Admitting I Was Wrong

Generally speaking, I’m not one that likes to admit I’m wrong about something. Conversely, those that know me will chime in that I usually take every opportunity to crow whenever I am right – although I tend to disagree with that assessment. The point is; when I wrote this post a little over two years ago about how pointless I thought Twitter was – I was wrong.

I was as reluctant to start a Twitter account, as I was to start blogging. My childhood/college friend, Bruce Yarbro is the person who finally convinced me to start this site. He is also responsible for me opening up my Twitter account (@Oilpressureblog). He said it was essential for promoting the blog.

At first, I didn’t get it. I quickly saw the value of it as a news source when I learned of the acquittal of Helio Castroneves in his tax evasion trial, a good twenty minutes before it hit mainstream websites. I still think that the best reason to follow Twitter is for breaking news, especially in a sport that doesn’t get a whole lot of play on – but I later found out that there is so much more to it.

I’m not of a social media person. Susan Scruggs convinced me to go against my grain and start a Facebook page in conjunction with the blog (Oilpressureblog). She offered to set it up for me. She threw a few pictures up there for me, but other than getting friend requests, I rarely went to it. I finally linked my Twitter account to the Facebook page, so that those that didn’t do Twitter, could at least see some activity from me.

I’m not addicted to Twitter. I still don’t “tweet” that often, but contrary to my stance two years ago – I have actually come to enjoy Twitter. Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of my fellow IndyCar bloggers. We are literally spread out across the globe. Leigh O’ Gorman (@TheF1Archive) is from Ireland and currently lives in London. Others are scattered from San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, Indianapolis, Omaha, West Des Moines, Iowa and all the way to here in Nashville. But just an occasional glance at my timeline in Twitter; and I’ve caught up with the latest IndyCar news, any sparring between bloggers or drivers, what might be going on in their personal lives and of course – the latest attempts at humor, some better than others.

I don’t follow that many drivers. I follow a few, like Paul Tracy, Pippa Mann, Tomas Scheckter and Marco Andretti, because they are always good for a few good lines. I’ve followed many others before, such as Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Justin Wilson and Al Unser, Jr., but dropped them due to either their lack of tweets or their lack of interesting tweets. There are still others I follow that I wonder why I do; like Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ryan Briscoe.

I rarely tweet during a race, but I now will check Twitter during commercials to see what others are saying. Last week after the New Hampshire race, the tweets were flying. It was easy to tell that no one I followed thought that the race should have gone green on the last re-start. It was interesting to read the reaction of true fans along with the spin of the different drivers and teams. Within seconds, we learned that Will Power received a round of applause as he walked through the paddock following his double-bird salute.

A couple of weeks ago, I read in Curt Cavin’s Q&A where someone had just started a Twitter account and wanted to know who to follow. Curt politely dodged the question by implying it depended on whatever you were looking for. I’m not as politically correct, so I thought I would offer my own thoughts on the subject.

I don’t follow many people on Twitter. Currently, I follow only fifty-nine people. To me, that’s enough. In fact, as little time I have to check in with Twitter, it’s tough to keep up with that many. I see where some people follow five hundred people or more. Talk about hit or miss, there’s no telling how many tweets per minute fill up a timeline with that many. That’s why I only follow a few.

So, in no particular order; here is my list of people that you should follow on Twitter:

Curt Cavin (@curtcavin): The IndyCar beat writer for The Indianapolis Star is always quick with a tweet about anything newsworthy, long before he puts it up on the paper’s website. He is also good for some good in-race comments and interaction with regular fans on Twitter.

Kevin Lee (@KevinLee23): The most heard voice in IndyCar lately is quick to post news and information, as well as converse with fans. Don’t look for many opinions from Kevin. He represents too many entities to give his true opinion through social media.

Bill Zahren – Pressdog (@pressdog): The dean of IndyCar bloggers is also the king of Twitter. There never seems to be a time of day that Bill is not tweeting – and it’s usually humorous, profound and always worth a glance.

Trackside Online (@tracksideonline): The best $22 a year you’ll ever spend is also good for a free quip or quote on Twitter, as well as alerting subscribers that there is a new update waiting.

