Twitter is Your Friend!

By Chris Dawahare

When I was first introduced to Twitter several months ago, my initial reaction was "Yawn". After testing the waters for about two weeks, my seconday reaction was an even bigger yawn. Then, just as I was about to put a nail in the Twitter coffin, I discovered Tweet Deck (more on Tweet Deck a little later). I can't take credit for finding Tweet Deck; I'll give those honors to two of our technology leaders: Luther Andal and Courtney Bearse. They forced me to download and install the software, and after two days of using it, I was hooked. I officially became a Twitter geek.

So, what is Twitter and why should you care? According to Tweeternet.com, Twitter can be defined as:

Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that allows you answer the question, "What are you doing?" by sending short text messages 140 characters in length, called "tweets", to your friends, or "followers."

The short format of the tweet is a defining characteristic of the service, allowing informal collaboration and quick information sharing that provides relief from rising email and IM fatigue. Twittering is also a less gated method of communication: you can share information with people that you wouldn't normally exchange email or IM messages with, opening up your circle of contacts to an ever-growing community of like-minded people.

Your tweets are displayed on your profile page and on the home page of each of your followers.

 

If you cut through all of the technical jargon, Twitter can basically be defined as a platform for easily gathering and disseminating information. In my experience, Twitter can be a viable resource for every publisher, blogger, or online news outlet. It is a great way for news services to get their information out to the people.

Individuals who are just using Twitter to post updates on their personal lives will eventually go away. In my opinion, Twitter has no future in that regard. However, more and more people are using Twitter to receive the news and information that interests them, and then sharing that information with the rest of their peers. This the way Twitter is supposed to be used, and it's also the reason you should care about it.

At the Blood-Horse, we currently offer a variety of Twitter feeds that may be of interest to Thoroughbred enthusiasts:

www.twitter.com/BloodHorse - Stay up-to-date on all the latest Thoroughbred news.

www.twitter.com/BH_RaceResults - Receive real-time domestic results for maiden, allowance, and stakes races.

www.twitter.com/BH_SaleUpdates - Receive real-time sales updates from Online Editor Ron Mitchell and other TBH staff members.

www.twitter.com/JasonShandler - Blood-Horse Staff Writer Jason Shandler talks racing.

www.twitter.com/lordatwar - The Blood-Horse's Tom Hall keeps you updated on the latest International happenings, including results from major stakes.

www.twitter.com/BH_MaidenWatch - The Maiden Watch blog follows the offspring of selected 1st-crop sires.

www.twitter.com/BH_AdamsTurf - See the industry from the eyes of Adam Spradling, an industry newbie.


If you are following one of the feeds listed above, you can be notified immediately every time a story is posted on BloodHorse.com, a race result is available, or a new sale topper is announced. Twitter allows you to access this content via your desktop, text message, email, or mobile device. Accessing the news and information that you're interested in has never been this convenient.

You can choose to follow as many people on Twitter as you would like, which allows you to aggregate all of your news sources into a single platform.

As mentioned earlier, there are a variety of 3rd party solutions that make sending and receiving tweets a piece of cake. Here are a few of the most popular:

Tweet Deck - Available for your desktop or iPhone

Seesmic  - Available for your desktop

Twhirl - Available for your desktop

Twitter Berry - For Blackberry users


Okay students, this concludes your lesson for today. Unfortunately, you have a homework assignment. You need to give Twitter a try for at least three weeks, and you must follow these three simple instructions:

Step 1: Create a Twitter account. Sign-up at http://www.twitter.com

Step 2: Log-in to Twitter using your username and password. Once you are logged in, you can start selecting people that you want to follow. Since the search function in Twitter is not very user-friendly, I recommend the following -

Copy and paste each of these urls into your browser window and click "Follow" after each page loads.

http://twitter.com/BloodHorse

http://twitter.com/BH_RaceResults (only add this if you are very interested in race results!)

www.twitter.com/lordatwar

http://twitter.com/racingpost

http://twitter.com/equineline

http://twitter.com/BH_MaidenWatch

http://twitter.com/joedrape

http://twitter.com/PedigreeReports

http://twitter.com/TBABlogs

http://twitter.com/NTRA


Step 3:
Go to http://www.tweetdeck.com/ or one of the other third party applications mentioned earlier and download their free software. Once the program has installed and launched, it should ask for your Twitter username and password. Enter your information and enjoy the ride.

