You can teach an old dog new tricks.

Or, in my case, at least one new trick.

Twitter.

After a lot of encouragement from my sports department co-workers, I’ve started a Twitter account.

I still have to learn to use it but I don’t expect that will be a problem.

It seems pretty straightforward.

I’m studying the Twitter-verse; its glossary, hashtags, how to post and follow — all the things I’ll need to be able to navigate Twitter successfully.

It does give us another way to make a connection with you  our community  and it’s an instant communication.

Just type your message in, hit “Tweet” and it is good to go.

You don’t have to wait for the morning paper.

You don’t have to search our Santa Maria Times website.

I think our Internet wizard, Jason Anderson, has even set it up so that my followers will get Tweets directly to their cell phones.

Jason is even adding a Tweet tag that will soon appear on the back end of my print and Internet stories.

I’ll be able to Tweet out scores right after games end, give brief story highlights and let you know what’s coming up in print or online.

However, Twitter’s 140 character limit might prove challenging.

This brief note is actually 10 times the limit.

The stories I write for the Lee Central Coast Newspapers typically have well over 4,000 characters, if you include spaces, which Twitter does.

But it will allow me to send you scores, story highlights and random thoughts as long as I don’t get overly verbose — which, those of you who know me, I can easily do.

Since I've just signed up, I didn't have any followers.

You could be the first.

So look me up.

You can find me at @SMTSidelines.

And let the Tweeting begin.

Elliott Stern is the Sports Editor for the Santa Maria Times. If you have a story idea or photos that you would like to share, you can email him or connect with him on Twitter @SMTSidelines

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Senior Sports Reporter