By: Adam Niemeyer (FOX19 Sports)
SPARTA, Ky(FOX19)-Jeff Gluck, NASCAR writer for SBNation.com began organizing "tweetups" to meet race fans in September of 2009.
"I noticed that people were tweeting me, and saying, ‘Are you at the track, let's hang out, let's meet up,' and I figured instead of trying to meet with everybody individually, why not just organize one time?" Gluck said. "I had heard the term ‘tweetup' before so I figured why not just put out a time and location and everybody can just meet up."
By using the social media website Twitter, Gluck has gained a following of over 15,000 people. He tweeted a thank you message earlier in the week from Kentucky about passing the 15,000 followers mark.
Gluck's tweetups started small. He said at his first tweetup three people came. His second attracted only two fans, or "tweeps," but they've gotten bigger since that time. At Kentucky Speedway, around 40 to 50 fans showed up.
The tweetup brought together first-time fans and fans of all age groups, including young Evan, who is from Canton. Evan and his family made the trek to Kentucky Speedway to meet up with Jeff. Michael Thomasson from Cynthiana, Ky., had never met Gluck or Bob Pockrass, writer for SceneDaily.com, but was pleased with the way they had interacted with him before.
"I've been following Jeff and Bob Pockrass for a long time and interacted with them and they interact well with fans," he said. "I wanted to meet who everybody was."
Many fans took to Twitter to explain their pains in visiting Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, tweeting while being stuck in traffic jams that have become a black eye on the inaugural event at the track. And that's why Gluck noted that meeting his fans is highly valuable to his success as a reporter.
"That's the pulse of the sport," Gluck said. "They have the opinions. They're the ones that are going through the routine of going to the track as far as traffic and the tickets, where to stay and the seats."
Thomasson said he'll come back next year and join the tweetup again.
"Most definitely," he said. "I'll continue to interact with them and stay with them and I plan on coming back next year."
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