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One-stop shopping for Twittering athletes

This morning, I know that Lance Armstrong was planning to bike seven miles, Morgan Pressel was at the course before sunrise, Ron Zook had a radio appearance and Shawne Merriman went to bed "with a sour face." I know this because of Twitter, or more specifically, because of AthleteTweets.com.

AthleteTweets.com is a new aggregator site that collects Twitter commentary from athletes and coaches, everyone from Michael Phelps to Shaq. It's easy to follow because you don't have to be a Twitter member to read the feeds. On a single screen, you get the latest from Serena Williams, Steve Nash and Terrell Owens.

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The founder, David Katz, is not only a veteran of Yahoo! and CBS, plus the founder of SportsFanLive.com, but he's also a native of the Baltimore area (his first internship was in the office of Ron Shapiro). He took some time to explain his new site and opine on the expanding Twitter universe of athletes.

Question: Seems like you're on to something with this site. Where'd the idea come from? Did you just get tired of hopping around to read tweets from your favorite athletes?


Question: So much of what we know about athletes and Twitter is anecdotal. Can you quantify it a bit? How many athletes are regular Twitter users? Who are the most prolific and the most interesting?

Question: I'm sure you've been monitoring athletes' Twitter habits awhile now. Do you have a top-5 list of memorable tweets?

Question: You graduated from Pikesville. Are you an Orioles and Ravens fan? Is that why the AthleteTweets.com logo looks familiar?

Question: OK, you're local. Why isn't @peter_angelos included?

Question: Is it difficult distinguishing the fake from the real?

Question: Are Bmore athletes well-represented on Twitter? Donte Greene doesn't seem too bad. How bright is his future on Twitter, ya think?

Katz: We definitely need more Bmore athletes on Twitter. Michael Phelps has gotten a lot more active lately. As has Donte Green. A lot more people know about Donte now that he is using Twitter. Personally, I'm waiting for @BRob or @Markakis to get on this.

Question: It strikes me as a bit meta. I mean, We've heard for awhile that traditional media was losing relevance because athletes could skip over main-streamers and connect with their fans directly. But your slogan -- Covering Athletes Covering Themselves -- leads me to think otherwise. Is my hope misplaced or do you notice a trend in which athletes are successfully able to bypass traditional media?

Question: What kind of trending have you noticed? Do athletes start with Twitter and gain momentum? Or do most of them lose interest quickly?

Question: How permanent of a medium do you think this is? Passing fad or six months from now will every team be represented in some fashion?

Question: You have 140 characters. Give me the athlete tweet you most want to see.

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