We have long been advocates of social media here at PodiumInsight. We were the first site to provide live domestic race updates for both men and women races via @podium_live on Twitter and the first to provide live interactive interviews. It’s very much the way sports fans are requesting and receiving their sporting news. When we see social media done right, we feel the need to shine a spotlight on it. We hope others in our sport will catch on and join in the fun. First up, Jonathan Vaughters, CEO and Director Sportif, Garmin Cervelo.
One of the foundational concepts of social media is that you cannot completely control your message through social media but rather you can simply begin to participate in the “conversation” in the hopes that you can become a relevant influence in that conversation. Vaughters has done just that. He has engaged in full discussions with fans and media on Twitter
“People had genuine questions….why do teams do this….why does this happen,” stated Vaughters. “Even though the questions were not necessarily directed at me, I just started answering some of the questions. I think it did throw some people off because I was actually answering them.”
“Even on some contentious issues, with people who clearly did not necessarily like me, I answered their questions,” Vaughters continued. “It didn’t necessarily have to do with me feeling a desire to up my profile on social media. I kept reading good questions but then I read suppositions based on poor information or information out of context. I have always been okay when people criticize me. What I hate more than anything is when an action or words I said is misinterpreted and then I am criticized for the misinterpretation that isn’t even correct. In a lot of ways I have used social media as a back stop, to actually get people to understand what the reality is. My quote is no longer interpreted by a journalist. It is me saying it. This is how I meant it. Then if they don’t like it…it’s okay. More often than not they say, ‘oh I didn’t think you meant it like that.’ I can readjust and recalibrate what they understand.”
With only 140 characters, he has been able to express himself with humor and empathy. “I like written humor. I like short quirky written humor. Twitter definitely lends itself to that. Sometimes I feel like the 140 characters does limit me, but it forces you to be very creative on how you word things. That is a good thing.”
Some “tweeps” Vaughters enjoys to follow:
@festinagirl – “We debate a lot, but I am fine debating with her. A lot of times I get her to place that is a little less suspicious, more optimistic. She has never asked me a question that I felt was unappropriate. I try to get her to think about things in another point of view.”
@sarcastitom – “He is pretty funny.”
@mmmaiko – “I enjoy her updates. She is hilarious.”
Sample twitter updates…conversational Vaughters and classic Vaughterisms:
(or not as WADA notedduring TdF 2010 – isn’t it water under the bridge?
Vaughters The needle ban is one example of good governance by the UCI. The majority of teams, organizers, and riders were in favor of this measure.