Thursday, December 10, 2009

We are Family

Not sure you are aware of it, but you are part of an on-line social network. On Line Social networking is the buzz of marketing these days. You are a member of an On Line social network if you frequent a blog, receive a tweet or are a facebook buddy. Anything where you share ideas thoughts or greetings on – line with a set of people who in some cases you may have never met in person but only know on – line.

Companies, brands and entertainment entities are particularly interested in social networks as they have become an incredibly fast way to share and disseminate word of mouth information. In the old days your thoughts on a subject may only reach a small number of people as you had chance to make phone calls, write letters and have casual conversations. News traveled slow. Now word of mouth and the sharing of opinions is automated and instant. Thousands of people can hear the news within a few seconds, hundreds of thousands within minutes and millions by the hour. On top of this since news is arriving to you from a familiar source, you are more likely to trust or take at face value the information you receive. No wonder businesses and companies want to not only track and as best they can manage the information on social networks, they also want to create ripples within them. They are an inexpensive form of advertising with a built in credibility factor.

IndyCar leads the way in On-line Social networking when compared to other forms of motor sports in this country. A few months ago, as part of a blog post started but never finished, I pulled some numbers from twitter and noted that Tony Kanaan, Helio and Danica had a larger twitter audience than the entire driver field of nascar combined. Probably is not that way today but we got there first. In the long term this network is an asset the league and teams can leverage with sponsors and those who are interested in sponsoring our pastime.

One of the things that makes us special is the extent to which we are supportive of one another. When a new blogger wants to join the fray, if he asks for help from those already there, chances are he receives it. As a result, our sport is not characterized by a single massive blog or two that drown out the others. We have a wide variety of voices to dial into. From Serious, to historically educational to hysterical IndyCar blogs cover the spectrum.

One of the first to enter the space here is the blog. Not only was it one of the first but its editor, Jeff Ianucci has been an advocate for others to join him in the hobby and endeavor. I owe 7 out of my 10 readers to Jeff’s willingness to allow his platform to be a portal to my message. Likewise, if one of my strange humorous posts strikes him as funny he’ll mention it in one of his posts.

This attitude of the more the merrier, the desire to want to include and hear from everyone makes me think that we are more than just and On- line social network. In a sense we are family. Yesterday I saw a tweet go out from Jeff at MynameisIRL. He was apologizing for his recent inactivity. He then mentioned that his wife had been involved in an accident of some sort and had fractured her skull and was hospitalized as a result. If you have a moment, send Jeff a Direct Tweet, an e-mail or leave a comment on his blog letting him know that he and his wife are on your thoughts and in your prayers. If you are attending the winter tweet up this weekend, take a moment to think of Jeff and let someone else know. Most of all let him know that his family is concerned for him.

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