The cyclist above is twittering wishing he had a new Dahon BioLogic Bike Mount
Like every other aspect of life, micro blogging a.k.a. Twitter has exposed, updated and connected people in ways no one ever thought possible, cycling is no different. Every bike racer, cycling organization, commuter, bike enthusiast, bike tourer and the like are updating their daily bike adventures with twitter, sharing their cycling lives with the world. But it is not only twitter that has opened up the world of connections. Blogs and social media such as MySpace and Facebook provide forums and insight into peoples lives never available before.
Some criticize what social media has done to society, claiming that people are now exposed to things they were previously sheltered from, while this is true, there is a flip side to the coin, people can now share interests and information like never before. Someone who lives in a small town in North Dakota can now, in real time, share their experiences about their favorite bike ride with someone in San Fransisco, and vice verse.
Until the the Lance era in the Tour De France, cycling in the US had remained relatively under the radar of main stream media, as that was all that existed for exposure. The Lance era helped to bring cycling into peoples homes that otherwise were isolated or uninterested in cycling. But with the advent of social media, large groups of people who share common interests, like the Tour De France can now create their own universe and communicate unhindered by traditional media.
Social media has not only has brought together cyclist in general but has allowed the blossoming of every sub niche that cycling has in it. Take bike touring for example, people planning trips need information about routes, what kind of bike gear to use, or just a place to stay, can now reach out to all their fellow bike tourers across the country for help and information.
The use of social media helped level the playing field for the cycling industry in comparison to other more main stream industries. The Bike Trailer Shop and Bike Bag Shop have benefited greatly from the use of social media applications.
‘Using blogging as a marketing tool for our website has not only helped us to achieve high quality traffic and improve our search engine results for targeted key-words, it has also become a centerpiece in our involvement with the bicycling community, leading the way for both our customers to become much more aware of our business and broader range of interests and for our business to become much more aware of issues and opportunities in our industry.’ -Josh Lipton, featured in a Chicago Style SEO article.
Whether you are aware if it, we are creating our own bicycle web, that thickens ever time someone follows someone else on twitter, or one blog links to the next like Bike Trailer Blog linking to Commute by Bike, or Utility Cycling, one more person might be turned onto a new bike trailer, mountain bike route or idea that they previously weren’t aware of.
So next time you see someone talking about twittering, don’t turn your nose up, it not just for high school girls, or see a new blog, its not just another geek blathering on about nonsense, these are powerful tools that allow us, as cyclist to connect in ways we never thought possible.