Got an email from the NYRA marketing department today, subject line: ANDY SERLING TWITTER SITE LAUNCHES.
Well, it's a slow time for NYRA now as we've noted. They're pushing it pretty hard though; in fact, and even have a new web ad that they've sent out.
“Andy Serling is the perfect person to engage racing fans on Twitter,” said Dan Silver, NYRA director of communications and media relations. “His brash personality and sharp wit are well suited to keeping people informed and entertained throughout the day.”Well, I dunno, I mean, you know how I feel about Twitter. And it just seems to me that qualities like brash personality and sharp wit are better suited to a format in which posts are not limited to 140 characters, and the writer actually has a chance to display those qualities. Not to say that he won't get some good snark off - though on Wednesday he said he was being nice because it was his first day. (He was kinda wrong about Lisa B, who got third at 9-1.)
Besides, as with every good public handicapper, the devil is in the details, and Serling is at his best in his current full-time gig on the in-house broadcast, and at the morning sessions at Siro's where he has a forum to explain and expand on his reasoning for liking a particular horse or offering to book any sucker stupid enough to bet it.
Want to bet Officer Flirt but hate taking the devalued odds on entries. Still, at the current 6:1 I am in.Well, why? I don't care who it is, I don't bet horses solely on anyone's say-so, unless he/she is holding an AK-47 or a boombox playing Billy Joel's Greatest Hits.
Later in the day, I got a note about a new blog at the Racing Form called The Inside Post. It's a group live blog featuring the writers who cover the various tracks - Dave Litfin at Belmont, Marcus Hersh at Arlington, Kenny Peck at Monmouth, and it's still going tonight from Woodbine. Without the text restrictions, they can provide in-depth commentary on the races, and do a little handicapping too.
Now, I don't want to volunteer Andy Serling for any extra duties, but why wouldn't NYRA just have him do a live blog instead? I mean, I thought the whole thing about Twitter was that you could do it with your mobile device from anywhere, at anytime, like at the track or at a concert so you can tell everyone else what you're doing instead of paying attention to the event at hand? So unless NYRA can't afford to get the guy a laptop, I don't see why he would be limited to tweets...it's not like I ever see him doing the paddock inspection thing. If they're trying to get to the Twitter crowd, they can do what the Form has done with its blog, and have a Twitter page with
opening blurbs and a tiny link to each post.
And here's another thing I think is stupid about Twitter. Take an active Twitter-er like this blogger. On her Twitter page, most of the entries are responses to things that other people tweeted, things like LOL, poor guy. And what did the package go for? Seriously, no offense, I just don't understand, why would anyone want to read that? You mean, I should go through all of the other inane Twitter pages to find the other part of the conversation? It's like listening to someone talk on a cellphone...a device which, by the way, still serves me very well.
- Got a second press release from NYRA, and I have to say that I'm more enthusiastic about this one, entitled COLLEGE STUDENTS MAKE THE GRADE AT SARATOGA RACE COURSE.
All students will receive free grandstand admission with a valid college ID. The first 1,000 students also receive a free commemorative Saratoga Race Course t-shirt.Well, the hell with the new school year, Handel really would like to wish that at least some of them have a great day and come back again next year. In fact, if any of them flunk out, maybe they'll even make their way to Aqueduct.
Once in the gate, students will be invited to register to win a variety of great prizes such as iPods, iTunes gift cards, digital cameras, a $250 airline gift card and the grand prize, $1,000 toward college tuition awarded at the end of every race, courtesy of NYRA.
"We are excited to provide our college students with a reason to visit Saratoga before heading back to school," said NYRA Executive Vice President and COO Hal Handel. "We look forward to offering them the chance to win scholarship money as well as a number of other great prizes, and we'd like to wish all of them good luck with the new school year."