk haha. That was a great story.

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  72. Love this story! I saw those tweets the other night -- and if I'd been within driving distance, I'd have gone for dinner. Had no idea he was reacting to you guys. How funny!

    We had the tweetup (at a Suns game) where they surprised us after the game with a Shaq entrance. He was so low key and nice. Did some pictures with us, shook hands... we were all tweeple after all. I'm 5'10" and Shaq's the first man that ever made me look petite. hehe. I put some pics up on my Flickr stream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/stefsull/3296585358/) but I can assure everyone (as can you guys), @the_real_shaq IS real. (as is @the_real_nash and @jrich23) :)

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  73. Shaq's awesome. Loves hanging out with random people like that and saying random things:
    shaqquotes.com

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  74. Very cool, but i only use twitter a little

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  75. Thanks for sharing this awesome story. I think when all is done it may be the best thing that ever happened to Twitter.

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  76. That's an endearing and funny story. Big Diesel sounds like a cool guy.

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  77. I guess the NY Times story about Shaq using Twitter didn't get much play in PHX?

    The Real O’Neal Puts His Cyber Foot Down

    And yes he's a big-time gadget geek.
    Cool story, still. I'll have to remember this should I ever see him. Thanks for writing it up.

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  78. Did you just get 98 freakin' comments?!?!?!?!?!?

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  79. At some point in time, I guess I'll have to get around to posting a follow up to this. I've been trying to track where the story goes, and say thanks to all the people who posted a link.

    A few quick replies though:
    No, we're not posting the picture of the van. Sorry. That seems way not cool. Ask Shaq, and if he wants to he will. I'd edit out that part now probably, but the story has been reposted enough that I doubt it'd matter.

    Andy -
    Google Phone = T-Mobile G1. If I post a follow up, maybe I'll go in to more detail on this, but for the record, he didn't "Make fun of" my WinMo phone. He seemed fairly interested in it.

    Some people thought it was either fake, or he had some new crazy prototype phone running android because you can clearly see another phone in one of the pictures. The truth is that he had two phones with him. I assume the dude has pretty big pockets.

    A lot of people seem to have taken this as some huge endorsement for Android and the G1. It wouldn't surprise me if Shaq has a ton of phones and just had that one with him that day.

    Jason -
    Well, he isn't following me, so I doubt that'd work. I was secretly hoping for a response or something from him, but no such luck thus far.

    Stephanie -
    Cool picture, thanks. I figure Sean and I should probably attend the next tweetup. I really wasn't aware of the big Suns following on twitter until this experience. I think I'll be paying more attention now.

    I'm out for now. Thanks to everyone else for the comments. Glad to see so many people liked the story/pictures/etc.

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  80. I guess this kinda eclipses the Valentine's Day prizes....
    - Dave13

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  81. Can I just say that this made my day? Thanks for posting the story and pictures!

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  82. Great story...I just re-added Shaq to my tweet account...who knew?

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  83. Wow this is great! Thanks for sharing.

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  84. What an awesome story! That's fantastic.

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  85. That is awesome! I saw that tweet, and I figured that's what was happening - he was aware of people being nearby but hesitant to approach him. How nice of him, and what a cool use of technology. Ya, Twitter!

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  86. Great Story. Shaquille seems like a nice dude.

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  87. this is about the best story I've heard in a long time. Next time he's in the Bay Area, I might try to track him down, too!!

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  88. that is soo cute!
    but don't you know never to take a picture with the window behind you?
    man...shoulda had someone get in the opposite side of the booth and take the shot....
    still....cool story and well told!

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  89. wow... this is great! if it weren't for twitter...

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  90. After I saw his twit I jumped in the car to go meet up with him. I was sitting at the booth having a milkshake. I talked to him a little bit before you guys did and as he left he tapped me on my shoulder and shook my hand.

    He then walked out and then back in. He looked at me and said "I forgot my keys" ;]

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  91. this is so cool. wish i was there, too!! this is so awesome that you met with the Real Shaq. All thanks to #twitter or @twitter.

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  92. Amazing. Thank you.

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  93. An epic tale, and told well.
    BRAVO GENTS!

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  94. omg, how AWESOME was THAT, lol!!?? you lucky dogs, lol!

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  95. Dude that is f'in amazing thanks for posting this!

