#F1Extra: “Trying to bring you the latest news on F1 and a bit of “extra” by sharing useful info for the fans which they might not know yet. From facts & video’s to livestreams. All motorsport, all day. Follow me to keep up with the fast world of Motorsport’
In case anyone does not know, I was asked by the creator of #F1Extra Duurt on Twitter (you can follow Duurt on Twitter @Formula1Extra) at the start of this year with my blog to become a #F1Extra partner. Duurt has very kindly agreed to answer some of my own questions in a Question and Answer session about #F1Extra in general, with a few other questions mixed in also!
Q: What is F1 Extra?
A: F1 Extra is practically exactly what it says. It is all about F1 but I also give a little extra by sharing info on other sides of motorsport, 2 or 4 wheeled. Next to that I also try and share livestreams for those amongst us that can’t watch/follow Motorsport on TV.
Q: What inspired you to create F1 Extra?
A: Two years ago in January 2012, I just had Facebook and found out that I could log in to GP Update website and chat along with testing at Barcelona. I thought they were not giving the information I wanted and started to search the web for more ways to get that information. I found out that there were a few others and when combined, I got a better picture of what was going on at the track.
At that time I created F1etc (F1 etcetera) because you had GP Update, Autosport, Sky Sport “etcetera etcetera” (hence the name) At that time, I didn’t even had twitter but had a feeling that social media could become to play a big role in motorsport and therefore I created an account on twitter using just my real name. Along the way it was clear to me that I had to change a few things and after 1 year I became Formula1extra and created my own hashtag #F1extra to go along with it.
Since February 2013, I started to provide more and more information. While starting out with just around 850 followers it became clear I needed to promote myself so I could reach more people. From that point on, it became a rollercoaster and luckily for me, I never profiled myself as a fan of 1 certain driver or team, just an unbiased Dutch guy with a passion for motorsport.
Q: Did you feel that there was a growing need for social media to interact with fans of the sport?
A: Since the beginning there have always been fans of motorsport on Twitter but I felt they were never really combined into a platform until I reached over 1500 followers and got to know a few “big fish” that brought me in touch with what you all know now as the #F1Family.
From the beginning, I knew a few accounts that had a lot of followers and through them I could share #F1extra and become a bigger name in the world of social media. That really helped and after some F1 teams and media “folk” started to follow me; I knew I was on the right path. #F1extra has a position between fans on 1 side and media/motorsport on the other. I’m not connected to anything FIA so I am not bound to any rules or regulations on what I can or cannot tweet.
Q: How do you manage to keep up with the latest news on Formula One?
A: That’s the most work I have to put in. I start early in the morning when I wake up and browse the web through several “big” websites on motorsport and try to pick out articles which I think are important enough for the fans to know. I wouldn’t for example share a story about a driver buying a 10000 dollar watch because really, who cares. The difficult part is to read very quickly through all the articles and choose carefully which one to share because I don’t use automated tweets to make sure I don’t share the same story 7 times through 7 websites.
Q: Why did you decide to use social media to promote F1 Extra?
A: Promoting F1extra was and still is a daily work because of the speed social media works. Social media is THE fastest way to get your point across. I also have Facebook but mostly use Twitter as my centre. To give an idea on how fast Twitter works, try to remember what you tweeted or read last Friday. Pretty difficult ey? It moves so fast that it does need to be looked at on a daily basis, just to keep up with it all. So what better way than to ride along with it and making the hashtag on Twitter which is an easier way to track it.
Q: What sources of social media do you tend to use to promote F1 Extra and how often do you use them?
A: As answered in the last question, I use Twitter as my centre of work but always try to find other ways in social media to promote F1extra such as YouTube, blogs and vlogs etc are the first things to come to my mind.
Q: You have a Twitter page @Formula1Extra that keeps fans like myself up to date. How long have you been on Twitter for?
A: I have been on Twitter for just over 2 years now but am really focused on F1extra since January 2013. In that respect I am kind of like a “rookie” in comparison to some that are using it for years.
Q: Since you have started F1 Extra, how much has it grown over the last few years?
A: I can now say that since F1extra started in January 2013, I went from around 850 followers to 3261 today (29-1).and expanded my mention reach on Twitter alone from approximately 20,000 in January 2013 to an average of 475,000 views per week now.
Q: You have managed fantastically to create and establish partnerships with a wide variety of F1 Fans like myself and using social media to promote them. Can you tell me more about how being a partner of F1 Extra is of benefit to yourself and also to existing and new partners?
A: I created partnerships with F1extra for one reason alone. To make sure that whoever I decide joins us, they will have also the same growth and exposure as I would get. Meaning it is a NON PROFIT win-win situation where I promote my partners through social media in exchange for my F1extra link on their website, blog or vlog.
Here’s roughly how it works. I promote my partner through Twitter reaching a possible 475000 tweeps (or followers) but since it is also found on other websites through my link, it can reach up to over 4 million at the moment. F1extra gets more established in the world of motorsport because my logo appears on more and more websites. But the promotion of partners is also found on more and more websites as well reaching people that normally wouldn’t have a look so everybody gets what they want. This is more exposure for my partners and a bigger name in the world of motorsport for me. It is a win-win situation really.
Q: You’ve got a variety of partners currently with F1 Extra at the moment using social media such as radio shows, blogs, vblogs etc. Is it good that there are so many ways to get your news and views across about Formula One?
A: I would say yes. You can follow true journalists or reporters for motorsport for most of the time get their view/side on the story. But I’m not connected to any media, I make no money off it nor have no stake in what I tweet , so everything I share is shared from a general point of view. It could be positive or negative, no matter what the topic.
