Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tweet That

Last night was the first Daytona 500 I've ever watched without actually seeing a single lap. It wasn't that hard considering there was a 60 minute red flag after JP hit a jet dryer. Yep. You read that right. We call him JP cuz that's a good southern boy name.

Anyway, during the red flag DTC re-tweeted a tweet from its driver, Brad K. That set off a firestorm of tweets @ and about Brad K. He was the only one tweeting and those of us at home were dying to know what the drivers were talking about. Turns out they were talking about us tweeting about them. Suddenly we were all back in middle school.

The most interesting part of the #Daytona500 tweetathon was that NASCAR has long been the most fan-participative professional sport out there. Anyone can field a team. Show up with a car that's fast enough to make the line up and you can race. There is no combine, no draft, no agents or NCAA violations to muck around with. It's all about the car. Daytona usually gets the most random entries because showing there can earn sponsor participation. Sponsors are needed to foot the bill because it's really, really expensive to compete.

Despite its rather permissive open-compete structure, NASCAR is also the sport where inter-team communication is conducted over UHF radio. Seriously. Every week thousands of fans show up with their gigantic ear muffs and scan the air traffic to catch phrases and commands from the guys in the cars. Even the fan viewer device that brings the TV broadcast into a fan's lap on a 6 inch screen hasn't replaced radio frequency scanners. #oldschool

It shouldn't surprise anyone that @FOXsports announced the @keselowski picture tweet that set off the re-tweet firestorm that earned Brad K (reportedly) 110k followers in about 30 minutes. FOX isn't slow to adopt new technology even if its desktop reporters seem a few paces behind. During Sunday's rain-out broadcast new desk jockey and old racer Michael Waltrip declared Jamie McMurry's "twits" to be rather entertaining. #getwiththelingo

That brings us back to DTC. What made the tweetathon extra awesome for me and Cuk, who doesn't pretend to know what all the twitter is about (pun intended), was that it was DTC that brought us into the loop. When we see the DTC car we feel like a member of the family is out there, but to read the conversation on Twitter we felt like our family was chatting across all those miles and those thousands of households. Well done, DTC.

If you're wondering about all the # (hash marks) and @ before different words here, get yourself a Twitter account and see what all the buzz is about. It's not for everyone and shouldn't be abused, but it is changing the conversation. If the lotto's motto is "you can't win if you don't play," Twitter's might be "if you don't tweet, you don't know."

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