Just give it two weeks. Who knows, you may turn into a Twitter geek yourself.

11 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Kate

I completely support this! Twitter is how I learned the results of this years triple crown all the way from Japan, while at the racetrack. I accessed it thought my Japanese phone and was able to follow the action from the paddock to the winners circle.

I highly recommend it for any racing fan who wants to stay up to the minute on the latest racing news!

And of course for the TBA Blogs! :)

http://www.keiblog.net/

23 Jul 2009 8:18 PM
MtBFan (STILL)

I have a horse racing Twitter account which links about 99.97% from this site. I have occasional opinion and questions. It started out as a Triple Crown blog, after the KYD. twitter.com/tctwitstexas

23 Jul 2009 9:12 PM
aspradling

For you artsy fans, Twitter offers some customization options.

24 Jul 2009 11:43 AM
Wowhorse

I love Twitter for all the news and updates I get about the horse racing industry. Some sites are better about up-to-the-minute news and will inform on not only race results, but what happened to a horse that didn't finish a race, etc. There are also jockeys and even (though yes, it can be a little silly) horses on Twitter, like Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Bird. Some of the twitterers for race tracks will give you inside scoops on how the surfaces are playing, too, which is handy for the bettors! I love Twitter. I don't love Twitter Berry for my BlackBerry, though. I prefer the real-time on the Internet I can access through my phone.

27 Jul 2009 9:57 PM
Soldier Course

What are the advantages of having Tweet Deck, over just using the site twitter.com to tweet?

27 Jul 2009 10:34 PM
cdawahare@bloodhorse.com

Soldier Course,

Tweet Deck and other third party solutions provide you with more robust options. It's much easier to "retweet" something via TweetDeck than Twitter.com. You can also set up custom search columns that allow you to see real-time tweets on any topic that interests you. For example, let's say your an avid fan of Rachel Alexandra. You could create a search column using the term "Rachel Alexandra", and by doing this, you would be notified every time someone (whether or not you are following them or not) posts something with her name in the text. It's also a great way to see  if any of your posts are being re-tweeted or commented on.

28 Jul 2009 8:30 AM
Soldier Course

Thank you. I joined Twitter and will get familiar with the basics, and then install TweetDeck. Good article about Twitter in a recent Newsweek issue.

28 Jul 2009 9:22 AM
Soldier Course

Been on Twitter now for several days. So far, I'm not overwhelmed but plan to stick with it for a while longer.

Do you have to Retweet a Tweet that contains information that is generally known in a field, or can you just write your own Tweet about it? For example, several racing sources reported Backtalk's win in the Sanford Stakes. Does that info have to be shared as a Retweet? And why doesn't Twitter have a way to Retweet with one click, like the Reply click?

Some of this "protocol" is a bit tedious, and may find me unsubscribing eventually. Also, now someone has been sued for $50K for a Tweet.

31 Jul 2009 10:32 PM
Soldier Course

Chris:

If I had not read this article, I would not have signed up on Twitter, at least not for a while. I am glad that I did now. I am learning more about its potential. Thank you.

03 Aug 2009 1:20 PM
Abbie Knowles

I get a mobile phone that I can twitter on, on Friday.  Please can you leave access to this site up so that I will be able to get twittering and put all your links on!

Many thanks

God Bless

Abbie

05 Aug 2009 5:56 PM
Abbie Knowles

Twitter sounds great!

05 Aug 2009 5:58 PM

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