Tomas Scheckter (@tomasscheckter): Although he has a lot of meaningless tweets that fill up a timeline, he is always good for a couple of eyebrow raisers a day.

Paul Dalbey – More Front Wing (@Fieldof33): Paul does a good job of combining his racing thoughts with his personal life. We all kept up with his recent trip to Korea to adopt his daughter.

Steph Wallcraft – More Front Wing (@99forever): Steph is Paul’s cohort at More Front Wing. She is passionate about racing, her native homeland of Canada and her opinions on various matters. She is always a good quote on Twitter.

Roy Hobbson (@royhobbson): The much maligned and often intoxicated founder of The Silent Pagoda may have gone silent in the IndyCar blogosphere, but he is very much alive & kicking (and sometimes even sober) on Twitter.

Tony Johns – Pop-Off Valve (@SBPopOffValve): He can sometimes fall in the category of “over-tweeting”, but he usually throws out good stuff and has lively banters with drivers and fellow bloggers.

Andy Miller – Speedgeek (@TheSpeedgeek): Like his blog site, he doesn’t tweet often, but when he does it’s usually good stuff.

Lindy Thackston (@lindythackston): Unlike her Versus partner Kevin Lee, LindyCar gives us a full glimpse into her private life on Twitter. We followed her move to Indianapolis from Orlando, as well as her trials with her dog Baxter. As professional as Lindy in on the telecasts, she “lets her hair down” on Twitter.

Meesh Beer (@whatimthinking): Another resident of Toronto, Meesh is an absolute hoot. We met at Indianapolis this past May. We have absolutely nothing in common and that’s probably why we got along so well. She is a riot in person and it shows in her tweets.

Will McCarty (@isitmayyet): Like Roy Hobbson, Will has pretty much gone on hiatus from his blog site Is It May Yet? However, his humor lives on through Twitter.

Chris Estrada (@estradawriting): Unlike most of us bloggers, Chris actually has professional aspirations – and it shows. His tweets are split between IndyCar racing and the Albuquerque Isotopes.

James Black – 16th and Georgetown (@16thAndGeorgetown): Like Curt Cavin, James is always quick to break an IndyCar news story. He gave us our first glimpse of the closely guarded DeltaWing before it was unveiled.

Paul Tracy (@paultracy3): When PT has something controversial on his mind, he takes to Twitter. He is a “must follow”.

Johnny Montona – …And He’s On It (@andhesonit): The resident of Cincinnati always seems to have his finger on the pulse of the IndyCar community. He carries on Twitter conversations with you and me as well as the top drivers.

Monica Hilton – The Race Girl (@the_race_gIRL): Although her duties as publicist for HVM Racing unofficially required her to mothball her blog site, she still tweets “inappropriately” under this account while assuming a more professional identity under her HVM Twitter account.

Matt Archuleta (@indy44): If you want an in-depth IndyCar story quickly with links provided, follow this no-nonsense resident of Albuquerque.

Pippa Mann (@PippaMann): Unlike most drivers that either give you a PC spin or simply bore you to death, Pippa Mann tells us what she really thinks. She interacts with fans constantly. Follow her.

Tony Kanaan (@tonykanaan): Another one of the few drivers I follow. Unlike many drivers who do nothing but tweet about their sponsors, TK is always good for a quip to another driver after a race. He is also good about interacting with fans and bloggers. I have followed him from the beginning.

Jake Query (@jakequery): The Indianapolis area broadcaster and longtime pit reporter on the IMS Radio Network, may also be the funniest man on Twitter. His dry humor resonates well with followers. He also holds Indy 500 trivia contests in the Month of May.

John Pemberton – JP IndyCar Thoughts (@JPIndycar): A professional marketing whiz by trade, it’s always interesting to get this Hoosier’s take on things.

Bash Beard – Indy Race Place News (@SpeedFreakBash): I met Bash on Race Day at Indianapolis this past May. Her tweets combine IndyCar news and opinions with her West Coast lifestyle.

Leigh O’ Gorman – The F1 Archive (@The F1Archive): Always gives an interesting perspective on IndyCar racing from across the pond.

Jeff Iannucci (@OneLapDown): The blogger from MyNameIs IRL and later One Lap Down is currently a blogger without a blog. He still shows up on Twitter now and then, sharing his humor and wisdom.

