Why @bubbawatson Had Such A Cool Tweet

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Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Last night, PGA Tour Player Bubba Watson, tweeted a link to a video of him teaching how to hit a flop shot over a bunker.  I retweeted the link saying (from my golf site) that I thought that it was cool for a bunch of different reasons.  Like most RT’s, I half expected it to go into the ether never to be heard from again.A few hours later, I got this response:

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Wow, that is cool, but probably a response worthy of more than 140 characters. Here is what my immediate reaction was.1.) Adoption – A few days ago, I noticed this tweet from Stewart Cink:

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So less than a week ago, Bubba Watson was new to Twitter and now he is sharing video.  As someone who lives and breathes by adoption rates of my product, this is awesome to see.  Bubba Watson may be my new case study on adoption. Within a week, he recognized the power of social media, built a huge base of followers and regularly adds value using text, photos and video. What if a percentage of your employees did the same thing?
2.) Actual pro’s sharing video – Sharing video on Twitter isn’t new. Giving lessons to people via links in Twitter isn’t new either, but usually golf lessons are delivered via @dorfongolf and you have to take them with a grain of salt.  Seeing a tour pro give a lesson offers a much different level of credibility and, like watching any professional athlete, it is a little magical too.  Usually playing lessons are reserved for high quality, Golf Channel, fancy production things.  This was just Bubba out for a casual round and making a quick video.  I’ll take 30-minutes of this any day.
3.) Response time – Bubba Watson interacts with his fans a lot on Twitter.  Probably more than anyone else on the PGA and most people on LPGA.  Not since Shaq have I seen an athlete truly converse with their fans in this manner.  I shouldn’t be surprised by the response rate, but it was still pretty cool.
4.) The video is pretty good too:
I’ve always dug Bubba Watson as a player. He has a sweet swing and hits the ball a million miles. But in the last 12-hours I’ve gone from average fan to huge fan all due to a simple video and a quick response.

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Yes It Can

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how social media will make the world a better place .  The past Tuesday, I think that this point was proven to the world as a junior senator from Illinois was elected the President of the United States.Much has been written about the way that, over the past 2 years the Obama campaign, has leveraged everything from YouTube to Facebook to MySpace to Flickr to Twitter in order to convey a consistent message and increasingly gather support for his bid for President.  By the end of September, while the McCain camapaign seemed to be making a presence in these new fangled interweb thingies, the Obama campagin was moving full throttle, like Katamari Damacy , gathering up more and more supporters, $5 at a time, with a message of hope and change.In the end, Obama had out raised McCain by over 2 times.  But more importantly than the money raised was the way that Obama reached out so frequently and was so transparent and so consistent with his message.  When I look at the stats of their respective social media sites, it is clear that Obama was far ahead in having a medium that allowed him to communicate asynchronously with his supporters.

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Unlike politics over the past 12,000 years, another unique component of the Obama campaign was the level of transparency and the interest in reaching out to get the opinion of his constituents never before seen.  Obama and staff sent out regular missives, sometimes to the point of being spammy, to all willing to receive them.  These messages were fairly consistent – this is where I will be, this is what we are working on, this is why, please make a donation.  After 8 years of secrecy, this is just another one of things that Obama recognized that people wanted, a level of transparency in their government.  Sounds simple doesn’t it?The past 4 days, since Obama’s election have been no less interesting in terms of the usage of social media.  The day immediately following the election, the Obama administration (that sounds great) launched Change.gov , a site maintaining that level of transparency. The site keeps all of the public up to speed with what is going on with the administration and has even asked the public for ideas and job applicants.  Of course, all of this information has been available on some hard to navigate site.  What Change.gov does is make it easy to find and easy to communicate.This past week also saw a lot of Al Gore .  He supposedly signed up for Twitter .  He was on DiggDialog and make the closing talk at the Web 2.0 Summit .  All amazing stuff.As I mentioned in my previous post, I believe that people want to do what is best for the community and do what is best for the environment.  The election of Barack Obama shows that social media can really work to make a tremendous change.  We now have the soon to be President of the US that fully embraces social media as well as the person most outspoken for climate change both building armies of people willing to listen, spread and modify their lives based on their message.It is a great time to be alive and to be part of this happening.

