Monday, February 20, 2006

CGM: Cyclist Generated Media

It's cycling time here in California. Yesterday, the AMGEN Tour of California started, with a short time-trial from the waterfront to the top of telegraph. This is a photo I took of American Bobby Julich in the last 200 meters or so. He finished second, just behind Levi Leipheimer.

What a great day, and what a huge crowd. One of the truly fascinating aspects of bike racing is that it happens on the streets: there's no admission fee, no reserved seats, and no restrictions on recording the event. Take a look at the crowd in the background, behind Julich: I count 10 people, 4 of whom are taking pictures (not even counting the guy with the camera on his back). In my little sample, that's 40% of spectators creating a record of the event. Certainly there is going to a lot of photos taken by professionals, but that pales in comparison to the amount of citizen media that's generated by this event.

It's no wonder that (the reason the Internet was invented) sent out a note over the weekend to local cycling teams and clubs all around, requesting videos of local training rides. Assumedly, they'll find the best clips and post them up. Sounds like good watching for me. Welcome to the long tail.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess Julich just didn't want it badly enough.

Related thought: it bothered me when professional cyclists who raced for their respective countries in the Athens summer olympics still rode their team bikes and even wore their team helmets. The bikes I can understand, but for the olympics at least get a new paint job. These guys have about a dozen of the same bikes. But the helmets are inexcusable. Wear a team helmet from your country, not Phonak or whatever. Even the NHL goalies playing in Torino have put aside their team colors for their countries', and I've seen skiiers who have blacked out sponsor names on their helmets for the olympics.

8:10 AM  

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