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Editor’s note: Well, at some point today thejudge13 received its 1000th subscriber. 579 of you follow by email, 439 by twitter and 14 on the new RSS feeds we introduced in the last week. Also in the next 7 days we will reach our 100,000th visitor.
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Media event of the year: Today saw the arrival of Sergio Perez at the Technology Centre in Woking for the first time. It was the media event of the year so far. I have seen the twitter accounts and web news reports for scores of journalists advertising their interviews with Checo – and remarkably he says pretty much the same thing to them all. Hey ho.
It appears the traditional F1 media are struggling to come to terms with the 21st century – but hold on – today we had a media first. Last year I gave my vote of most accessible team via social media to Lotus. Well McLaren went a step further with the technology today.
I heard about the ‘hang out with Sergio’ on Google+ a number of times this week. Not knowing what Google+ was I presumed McLaren were getting into some technology that could take a man to Mars or deliver an extra 10,000th of a second efficiency to a gear change, but was something nobody cared about.
Well having made 3 posts today I was feeling a little fatigued and I have a few hares running that are slow in coming back to me on some F1 digging I’m doing. I chased them – politely, and then thought I’ll see what all this ‘hang out with Checo’ business was all about.
The mini judges are always on web cams and have virtual social gatherings when the weather is bad, when they are grounded or when its past bed time – but I have not dared to venture into the world of online video chat previously (except to embarrass the mini’s in front of their friends by doing a ‘dad dance’ behind them but visible on the webcam).
This meant I had to create a Google+ account – tout suite. I think having battled with RSS It issues this week somehow helped as have now registered with Google Reader to see how RSS feeds work. Therefore some of my information was already there…well the email account anyway.
However, you are required to enter a name for Google+, so diligently I tried to fill in the blank fields.
…to no avail. Apparently this is not acceptable with Google’s ‘name policy’. I removed the 13 and entered ‘thirteen’. Still no joy and the clock is ticking if Checo is to meet thejudge13 for the first time.
I had to think quickly, using all my cryptic knowledge of how this works elsewhere I thought if I entered a name like ‘Scooby Doo’ there would then appear a nickname option that would be the one Google+ showed as my on screen moniker.
I did this and was indeed asked for a nickname wherein I duly entered ‘thejudge13’. But it was a fail because the 3 onscreen options I was then given were ‘Scooby (thejudge13) Doo”, “Scooby Doo (thejudge13)” or predictably “(thejudge13) Scooby Doo”.
Checo has now been hangin’ out without me for 11 minutes, I knew he would not be the kinda guy who hung out all night and the pressure was seriously on now. I realised I needed a solution and fast. So, mind whirling I tried
Another fail…tick tock…but what did finally work was “Justin Thejudge13” – TAKE that Google+, I was in.
So “Justin” time thejudge13 made the ‘hangout’. I had little time to asses all the information in front of me but it looked as though there were 173 others present
I think at this juncture I should post the link to the recorded version of the event which is available on youtube. If you notice at the bottom of the screen under the main feed from McLaren HQ are several webcamers all looking rather stupefied by it all.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/sZHFsHERcfo?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>
Since the last sentence I’ve watched the youtube video, and the webcamers are those people who won a competition to ask Sergio a question. As you will see, one of them wishes to know about his underpants. So I presume Google+ and the associated video members of the conference are by invitation only.
Anyway, by the time I’d checked in to the ‘hangout’ they were calling ‘time please ladies and gentlemen’. I did try to sneak a question in about why Sergio has now decided to wear the ‘shirt tucked in’ look at McLaren, as opposed to the Swiss hanging free ‘devil may care’ look – but my fight with Google+ naming policy had frustrated this and I was timed out.
Anyway, I feel I’m rambling. Here’s my impressions of the young Mexican after his first day of publicity. I’ve watched the video interviews and this ‘hang out’ and I have to say I am quite surprised. Perez came across to me as unfazed by the whole thing and even thought he claims he could win the WDC this year, it wasn’t a hollow claim or an attempt at one up-manship on Jenson.
Also, he has had his team shirt tucked in all day – unlike the more disheveled look he wore at Sauber. Whether this was merely the auspices of the McLaren Technology Centre, or some PR person at McLaren – who knows.
Funny isn’t it how a young keen driver like Perez has been battered with 30-40 mainstream journalist interviews that would’ve bored the life out of me. He’s delivered a speech to 500 McLaren employees, been the first McLaren driver ever to give a live internet Q&A and yet doesn’t look as though he wants to be anywhere else.
Once sports people have had success, they want privacy, less media work, less sponsorship tasks – so they can have ‘some kind of a life’. yet when they start out they’re more than delighted with the attention and seem content to go 24/7 for the job.
I guess once you’ve got $50-75m in the bank, you can start whining about how tough the life of an F1 driver is with all the media commitments for the team. Most people I know would sign a vow of chastity, silence, alcohol and drug abstinence for 10 years for a fraction of what a successful F1 driver earns.
Anyway if you want the mainstream news from this event, here it is in 100,000 less words than elsewhere…
Perez: I believe I can win Grand Prix this year with McLaren and even the driver’s world title.
Perez: McLaren is the best F1 team in the world. It’s amazing here.
Jenson: I will beat Sergio this year
Whitmarsh: Sergio will get equal treatment
I’ve not heard anything else of note, so Goodnight.