Of course I now and then give my personal opinion on certain issues but then again, I’m also just a fan of the sport with a passion for it. Through my partners and their points of view, I reach more people with an unbiased look on topics and that’s what I think is needed in this world. To look at things from different sides, then judge it.
Q: What are your own views in general about F1 fans using social media to gain a better understanding and a more personal connection to the sport?
A: I just LOVE all F1 fans in general, biased ones and unbiased ones. They are the ones that make it possible for me to do what I do. Without all of them, I would just be a Dutch guy sharing things to whoever wants to read it. I think it’s my respect for all fans that got me this far. Sadly, every upside has a downside and there will always be “wannabees” amongst us. Those are the ones that make it difficult sometimes and hard to ignore since social media is for everybody.
Q: Since setting up F1 Extra on Twitter and other forms of social media, what feedback have you got back from promoting F1 Extra and its current partners for this year?
A: It is hard to say what the feedback for this year will be but so far it was all positive. Last year was the first year I started with partnerships, just bloggers and a few “special” ones and from what I have learned it worked perfectly. That’s why I decided to go the “extra” mile this year and have set up a few partnerships with well known websites, YouTube Channels and (at this point still secret) project.
Q: What things do you look at or for Duurt when you choose your partners for F1 Extra?
A: First and foremost I look at their unbiasedness, then I look at what angle they write or talk about motorsport, of course they need to have a solid “fanbase” and last I look at the frequency of when they post articles. I DO need to connect my name to something that has the possibility to grow and viewed at.
Q: What advice would you give to people that would like to be involved with F1 Extra?
A: I think the answer lies within the answer of question number 13. Always stay unbiased or else you’ll become just another “fanpage”. Don’t be scared to give your honest opinions in articles but always stay unbiased, even in your answers. Sometimes you need to be political about it but in the long run that helps you to get ahead.
Q: At the moment, you are currently covering the F1 test in Jerez using Twitter and Livestream with the hashtag #HappyTesting. How are you finding covering the testing so far?
A: Being in my position (not wanting to sound like I’m all that) I have the luck of having followers attending the tests, partner-websites that are covering it and next to that I read live coverages from 2 to 3 different websites (Autosport, AMuS, BBC, F1Today, GP Update). This all depending on which works the quickest with delivering the information I need.
That all combined gives me a clear picture of what’s going on at and around the track and I tweet that in my own words. Of course I often use the RT button if the situation calls for it for example with pictures, statements and so on. It is hard work, time consuming but so much fun to do.
Q: What feedback have you been currently been given about F1 Extra in general and also about #HappyTesting from Jerez?
A: This might sound like overkill but F1extra just has positive reactions and #HappyTesting gets reactions from places I never thought I would reach. I had a few DM’s from F1 teams complimenting me, had some lovely messages from people at the track thinking i was there after reading my tweets. Those were the best ones.
Through #HappyTesting I wanted to give the fans a “feeling” as if they were watching TV or even being at the track. It takes a LOT of tweets but after getting the reactions like that, I felt my job was done. I reached what I was looking for. THAT’S why I do it.
Q: Duurt, you are a big Motorsport fan obviously, so what got you into Motorsport generally?
A: Like many of us, I started watching F1 with my dad at the age of around 8. After my youth, when I became a teenager, every Sunday when there was a race on, I watched it again with my dad. After leaving the house to go live on my own, I kept watching races as much as I could.
Since social media took over and pay-per-view got out of hand in my opinion, it no longer was fun to watch. I come from the era where cigarettes were smoked in the paddock and Marlboro, JPS and others were still on the cars. More and more, if you wanted to know or watch something, you had to go to a website for it. That was my turning point and I started to get into the whole internet ‘thingie’. From then on the flame of passion was lit again and here I am now!
Q: What fascinates you about Motorsport in general?
A: Most would say the speed but for me it’s more the feeling that you get inside your stomach when a car goes through Eau Rouge on top speed. The “shock-effect” you get when a car crashes out or the excitement you feel when a pit stop comes down to a few seconds. Gut-feeling I would say.
After watching a race and you’re in your car behind someone else, you are looking for the DRS button. Those kind of things. I don’t really care about 1 type of car, engine or driver, just the buzz you get. No matter what happens or where you are, true fans know that feeling.
Q: How do you see the future of F1 Extra and the growth that social media is playing on keeping Formula One fans updated with the sport?
A: In these times where social media becomes an even bigger part of motorsport (#Red4Schumi for example) I’m happy and proud to have stepped in at the time I did. THAT was my lucky break and I see F1extra getting bigger and bigger, hopefully to a point where someday I get an invitation from a team or driver to be a VIP for the whole weekend.
Q: If there is one wish you could have for F1 Extra, what would it be and why?
A: My wish for F1extra is simple. I wish that, when the name F1extra is dropped in the paddock, all drivers, teams, media or fans, know exactly what it stands for. And I don’t mean that Dutch guy sharing some news but the place to go for that little “extra” inside the world of motorsport. Thank you very much Sarah for giving me the opportunity to try and explain F1extra and all that comes with it.
I would like to say a massive thank you to Duurt for allowing me the opportunity to cover the project for #JonesonF1 and answering all of my questions and enquires about #F1Extra. Once again, I am so honoured and privileged to be a member of #F1Extra for the 2014 Formula One season and I am very grateful to Duurt for all of his personal support and also his support for #JonesonF1.
[If you require any further information on Duurt , please follow him and #F1Extra throughout #HappyTesting on Twitter @Formula1Extra for all the latest updates throughout the test at Jerez this week. And you can also follow Duurt and #F1Extra on his website http://www.f1-livestream.com/duurt/].