Running With Social Media 🏃📲
CURRENT AFFAIRS: My article entitled, “Making Road Marathons Safer & Better” was published in Running Malaysia magazine of JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018.
HOT TOPIC: Subsequently, my latest write-up called “Running With Social Media” appeared again in the Current Affairs section of Running Malaysia’s MARCH/APRIL 2018 issue.
CONTINUOUS PROGRESS: Of course, it gives me great pleasure to be part of Malaysia’s No.1 Leisure Running Magazine, and without prejudice, I got to admit that Running Malaysia has improved tremendously over the past two years in terms of the breadth and depth of its TOPICS, CONTENTS and RELEVANCY. Perhaps, this welcome change is a reflection of the DEVELOPMENT and PROGRESS of the Running scenario in Malaysia as a whole.
SUBSCRIBE NOW: So, for a poultry sum of RM10 per issue (within Peninsular Malaysia), I recommend Runners to subscribe to it in order to NOT MISS OUT on any of Malaysia’s latest leisure RUNNING NEWS/INFORMATION/INTERVIEWS/TIPS/TRENDS, plus its insightful running product REVIEWS. To subscribe, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
BE SOCIAL: Meanwhile, if you haven’t read their latest issue, I have posted below my article, “Running With Social Media” in its entirety because I hope that it will inspire more Runners to behave and interact ETHICALLY, INTELLIGENTLY, FAIRLY and RESPONSIBLY when you’re alone at the keyboard and immersed in your virtual world…
Running is a sport which promotes both good physical, as well as mental health. Many people run to stay fit, to release stress and to gain self confidence. Furthermore, the non-discriminatory and positive nature of running communities, groups and events are big factors in attracting more participants, corporate sponsors and community leaders to favour and support the biggest mass participation sports of running in Malaysia. In particular, any open group activity, such as running, which does not discriminate against individuals based on their age, gender, social status and personal ideologies will give a much needed boost in Mankind’s faith in humanity.
Two Sides Of The Same Coin
Nowadays, upholding the INTEGRITY of running is becoming increasingly difficult with the meteoric rise in POPULARITY of Social Media.
On one side, the widespread use of the Internet and Social Media by current runners have significantly helped elevate the popularity status of Running by providing a convenient online platform for runners to CONNECT, COMMUNICATE and SHARE all their running dreams, goals, aspirations and achievements with each other. All you need to be part of this one BIG VIRTUAL RUNNING FAMILY is a smartphone or laptop, and an internet access.
On the DOWNSIDE, Social Media has also given runners an unrestricted channel to PUBLICLY share their personal anger, grievances, grouses, and general rants against other runners, event organisers and suppliers WITH OR WITHOUT any proof or evidence.
Although, there is nothing wrong for us to give constructive criticisms to our running friends if required, there are a few IRRESPONSIBLE runners out there who are Abusing and Misusing Social Media for their own personal gains, while not caring about how their actions are negatively IMPACTING the running community.
A Tool For Improvement
As a Running Blogger since 2011, I have experienced firsthand, many times before both the POSITIVE and the NEGATIVE influences of Social Media on runners, running community and industry.
A positive example of social media working for runners is the immediate and useful online feedbacks that event organisers receives from the participants which have resulted in many vast improvements in the quality of many local running events.
In contrast, a negative example, is runners and running bloggers who EITHER blindly share event information without knowing the organiser’s identity and trustworthiness, OR they spread Fake News about other runners and running events on social media. By the way, I consider stories which have not been cross checked and verified first before sharing publicly online as FAKE NEWS too!!
The bottom line is that social media in the RIGHT HANDS is like a magical wand which can significantly improve our running experiences, as well as unite and strengthen the Running Community.
Leaving A Lasting Legacy
For a senior veteran running blogger like myself, lately, it is becoming increasingly important that I contribute positively to the running community by my deeds or via social media, so that the upcoming and future runners will also be able to enjoy participating in a highly exciting and rewarding running scenario for many more generations to come.
Eventually, this FUTURE of running will have mastered the social media, but right now, we still need to be MINDFUL on using the social media for the good of all runners and not just for personal fame and fortune. Together, Let’s Move Forward…but how should we do that?
No Instruction Manual
The Pros and Cons of Social is that it is uncontrollable. However, for the betterment of our running integrity and for improving the relationship WITHIN the running community and BETWEEN runners and outsiders, I have penned down a simple GUIDE in order to help runners to share their postings on social media WITHOUT causing unnecessary grieve to third parties and AVOID dragging the good name of running bloggers through the mud with bad reportings.
*10* Social Media Postings Tips
- SILENCE IS GOLDEN: If you have nothing good to say, then it’s best not to say anything at all. You really don’t need to post everything that happens, and you don’t need to post everyday. It’s better to spend more time offline, researching and finding interesting stories. Quality stories out-trumps quantity everytime, and you will attract quality Followers and not wishy-washy ones. Sometimes, my silence on a particular topic will speak volumes to my Followers.
- TAKE A CHILL PILL: Don’t post anything when you’re angry or upset as you want a clear and level head to better plead your case. If I’m feeling too emotional about a situation or story, I will sleep on it, and only tackle it on the next day, when my emotions have calmed down enough for me to reason things more effectively.
- BE MASTERFUL: You don’t have to react to every virile running post. Instead, I recommend that you specialise and become an expert in 1-2 running topics, and follow topics which you know something about. For me, I will mainly follow and if appropriate, comment on running topics relating to Cheating and Safety cases.
- NO GOSSIP: Don’t spread any seditious rumours that are only based on hearsay. Believe me, you will not like it if you are on the receiving end of malicious rumours. Gossips are for aunties in hair salons, and it has no place in running where good things are based on facts and supported by science.
- DON’T HANG DIRTY LAUNDRY: Avoid openly confronting others over sensitive personal issues. Try messaging them privately first or better to chat privately over the phone or face-to-face. Unlike the Western World, in Asia, saving “face” is a huge deal.
- RIGHT CHANNEL: If you want to complain about a running event, firstly check the terms and conditions of the event, and find out how to lodge a complaint officially. When respect and follow their official procedures, you are more likely to reach the right outcome.
- COPY CAT: Always give credit to the ORIGINAL source of the story/idea and photographs about which you post.
- NO FAKE NEWS: Don’t simply write about risqué issues/topics without a nobel reason and make sure that you have hard evidence to back your claims.
- BE EARNEST: Be absolutely truthful to your online readers/followers in order to build yourself a good reputation. In the end, when it matters, you will be judged by your reputation not by the numbers of Followers.
- SPREAD THE LURVE: Share as many good and positive running stories and news as you want because you will directly or indirectly help to inspire and motivate runners.
Everyone is specifically unique and has something worthwhile to contribute to the running world. Have you found your running niche on social media yet…?
To the best of my knowledge, all of the information provided herein is accurate at the time of publishing and the views expressed are based on my own personal opinions and findings, and they don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Product Manufacturer, Event Organiser or any Third Party unless explicitly specified otherwise.
About The Author
Gus Ghani is the Founder of Running Toons and a HIIT Fitness Coach, and Magazine Columnist. He has contributed numerous insightful articles to The Star newspaper, Running Malaysia Magazine, and Cycling Malaysia Magazine. LIKE Happy Runner for RUNNING UPDATES, Gus Rider for CYCLING NEWS, Gus Ghani for SPORTS INFOTAINMENT and FOLLOW gusghani @IG for LIFESTYLE.
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