Celebrities on Twitter, they're just like us! Shaqille O'Neal, the Phoenix Suns basketball player, has instructed Twitter users that as "citizens of Twitteronia," they should feel free to bother him in public anytime.
Phoenix blogger Jesse Bearden was debating with a friend whether Shaq's "Real Shaq" Twitter account was real. When they saw Shaq post an update that he was headed to the 5 & Diner, they drove off to see if the Real Shaq was there. He was. Bearden and his friend hesitated before approaching him. Then Shaq tweeted that he sensed Twitterers in his midst. They said hello, took photos, and compared cell phones. (Shaq has a Googlephone.)
And then the Real Shaq posted a chiding note to Twitter:
To all twitterers , if u c me n public come say hi, we r not the same we r from twitteronia, we connect
Ah, Twitteronia, that strange land where dwell the Twitterati, speaking their own twange twongue. With 6 million users, how long will this feeling of a private club remain? And will Shaq come to regret his invite when true stalkers discover how easy it is to register for an account, and he discovers that real life doesn't have a "block" feature like Twitter does?