???Greetings from a motel somewhere near the intersection of Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia. I?ve been driving forever…but that’s still not far enough. Kentucky is still 300 miles (or more) away, so I?ve stopped for the night. I’m just not sure where.
But I know I’m not alone. All across America, people who are spectators, exhibitors, competitors, grooms, coaches, vets, farriers, physiotherapists, vendors, consultants and over 1000 members of the media are doing the same thing. We are thousands and thousands of people with one reading on our collective compass and one destination on our baggage tags: LEX. We’re all driving or flying or traveling however we can toward the magnet that is Lexington, Kentucky. And the target that is the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Information about the television and livestreaming for WEG was published today and it occured to me that this will be the first truly ?social? World Equestrian Games. And I don’t just mean that there are a lot of Facebook pages with information about the Games. I mean that you will be able to experience the Games in at least four major media experiences: via television broadcast or live streaming; via reading detailed, analytical coverage in your favorite sport-specific publications like Practical Horseman, NRHA?s Reiner, Dressage Today, USEF?s Equestrian; follow instant results on the Games website and check online news reports as they happen from professional media web sites like the AQHA and NRHA sites, Equisearch, the US Equestrian Federation?s usef.org site, or other favorites that will combine results with reporting.
This year, we also have the fun of Horse Radio Network?s 2010 Radio Show, exclusively about the Games. This show has been filling us in on information about the Games for months now and hosts Glenn the Geek and Samantha Clark are doing a tremendous job! They’ll be broadcasting live during the Games and you can hear them right here on Discoverhorses.com.
But finally, you’ll be able to experience the Games through social media. You can do all the things I mentioned, and share it with your Facebook friends with a click on the ?share this? button wherever you roam on the web. You can ?tweet this? and notify the world. You can link to a story, and put the link on your own site. You can even create your own news feed of Tweets and shared links to stories and then go to a chat room with your friends to discuss what’s going on in Lexington. As a citizen journalist, you can have your own Games channel; you can be the Anderson Cooper or the Diane Sawyer or the Oprah of your own Games.
Blogs fall somewhere between the professional media and citizen journalism. And blogs will be BIG at this edition of the World Equestrian Games. Bloggers can and will get the news out, and often interpret it in the same breath, so it’s not the same, usually, as the professional media who have their feet held to the fire. But many of us who blog are also journalists; it’s a good idea to learn about the background and credentials of bloggers and citizen journalists.
Blogging for the Games is fun, because the media and software keeps improving and we can do so much more than we ever could before.
One area I didn’t cover–and I left this one for last–is humor. What’s to laugh about at the World Equestrian Games? Well, plenty if you leave that to the Aussies. The Australian Equestrian Federation is bringing us ?Hamish and Dave?s Kentucky Adventure?, a very non-serious look at WEG via video episodes published online. Hamish and Dave are a couple of Aussies who will probably end up being better known than any of the horses or riders by the time the Games are over. I expect them to be picked up by Jay Leno or David Letterman any day now. What do they do best? They make us laugh at ourselves.
Be sure to experience WEG on different levels. Don?t experience it just on the social level, be sure you get the solid facts from the professional journalists who are there, behind the scenes. Watch the stream and listen to the interviews on Horse Radio Network Read the blogs (especially this one) for color, insight, and opinion.
And finally, have some laughs with Hamish and Dave! Meet them here:
And here’s their first report:
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