Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tweeting Racing

by Tammy

Last Friday I posted on the Poisoned Pen Press blog (which I share with 27 other authors) about two amazing social media byproducts of the Daytona 500 last week. The first was the speed with which Internet memes (mostly jokes) were propagated through Facebook and Twitter. The second was the revelation of Brad Keselowski tweeting from his car (and standing on the track) during the two-hour red flag. I won't repeat that discussion here (read it, if you're interested), except to repost my favorite Facebook joke image. But I have a few more thoughts on the whole Twitter thing.

First interesting point: Keselowski had a really good reason for having his phone with him. He'd been in a couple big wrecks in the last year, and in the second one, he had his phone with him, so he could text his parents on the way to the hospital to tell them, "ignore that fiery wreck on the television, I'm OK" or similar. And since he had the phone with him in case of emergency, well, why not entertain himself with it during a two-hour stoppage.

Second interesting point: how everyone in the racing world is freaking out about him using Twitter. ("Freaking out" = making a big deal of.) Loads and loads of people in the racing world have Twitter feeds, everyone from teams to drivers to television announcers. Maybe there are fewer in NASCAR? I don't really know. I do know that a bunch of IndyCar drivers are really, really active on it. But however much it was being used before Keselowski's "tweet heard round the world," suddenly the NASCAR world has woken up to the power Twitter has to send out a message. There are 120,000 more Twitter accounts (meaning people) who will now see what Brad Keselowski has to say because he gained that many followers last Monday night ... scratch that. I just checked his follower number, and if I remember correctly, he's now got about 170,000 more followers than he had at 7 p.m. last Monday.

I expect to see drivers and teams being a lot more active on Twitter after this. Which leads me to...

Third interesting point: Kevin Harvick saying he was going to keep his phone with him and load up on apps that might help him race, all in order to get the carrying of a cell phone in the car outlawed. So he doesn't have to keep up.

Harvick, you're sounding grouchy. No one's saying you have to keep up. The kids are always going to be more on top of new technology ... live with it.

Are any of you on Twitter, and do you follow the racing world? Who do you like? And do you think it'll get more popular now?

P.S. Follow me if you're there, and I'll follow you back: @tkaehler

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