Thursday, December 29, 2011

What we're doing here

The use of social and other media have turned dog mushing into a spectator sport.  People from all over the planet are watching even smaller, local distance races using accessible technologies like Facebook and GPS trackers.  For the race committees, getting the data online in a timely way is sometimes challenging because
  • the races are often held in remote places with poor-to-no infrastructure
  • the people organizing the races are not necessarily particularly technical, and need to stay focused on race logistics while the race is underway
  • the software generally blows
Combine this with an audience that isn't necessarily very comfortable with the technology themselves and who typically aren't mushers, and you tend to get a lot of confusion and fans asking kind of clueless questions[*]. 

My hope is that examining some of the issues around technology, data, and the user experience can help improve the way race data are presented and increase fan participation.

I'm also interested in other technical aspects of dog mushing.  Like, Matrax vs. Rex runners - what's up with that?

[* or maybe not - at the moment the 2012 Gin Gin 200 is underway.  Bad trail conditions have knocked out about 1/2 the field and the GPS tracking is working worst than not-at-all, yet fans seem to be taking it pretty much in stride.  Could be that they're used to it or it could be that this race isn't drawing naive fans.  Dunno]

1 comment:

  1. Great idea here Melinda. I look forward to future content. Certainly we feel a part of this new wave. And we think it's for the better, even when GPS tracking doesn't always work perfectly. Matthew Lee (