Susan Scruggs (@chiapet58): My fellow blogger here at gives her quirky…er, unique perspective on IndyCar racing as well as her personal life of kids, cake-baking and working.

Me (@Oilpressureblog): I don’t tweet that often, but when I do it’s usually about racing.

Certainly there are others that I follow that can be interesting at times, but these are the ones that really stand out to me. If I left some of the fifty-nine people that I follow off of the list, my apologies. Please feel free to add to my list. By only following fifty-nine people, I’m surely missing out on some good ones. Obviously, my opinion on Twitter has changed a lot since I wrote the other post two years ago. I guess that even at my advanced age, I’m not too old to learn a few new things.

George Phillips

17 Responses to “Admitting I Was Wrong”

  1. Technology. The last time I was together with my brothers and sisters, they were all talking about stuff I hadn’t heard. We realized it’s because I’m the only one not on Facebook and that’s how they communicate news now.

    Is it just me, or do people “blog” less since the advent of Twitter?

  2. I thought that Twitter was more trouble than it was worth, but I am warming up to it. I am aware, though, that Twitter and message boards can get you in a lot of trouble (ask Paul Tracy or whoever “hacked his email” :)). I like the rule”don’t post anything that you wouldn’t have quoted on the front page of the Chicago Tribune (or ;))

  3. Like you, I was slow to get on the Twitter train (@indycaradvocate). But you’re right, it’s a great place for finding out a lot of what you’d want to know (and I suppose some things you’d really rather not know) about IndyCar drivers, teams, etc.

  4. Thanks for the shout. It’s hard for us crusty old people to admit we’re wrong. I know first-hand.

  5. Cheers for the shout out George. It has been a pleasure tweeting my UK-based IndyCar titbits.

  6. Wichita Indy Fan Says:

    I started a twitter account to follow IndyCar. Now I use it for other hobbies and even work.

  7. Jerrycruz Says:

    Hey my man, you left me out from your IndyCar panelists! No harm done: you can follow me at @jerrycruz1077

  8. Agree completely… If not for the twitter Indycar family, I would have never gotten back into this… and I will be attending my first Indy 500 since 1981 in May 2012!

  9. Good God! Has racing come to this?! Without even taking a deep breath I can name 59 things I would rather be doing than reading twits……………….grumble, grumble.

    If I find out that A.J. Foyt twits you can just shoot me.

  10. Ben Twickerbill Says:

    Oh boy…

  11. Ben Twickerbill Says:

    I think one of my favorite Indy Car blogs has been commandeered and or hacked by some kind of social networking, mutual admiration society….

  12. Try following Dixon again. Seems he didn’t use it before the season but he like, Jimmie Johnson, is much more likable once you start following them on twitter.

  13. Yes, if you follow me (@chiapet58), you will get some unexpected pics of random cupcakes and wedding cakes. Feel free to ignore them. I also bake and I can barely figure out how to use one account much less than separate my baking from IndyCar. Maybe I will combine them someday and make the ultimate IndyCar cake. I was dragged into tweeting kicking and screaming by George, but I tweeted a wedding cake I had done and it got retweeted all over the place. Kind of a fun experience….

  14. Glad you saw the twitter light. I think it lends itself particularly well to IndyCar when done right.

  15. AHHH Twitter… I also have converted to a “twitterhead”… And it is exactly that: a real time news feed… Unfortunately I follow more people than I should and end up missing all the good stuff, so living on Twitter becomes a requirement… SO A.D.D.icted! (Stress on the ADD)….

    So, thanks for YET MORE people to follow…

  16. Thanks for the mention George. I would hesitate to describe myself as a marketing whizz. More along the lines of Marketing Research nerd, and the extent to which Good research informs Good marketing then I guess the connection is made.

  17. Eight new followers in 10 hours. That’s what the Oilpressure George Bump is worth, just so people know. Also, that’s more new followers in one day than the number of Tweets that I’ve posted since about November of last year. Take that for what it’s worth (here’s a hint: nothing).

    Anyway, thanks for the mention, George. I’ll get around to blogging/Tweeting one of these days.

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