This post is a bit of a split for this blog. It's still about F1 but also about social media, the experiences i've had with it and why you should check out Twitter if you have not already got an account on it. For me the first time i paid any attention to the fast growing website was when i noticed a link for it on the Autosport website for one of their main journalists Jon Noble. I bookmarked his particular page and checked it every so often. Then i picked up on the likes of Jake Humphrey and Lee McKenzie from the BBC team and eventually i was checking about 10 different pages. Finally in October 2009 i made the plunge and got an account. Once you have this you can follow different accounts and then any of their updates (tweets) appear on your homepage with the most recent at the top. For me it was great, i actually liked following the journalist more than the drivers! Lots of news and info and little snippets from the paddock. For the first 6 months though i only sent about 20 tweets myself. So barely anything, i do remember sending one when Jenson Button won the title!
6 months later and i've taken this notion of making a F1 blog. You know the deal, you discover this new platform and have all these big idea and plans on how you can become this really popular site with F1 analysis! As if that would ever happen! So how does this tie in with Twitter? Well i didn't want my blog just to be rehashing news stories. I had seen other sites with a sidebar of tweets so thought if i tweeted the latest news i could have it appear on the blog but it wouldn't be the dominant feature. So that's how it all began. I remember tweeting throughout the Monaco weekend in 2010 and getting up to 10 followers and thinking how great that was (Yes i was that sad) I seem to remember that there was a trending topic for the race and constantly using it and i kept doing that for a few races which i realise was a bit of overkill so to any of my early followers i apologise! If you are new to Twitter it is handy to use the search function as you can pick up on things about somebody and many people will use the hashtag #F1 in their tweets.
The other thing that happened at this time was i started to discover other fans on Twitter. I was only following a few dozen people and they were all drivers, teams or journalists. However there are so many people on Twitter who share the same passion for F1 that i do. It really is a great community and i just enjoy it so much. Whilst i had this great buzz for blogging to begin with it lessened (I still enjoy it) but i really got into Twitter. At first i was hoping to pick up followers simply because in my mind that meant more traffic to the blog but i soon realised that it wasn't all about numbers or stats but simply enjoying having others to talk to who shared my interest for the sport. I don't actually have that many friends into F1 so it's nice to go into the F1 'bubble' of Twitter and tweet all about it!
Anyone that follows me knows i love to tweet about the latest news/info. I'm just a simple fan but always had a bit of a yearning for journalism so i think that's why i'm into that sort of thing. Having finished University last year, i've sometimes had a bit of time on my hands and it's been interesting to learn how information gets out into the public domain. I think i've also realised that it is important to respect the journalist/websites who are reporting an exclusive story. I would have tweeted any story going about to begin with but i've think it is important to credit a site/person if they have put the story out there. Some Twitter accounts will just take a journalists words and rehash them 5 minutes later and really that isn't the way to do it. Of course some information can come out through press releases or public sources and this is readily available so i think there is nothing wrong with sharing that (once you track the source down!) because it is out in the public domain. I decided for this season to do a round-up tweet of the news like some websites do once every day. So in theory i'm breaking my own guidelines in doing that but in general i try and be fair to who has broke a story. I don't do it for any glory. Sure it's nice to get some new followers or get a big response to something you say, there's no denying that. But just doing anything to try to get a higher number is not what i want to chase, i tweet about F1 because i genuinely enjoy doing it and searching for items of interest and if that can be of some use to folks then that is nice.
So the last year has been a pleasure. Got to chat with so many different people. It is pretty cool when you tweet about something and you have people from all corners of the world giving you your opinion! I've made plenty of mistakes trying to think i was right about something or got mixed but i hope anyone who has chatted to me just sees me as the enthusiastic fan i am. I've probably chatted less in recent times to folks as time becomes less available but i still really enjoy it and it is always exciting when a Grand Prix weekend arrives and the timelines and lists get busier and busier. I think Twitter was the main source of being entertained during the 2 hour break in Canada this season!
If you're not on Twitter i would really encourage you to give it a go, it really is great for keeping up with F1. If you want to find some people to follow then check out Sidepodcast or F1Fanatic who have great lists with plenty of options. Worth a look, it is free and you don't have to stick with it if you don't want to! Right this ramble is over, might not be the most interesting post but i just wanted to share my experience of it because it has become such a part of how i follow F1.