Bike To Work (Anyway) Day

Last week, in California and Nevada, we celebrated bike to work day. If you are unfamiliar with the idea, it is exactly that. Every out of shape Johnny Schwinn dusts off the ole ten-speed, fills up the tires and rides to work.This was great, but the impact that the day has, even during a Spare the Air event, is minimal at best. I’m going out on a limb of sounding like the crazy bike people that I ride the train with, but if you can ride your bike one day a year to work, couldn’t you figure out a way to do it one day a week or more?My dad called me the other day, like worried parents tend to do, and asked how we were dealing with the gas prices as they seem to skyrocket through the $4.00 barrier. Huh? was my response. I’ve been riding my bike to the train station for the past month or so and Holly has been driving the Prius. Since she really only takes the kids to school and hits the neighborhood Safeway, we haven’t filled up the tank in either car in about a month. It has been great. There is still half a tank in Jermaine duPrius.Aside from saving a bunch of dough on gas, I’ve also noticed a few other benefits of riding to work every day:

  • My wireless bill is shrinking – Since I’m not in the car, I’m less inclined to talk on the phone and I don’t want to be that annoying guy talking on the train, so I really only use my phone as a way to interact with customers when I’m working from home.
  • I’m losing weight – I’m far from Lance Armstrong, but I have dropped a few pounds.
  • Lower stress – Being in the car in Bay Area traffic bugs me out. I go a bit nutty, even in the comfort of the Prius and the carpool lane, I still get goofy. A little exercise to get the blood flowing in the morning and to cool off in the evening and the day is your friend.

I’ll be the first to admit, that riding to work can be a pain in the ass. You have to deal with traffic in a different way, you get sweaty and stink a bit at work (unless you have a shower), it is exercise and that means you have to be unlazy.But it is also a lot of fun, great exercise and provides a chance to meet some really interesting, hard core, anti-car people.Tell me, how are you coping with $4.00 gas prices?

Dice & The US Open

As is tradition, I played golf this morning for Fathers Day. I got together with a regular foursome and we had a great time. Due to Holly being slightly less than 100%, we opted to go off a bit later than usual, play only 9 holes and then grab lunch and watch the Open.We played traditional skins, but with a slight variation incorporating a set of die. In our game, at the start of each hole, each player would roll the set of die. Each number on the roll was tied to a particular club in the set. 2 was driver. 3 – 9 were irons. 10 was wedge (no sand or gap allowed), 11 was 3 wood or hybrid depending on what the player had in their bag and 12 was a pick your own club. The rule of the game was that whatever you rolled, you had to play that club tee to green.It was a blast. I picked up the first two skins with a 6 & 7 iron and then Jimmy went on a tear picking up 4 in a row (thanks to carry overs) with his driver. Nothing like seeing a guy nestle a driver from 15 yards up to the pin. Meanwhile, the rest of us spent the day trying to flop 5 irons, punch everything and skull wedges without pushing them OB. The weather was perfect and the day was wonderful.As for the US Open, this was pretty wonderful. It would have been great to see Tiger go on a tear, but it was really nice to see Angel Cabrera win. He has played so well in the past majors, that he deserved it. Tigers putting was atrocious. Furyk finished strong and it was good to see PA represent.My frustration with the US Open and candidly, all of the majors rises each year. Sure it is fun to see the top players in the world play like I do, but sadly, the last couple of years haven’t determined the best golfer, but the luckiest golfer. I don’t mean to take anything away from Michael Campbell, Geoff Olgivy, Zach Johnson (because Augusta was silly this year, too) or Cabrera, but when 5 of the top 10 players on the money list don’t even make the cut, I have to wonder about the standard that the USGA is setting.The argument has long been made that the USGA is more interested in embarrassing the worlds best than determining who the best actually is. This couldn’t have been more evident this past week. Given, Tiger hit some ass like putts, but some of the breaks that he got in the fairways were ridiculous. A fortuitous kick in the opposite direction and he’s sitting pretty in the middle. Furyk played lights out today and, likewise, a few kicks one way or another, and he is holding a trophy.I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy sitting on the couch with my wife & kids gorging myself with cookies & chips, but lets not kid ourselves that this is the finest test in golf.

Roger Clemens – Back to the Yankees

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Unless you didn’t open a newspaper, turn on a computer or watch television this weekend, you probably know that Roger Clemens is coming back to the Yankees. It was clearly a slow news weekend and just to show that the media doesn’t really care about a bunch of people killed in a tornado in Kansas since a Rocket is coming to New York.Seriously, you’d think that Christ was coming back the way that this is being treated. If the Yankees want to impress someone with their huge wallet, set up a Jimi Hendrix Experience reunion concert. That would be impressive and for $28 million, it is kind of expected.

Even NPR is on the Warriors Band Wagon

So Stephen Jackson and Baron Davis helped the Golden State Warriors seal the deal tonight and opened up an extra large can of whoop ass on the #1 seeded Dallas Mavericks.I’ve never been a huge NBA fan, but living in the Bay Area I think that it is exciting that they are doing well in their first trip to the playoffs since Lincoln was shot or something like that. Congratulations to them.I also love that whenever a Bay Area sports franchise does well, KQED (NPR) gets on the band wagon and does a story on it and graces a sport known weed, on court fights and better acting than anything that Hollywood can put out with it’s uppityness.Actually, it wasn’t a bad segment.