Readers of this blog know two things about me. 1) I love food; and 2) I do social media “stuff” at IBM. They may not know that I also have the awesome job of doing communications around our sports sponsorships (I know, I know… pretty great gig). IBM sponsors only a handful of sports properties, but the ones they do are all top tier: The NFL, The Masters, all four tennis Grand Slams and the USGA, which administers the Men’s, Women’s and Junior and Senior U.S. Open Championships.
So, to get to my point… in thinking about the intersection of social media and sports, I came to the dorky conclusion that I may have been the first ever person to tweet from a U.S. Open when I did so at the 108th U.S. Open Championship at Torrey Pines last year. Now, I’m not claiming to be the first to tweet about the U.S. Open. I’m saying I might be the first to tweet from the U.S. Open. If I’m correct, here’s the immortal tweet that is going to put me in the golf history books:
That was followed by a few other tweets during the course of the few days I was “working” at the event, including:
- Tiger and Phil on the 2nd hole
- Furyk and Stricker battling the beautiful 3-Par hole 3
- More Tiger and Phil circus
- And perhaps my favorite, the Luke Wilson sighting.
How do I come off thinking I’m the first to tweet from a U.S. Open? Well, consider the following:
- No fans are allowed mobile devices of any kind on the course. That eliminates almost everyone else.
- The only people allowed to have mobile devices are very select USGA employees, credentialed golf media and select USGA partner employees (i.e., me).
Since Twitter wasn’t even a gleam in Shaq’s massive eye in June ’08, I think I’m safe to assume none of the credentialed media at the Open were on Twitter. So while I might not be destined for the history books, I am going to claim my place in geek history.
(Oh, and for any of you who can prove that I wasn’t the first person to ever tweet from a U.S. Open… Shhhh… Keep it to yourselves. I need something to tell my mom so she can be proud of me)
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So, on a very related note, tomorrow morning I’m heading back to the Open… this time to Bethpage Black for what is looking to be a complete washout. We’ve got some conversations lined up with media, so our turnout may be higher than expected since there might not be any on-course distractions to deal with. At least, that’s my silver lining to some wet, gray clouds.
Now, for all of you who can’t actually be at the course tomorrow (pity), here are some non-TV ways you can enjoy the U.S. Open this year, thanks to IBM and the USGA:
- USOpen.com for real-time scoring, HD-quality live streaming video of the marquee groups on Thursday and Friday, live video of the 17th whole Saturday and Sunday, and lots fun things for golf geeks: videos, interactive games, history, etc.
- iPhone. Twice a year I get iPhone envy. During the Masters, and now during the U.S. Open. The iPhone app is pretty awesome, with live streaming video, real time scores and player profiles.
- Twitter. Thanks to Ashton and Oprah, there are plenty more folks than me to follow on Twitter for this year’s Open. Best bet is to follow the official Twitter account for the U.S. Open/USGA. USOpen.com has a nice page where you can get that feed plus links to some of the golf pros using Twitter.
- Facebook addicts can pimp their profiles with a US Open Widget to add to their profile. (For anti-Facebook-ites you can use the widget on any profile/blog/web page).
That’s about it. Now we just need nature to cooperate and it ought to be an amazing Open.
I’ve always wanted to generate a tag cloud of ALL my public Twitter posts. The problem is that most services, like TweetStats, will only take a small subset of the most recent posts to analyze. With the help of a great friend, Sacha Chua, who helped me scrape all 2000+ Twitter posts over the past few years (using Python and Perl scripts… stuff I don’t understand), I was able to create a word cloud via Wordle of all my public tweets:
Frankly, I was surprised tacos weren’t more prominent in that tag cloud. I see this mostly as a function that my priorities are misaligned. (Mental note: more tacos, less work). But Sacha also helped me do some other analyses too. Perhaps the most interesting is the break down of how many times I respond to certain people. Here’s list of the top 21 people I speak to most on Twitter:
Personally, I feel like I’ve gradually begun to use Twitter less and less as it’s gotten more popular. Call it the inverse Ashton Kutcher effect. But the tag cloud and @ list at least give a window of where I’ve spent a lot of my time over the past few years, what I’ve been talking about and who I’ve been spending it with.
Oh, and my first ever tweet? Appropriate:
As I first mentioned back on this thread I’ve been wanting to go to Rancho Grande since I first noticed it late last year. To say Rancho Grande is unassuming would be a huge understatement considering I’ve walked right by it at least 25 times over the past year without realizing it was a restaurant until a few months ago. No one goes in or out and the signage is virtually nonexistent. But my strange compulsion to try every Mexican place I see in hopes of uncovering hidden gems too over and I made a note to come back.
I finally stopped in for lunch a few weeks ago. As I expected, I was the only person in the restaurant. In fact, I wonder whether I am the only person who has ever gone to the restaurant. OK, that might be an exaggeration, I’m pretty confident I’m the only gringo to ever step foot in the place. The interior is clean but bare. To keep things simple, I ordered three tacos – chorizo, carnitas, and bistek – and followed it up with an horchata chaser.
After I made my order, the waitress quietly placed a phone call. I didn’t think much of it until two minutes later, a woman came through the door, made a comment to the waitress, and went straight to the kitchen to start making the food. Hmm… any place that needs to call their cook back to work when a customer comes in probably doesn’t do a lot of volume business. Now, in their defense, I’m guessing the cook was on her own lunch break. Nevertheless, it doesn’t dissuade my impression that customers don’t flow through their door with a lot of regularity.
The positive side of this, of course, is that the tacos (all $2.75) were freshly made and quite good. The bistek was the best with typically little chunks of thin beef steak, nicely charred from a hot griddle. The carnitas also had good flavor, and was appropriately fatty, but not as tender, rich or juicy as I would have liked. The chorizo was the weakest of the three. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary either.
So, all in all, I liked that my food was cooked to order and the food itself wasn’t bad either. But given the choice for tacos in Port Chester, I’d head 50 yards around the corner to Tortilleria Los Gemelos, where tacos are far superior, and now only $2 each.
8 Poningo St.,
Port Chester, NY 10573
(I’ve also updated my ongoing Google map of Port Chester Latin food)