My first tweet, like many others I’ve posted over the years, didn’t say much:
It’s embarrassing to look back on some of my earlier tweets now. Many are lame, others are cringe-worthy stupid and a few come across as arrogant or egotistical.
And that’s just last week!
Seriously, though, I’m bringing this up because I passed 100,000 followers today and just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who continue to stick with me. I know it’s not easy at times.
Of course, not all 100,000 followers are actual people. There are hundreds of accounts which seem to be spam or perhaps people who once sent a couple tweets and lost interest, never to use Twitter again. In that sense, 100,000 isn’t exactly accurate.
In reality, I’d guess far less than 50,000 are actual people who are engaged and paying attention. If it’s any more than that, I’d be shocked — after all, the shortened bit.ly links I tweet to my USA TODAY articles usually only get a thousand clicks on average.
But no matter what the actual number of followers is, the point is this: I owe so much to all of you.
I’m thankful for those who created Twitter and established the medium, but it’s really about the users. My career would be completely different if Twitter hadn’t come along, and there’s a decent chance I might not even still be writing about NASCAR had it not existed.
Some of you already know this part, but I was laid off from NASCAR Scene magazine in 2010 and had no job prospects. After texting my mom that I lost my job, the next thing I did was tweet (to about 3,000 followers at the time) and ask if anyone knew of any other jobs. I then got a call from SB Nation, then in its infancy, to see if I was interested in helping start up their NASCAR coverage.
That allowed me to stay in racing and keep doing a job I enjoy.
But in all honesty, by far the best part about this job is the interaction I have with you guys. Whether it’s Twitter messages or tweetups or even the friendships I’ve made (more than a few of you have my phone number or have hung out away from the racetrack), I’m deeply appreciative for all of you.
Yes, I’m even grateful for the trolls. It’s so cool to work on a story, tweet it out and then see immediate reaction to it — good or bad. Imagine if you worked on an English essay in school and turned it into the teacher, only to have it instantly graded.
That’s what keeps this interesting, and that’s what keeps me motivated — trying to give you something you’re interested in reading, trying to give you a reason to keep following.
So yeah, even though 100,000 followers doesn’t mean there are really 100,000 people out there reading my tweets, the number still means something to me. Thanks.
Anyway, you know plenty about me by now — especially the ones who have been around since ’09. But who exactly are you guys? Thanks to Twitter analytics, here are some insights:
— 90% of you are interested in NASCAR racing. (Duh, right? But who are the other 10%? I feel sorry for them having to see my feed.)
— You are 74% male, 26% female. That surprised me because I feel like the replies are about 50-50.
— 61% of you are married and 77% of you own your homes. 55% of you have completed high school; 33% have completed college. It’s worth noting all four of these categories are higher than the national average.
— The biggest shocker: Despite its series title sponsorship, only 16% of you use Sprint as your wireless carrier — the same as the national average. 40% of have Verizon and 36% have AT&T.
Anyway, thanks again for following along. I know we won’t always agree on everything, but I truly value you and fully understand I wouldn’t have my job without you reading my stories and clicking the links.
I look forward to seeing everyone at a tweetup sometime soon.