From 1 To 100,000 Tweets: The Empire Of The Kop Story

By Antoine Zammit

“My new phone has a longer battery life, that should save me the frustration I felt last July at Fenway Park when it suddenly shut down and isolated me from the Twitter universe. I was surrounded by Reds watching Liverpool play Roma, however I couldn’t Tweet about the experience to my followers around the world. On top of that, I missed out on James Bond himself (Daniel Craig) who was at the game. Uggh! I could have gotten 007’s autograph!” — Antoine Zammit, July 25th 2012, Fenway Park

I have now been Tweeting for over four years, as I approach my 100,000th Tweet I can take a few minutes to reflect on what and how it all happened. Back in October, 2008, I would have never dreamed of having such a strong Twitter following, all I was looking for was some banter and talk about my beloved club, Liverpool.

I emigrated to the United States in 1992 and as many of you who were Stateside during the early 1990’s know, it was pretty much the dark ages for soccer fans here. Fox Soccer or Gol TV did not exist. Back then, all we got was a couple of square inches in the Sunday paper which just showed the latest results. There wasn’t even a radio stream to listen to.

That began to change 10-15 years ago. With the advent of the Internet and the  availability of soccer channels on cable, we did get finally get to watch games. It started with one game a week and now today, we get nearly every single EPL game live via Fox Soccer and ESPN.  The 3PM GMT (10AM EST) games on Saturdays are not shown on live TV in the United Kingdom, but they are all shown live here in the USA. This is when I moved to social media and this was the catalyst for the Empire of the Kop’s popularity.

In 2008 I started posting highlights of Liverpool games to Facebook and I had befriended many Reds who were mostly from Liverpool too. I got excellent feedback from them on this. Due to the limitations of Facebook, I discovered Twitter and switched my focus to that platform. At that time no one was Live Tweeting games and at first it seemed strange to some onlookers. However many other football related sites, and even UK newspapers, watched closely at what I was doing. In some cases they sent me emails and even called me to ask me for tips.

The popularity of my Live Tweets increased, and in March 2009 I launched the website and blog, www.EmpireOfTheKop.com In the blog I allow fans from all around the world to express themselves and give ordinary fans a platform to reach thousands of fellow Reds. I have now tweeted nearly 100,000 times and since March 2009, I have covered nearly every LFC game.

Nowadays I have to plan my life and schedule around being able to live-tweet the games which makes it difficult for me to watch the games in a pub or other public venue. I need it to be quiet when I am tweeting so the best place for me to watch and tweet the games is at home. The only exception to this rule is if I am physically at a Liverpool game.

Feel free to follow me on @EmpireOfTheKop

YNWA

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