“How to Easily follow RAAM and RAW 2010 with Real Time Information from Twitter and What the Hashtag.”
By Lark Birdsong
RAAM, 2008 Competitor
RAW, 2010 Chief Crew
What the Heck is Twitter and What the Hashtag?
Here is a way to follow RAAM and RAW from people who are “tweeting” over the days leading up to RAAM and RAW, the 12 days of competition, and post race information as it happens. So what is Twitter? In common sense language, Twitter is a website on the internet where people can put in up to 140 characters of information and it is also a place where people can read this information, usually within a few seconds after the person “tweeted” the information. Per Twitter, “Twitter is a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now.”
Why in the world would I want to do this?
Because the information can be from individuals who have knowledge of the race as it is occurring. For example, I will be tweeting about the men’s and women’s RAAM solo race and all the RAW competitors I see, along with tweets about the Denver Spokes, since I am chief crew for this wonderful team.
If you are interested how Jure Robic or Amy Xu is doing, I might have seen them and tweeted about their progress. RAW teams and RAW individual solo competitors will be swirling around us and I will tweet about them when I can. Anyone tweeting can provide information about accidents, competitions, weather, wonderful moments, etc. Pictures can also be added to tweets and you could even see pictures of the competition as well.
As with any information you have to determine whether it is quality information. So yes sometimes it might not be accurate or maybe folks might be trying to throw off a competitor by providing a false location. Twitter is one piece of information and if it is really important to the competitor’s race strategy, she/he would have to verify information from multiple sources of information.
Yet information from Twitter can be very useful. Think of how it would be to see a photo of someone you are following through a tweet or hear that they made it through a nasty piece of weather or were okay after a crash on the bike. These are just a few of the examples of information that could be found on Twitter. If I were coming upon an accident that might affect racers behind us I could tweet about it and many others could know about the accident much sooner than their arrival at the accident scene. In this instance I would also call the race officials, yet the public distribution of the information instantly through Twitter has the ability to get to many more racers and crew much quicker. Many big companies are using Twitter to their advantage and there are reasons why. So let’s start tweeting and reading all the information about this wonderful race called Race Across America (http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/ ) and Race Across the West (http://www.raceacrossthewest.org/) by those that are tweeting on the race.
Okay I am convinced so how do I do it?
Here is a step by step manual to follow this great race and graphic examples. You can only follow people who tweet or you can tweet, you don't have to do both.
Do this for people who Tweet; please add #raam2010 to all their Tweets for RAAM/RAW• Add this at the end of every tweet, #raam2010; leave a space before the #.
• Below is an example of a tweet I just posted. I use HootSuite (http://hootsuite.com/) to put my information in or “tweet from” on my iPhone and my Twitter name is lebird (http://twitter.com/lebird). I will be tweeting before and during the race.
• Denver Spokes compete in RAW 2010. Celeste Callahan at 68 has done 3 RAAMs and soon 1 RAW http://ht.ly/1LxjI #raam2010
• We can see all the tweets that use #raam2010 on What the Hashtag.
Do this for people who only want to read RAAM and RAW
information for 2010; use What the Hashtag?! website
• Go to the website What the Hashtag?! (http://wthashtag.com/Main_Page)
• Type in raam2010 in the white search box with a # sign to the left and below What the hashtag?! blue icon. Here is an example of how it might look.
• Go to the lower half of the webpage and you see the most recent information that people have tweeted about regarding RAAM and RAW. See this example.
• If you want a transcript of more tweets click on the transcript tab that is just above the most recent tweets and chose the date range you want to have a transcript from. I chose May 13, 2010 through May 15, 2010 and an example is listed below.
Wrap Up- It is easy so go ahead and try it, there is information waiting for you to read
1. It is easy to get all the RAAM and RAW tweets in one place for people to read if, people tweeting use #raam2010 in all their tweets. (doesn’t matter if capitalized or not).
2. Individuals wanting to read these tweets go to What the Hashtag?! And type in raam2010 in the search box by
the # (http://wthashtag.com/Main_Page).
3. People wanting a transcript of more tweets that they see click on the transcript tab in What the Hashtag?! and put in the date range you want to read.
4. You can of course do both, tweet and read the other tweets.
Best wishes to all for a safe and fun race. See you soon.