Last month, at a panel discussion on “New and Social Media in Racing,” Equidaily’s Seth Merrow said that Twitter and Facebook “have F-A-D written all over them.”
I don’t think so, and in the last month and a half since his comments the racing-related traffic on Twitter has exploded by my estimates. But this pales in comparison to the viral growth of Twitter in other areas. Seemingly always the backmarker, racing needs to pick up the pace if it doesn’t want to finish up the track here, too. The racing news media, specifically the print journalists, is well behind the curve on Twitter and other social media; many racing bloggers, in contrast, are swarming all over the blue bird. The print guys, of course, are down in numbers as a result of the slow death of paper, and you’d think some of them would be looking at new media as an escape hatch down the road, but, No, with the exception of Joe Drape, Claire Novak, Ed DeRosa and a few others they are nowhere to be found at 140 characters or less. Some, like Steve Haskin, are visible on Facebook and have shown a willingness to try Twitter. In Steve’s case, I know so ’cause I’ve been trying to lure him in. “Haven’t done it yet,” he said on FB the other day. “I’m bad with procrastination.” Steve, I’m the King of Procrastination, but I’m there, and I like it, and you’re missing out on another source of news flow.
As is the news media, in general. Mr. Merrow’s Equidaily was once at the cutting edge as a news aggregator, plucking links from all over the internet into one place — a revolutionary idea in its time. However he — and fellow aggregator Paulick Report, not much on Twitter, either — is already showing his age by sitting back like an old fogey and frowning on the “fads” of the whippersnappers.