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  96. There used to be a fake Shaq on Tweeter. When he was told about it and advised to itake action, he decided to get on Tweeter himself instead. That is why he chose the name @THE_REAL_SHAQ. He only joined in November. In the beginning, he used to Tweet from every city he was talking about the weather etc. I followed him back them and after I checked the team’s schedule, I confirmed that he was the real thing,. That was before the Suns tweet-up. In fact, I won a bet when the Suns played at the Lakers and he missed the game for ‘personal’ reasons. Imy frine dwas saying that he did not want to go to Kobe ‘house’. I knew that his great-grandmother Cillar had died the day before as he tweeted about it. My friend, who is not a techno geek like us tweeple, was amazed to hear that he sent a text and 20,000 people got it. He now has 180,000 followers and gains 10,000 per day.

    The one in the picture is a Nokia E90, which he dropped in the toilet. He replaced it with a Blackberry Storm as well.

    He is an amazing dude and his tweets are hilarious. This morning he said that nobody can out insomniac him as he cannot sleep. Another interesting one from him a few days after your encounter was:

    “I'm at the fashion sq mall, any1 touches me gets 2 tickets, tag me and say yur twit u hv 20 min”

    Anyhow, I saw those messages that day and was wondwering what was going on. Your story telling skills are hilarious! :)

    Follow me @MichaelNic

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  97. That is awesome, he seems like a real down to earth guy. His tweets are fun to read and I am amazed how much he @ replies to tweeters.

    I'm also amazed how open he seems to just tell people where to find him.

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  98. i mean a lot of people in the world has the sam e exact name that really doesnt mean that that kid was the real shaq he is younga than shaq so how can you even call him the real shaq. you know wat i mean. but i thought it was cool to meet shaq the lil "shaq" must of been real happy.

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  99. "We got back to the office, and saw that Shaq's last twitter was basically calling us a bunch of panzies:

    To all twitterers , if u c me n public come say hi, we r not the same we r from twitteronia, we connect."


    I don't get it. How does Shaq's comment above equate to him calling you pansies? All it sounds like he was saying was that Twitter users are different than regular people in the way that those who use Twitter like to connect with one another.

    Cool story... Shaq sounds like a great guy. Oh, one word of advice... please don't write about yourselves as teenage girls. All that does is make you sound like a couple of wusses.

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  100. Anonymous,

    A few people have asked me how that translates to him calling us pansies. I guess it's a bit of a leap, but at the time I felt he was a bit annoyed that we took so long to come over there and talk to him since we were obviously there just to see him. I took it to mean, "Don't be a wus. Just say hi"

    As far as writing about myself like a teenage girl, you got your style, I got mine. This blog is 200 entries of me being a wus. That's kind of the shtick.

    Thanks for reading.

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  101. I really thought that was extremely cool too meet a star who is very good at basketball and famous. To have lunch with any star is awesome, they are just like as normal people, I don’t think that is wrong. It should be like that If you want to meet star have lunch with them it should be no big deal.

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  102. Love it - great story!

    Being a huge basketball fan (altho weaned on the '80's CELTICS teams) I had a similar experience sans Twitter. Sat behind John Havlicek on a business flight yrs ago and felt just like you describe. Thank you!

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  103. Ah! well nicely put.

    Whats with all this Twitting? I'd like to know.

    Extremely boring graphical user interface(GUI) leads to such excellent storytelling exhibition.

    I'd still give kudos to the Twitter. Ugh! =\

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  104. its very great .. thnks for your sharing...

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  105. amazing story, loved the part about the tipping. just silly!

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  106. waiter earns alot.
    shaq is no bigger that anyone else,so salad is available again

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  107. He sounds like a nice guy. Being English, I know nothing about US sportspeople, but this guy sounds very sweet:-)

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  108. loved the post. especially since i'm a huge twitter buff. keep it up! cheers! :)

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  109. Thank you for this post, This information is very useful to me.
    Your blog is very nice .I am waiting for your next post.
    Best of luck !

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  110. so you told him it was you at the diner?

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  111. Thats a very interesting article. Plants tweeting for water to babies twittering from their mother's womb the micro blogging site has many a uses. Airlines use Twitter to let customers know about new routes and fare discount and more..

    Thanks,
    Amanda

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  112. Hello all twitter followers. How are you all ? Anyway am new in that website and the post is really awesome.

    Making money with Twitter

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  113. I'm hoping that if I send Shaq an invite to our Gilbert league bball game via direct message on Twitter, that he'll show up ... it's worth a shot.

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  114. Although I've been a pretty harsh critic of Twitter on my blog... using it to meet Shaq almost redeems it.

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  115. What an awesome story and thanks for sharing! Twitter ROCKS!
    twitter train

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  116. I love twitter too, i hope to have many followers some day as well

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