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A SWAT for getting all a-Twitter about nothing

Submitted by on Thursday, 1 March 2012 No Comment

I know the folks who are all verklempt because NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski was tweeting Monday night while the Daytona 500 was red-flagged.

There the same ones who were wringing their hands once upon a time when a bunch of us kept a Nerf arsenal at our desks. Guns could encourage workplace violence, they tsk tsked.

Not really, any more than Keselowski was encouraging driving and texting.

Red-flagged. That means the race was stopped – for two hours in this case. Engines were off.  While crews worked to clear the track, drivers were out of their cars, milling around like it was a cocktail party . Except Keselowski turned in into a tweetup.

He took pictures. He answered question – where do you keep your phone, how much battery do you have left. He gained 100,000 followers in an hour.

He also made that clear later this week that he has no plans to tweet at 200 mph.  “When the gloves r on, the car is running and my phone is off.”

When his phone was on he did what any other tech-savvy 20something (and isn’t that most of them) would do.

And for his efforts, NASCAR gave at least lip service to considering fining him. I know where the people opposed to office Nerfs work now.

Like the Nerf police, the Twitter luddites had a million reasons to be appalled that this was happening during a race.

Keselowski’s phone might fly loose during a crash and injure him – assuming the phone could jump out of his fire suit and pierce his helmet. A phone in the car might give a driver a technical advantage -  assuming the phone, again, managed to work itself out of Keselowski’s pocket.

It all sounds so familiar. There are always reasons to not try something new, especially where technology is concerned. In the case of Twitter and NASCAR, though, there are 224,025 reasons for drivers to keep doing this.

That’s how many followers Keselowski has now. That’s 50,000 more than five-time champion Jimmie Johnson. It’s still 270,000 less than driver Juan Pablo Montoya, but he was a little too busy surviving Monday’s crash to tweet.

Every major sports league should look at the Keselowski case study and encourage players to get on board. A lot already do, but they’re operating under extreme restrictions the likes of which would have prevented them from posting during a delay like Monday’s.

That’s too bad. Leagues and luddites should Stop Wasting America’s Time with phony reasons to not use modern technology and modern media. They’re missing out on wonderful opportunities to draw fans closer in ways many had never imagined until Keselowski pulled out his phone Monday night.

Copyright 2012 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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