This post is part the Lightspan Digital #MarketingHop on social sports, in which bloggers were asked to share their story about how social media is connecting people in the silent sports community
Four and a half years ago, my editor at DRAFT magazine asked if I would be a regular blog contributor on the newly revamped DRAFTmag.com. The only catch was I had to come up with a hook that would set me apart from other beer bloggers. At first, I didn’t know what that would be.
The answer came to me, appropriately, during a run.
Since then I’ve been blogging about the intersection of craft beer and an active, healthy lifestyle. My editor took a chance on an idea that sounded crazy at the time, and still sounds strange to many in the mainstream.
I knew this silent sports community existed because I met them one-by-one over beers after races, triathlons or bike rides. I just wanted to give people like me a voice online. I had no idea how big and thriving we were as a group until social media made us not-so-silent anymore.
I follow craft beer people on Untappd, runners and cyclists on DailyMile and a combination of both of them on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Google Plus. It’s grown beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Because of their continued support and camaraderie I’ve been running and drinking beer for 826 consecutive days and counting, and without that my whole life would be very different.
Throughout the whole time I’ve had this blog, most of the things I’ve written about have their roots in social media, whether it was a beer-themed race that someone tweeted to me or a study I saw posted on Facebook that demonstrated the health benefits of beer. Quite simply, this blog would not continue to exist if it wasn’t for social media.
Beyond writing about ongoing events and happenings for this community, one of my favorite parts of keeping this blog has been meeting others who are into the same pursuits, and showcasing their dual hobbies in features and Q+As. Usually these meetings start out as virtual, and in many lucky cases I’ve been able to meet others in person, like when I ran with Win at the Great American Beer Festival or Jon gave me a tour of his favorite bars in North Carolina.
Today I’ve been featured in Runner’s World, Wired Magazine, Guyism and others. Something like this couldn’t have happened without social media finding a home for me, and showing that being into both craft beer and a healthy, active lifestyle isn’t as crazy as it sounds.
You can meet a few others like us — runners, retailers, coaches, and race organizers — and hear about how social media is connecting the silent sports community and changing lives in the blogs listed below. To continue the conversation join us in a Twitter Chat with the hashtag #marketinghop on Jan. 8 at 1pm. Hope to see you there.
Myles Dannhausen, Door County Half Marathon, @mylespulse : How Social Media Helps Us Improve The Door County Half Marathon
Ashley Kumlien, MS Run the U.S. (@MSRuntheUS): Raising Funds, Awareness With Social Media
Tom Held, The Active Pursuit, @tomheld : An Antenna, Not A Mic: Reporting With Social Media
Bob Richards, Chicago Run Times: Social Media And The Silent Sports
Lightspan Digital: How Social Media Changed Running