Let’s be honest, Twitter isn’t for everyone. In fact, it may be best for some people to find Twitter etiquette prior to engaging and this is really important for celebrities. Hollywood is ripe with embarrassing stories of celebrities who have grown attached to Twitter and tweeted their every move, thought, meal, workout and feeling. It hasn’t always gone down well with their adoring fans. Often times, too much information can be a brand killer instead of a brand booster.

The Tweet vomit phenomenon isn’t reserved for Hollywood, sadly, as it has made its way into every walk of life and even some journalists have ran afoul of tweeting things that have or don’t come to pass making it difficult to understand their sources and perhaps more importantly, hard to trust their accuracy which impacts their livelihoods.

Racing has it’s own mesh of drivers and team members who have tweeted things that are usually best reserved for close friends. Whether Scott Speed was joking or serious, claiming he urinates in the shower was only amplified by the fact that he said he did it on his wife while they were bathing. Equally disturbing was his pictures tweeted of his wife urinating in bushes…you get the point.

Lewis Hamilton fell afoul of the stream of mind vomit that Twitter can produce when he took his frustration to Twitter to post a picture of the teams telemetry to prove that he was not to blame for the lack of pace and that Jenson Button, his teammate, had a better setup. The team was nonplussed by the Tweet and now Lewis has taken a swipe at Jenson Button when he posted this on Twitter:

“Just noticed @jensonbutton unfollowed, thats a shame. After 3 years as teammates, I thought we respected one another but clearly he doesn’t.

“Funny thing is, we are STILL teammates! All good tho, I plan on giving this team & fans all I got til I cross the finish line in brazil!!!.”

If you were Lewis, you’d be a tad miffed as to why Jenson “un-followed” you on Twitter and possibly tell you buddies that you think that’s a little raw but as it turns out, Jenson never followed Hamilton to begin with. Hamilton later retracted his accusation.

Twitter seems to be a danger zone for Lewis and it can backfire (has backfired) more than its helped so perhaps Lewis should, like Pirelli’s Paul Hembery, bow out of Twitter as it just isn’t the medium for him to reach out to his fans.

There is another, edgy side of this story if you are  fan who likes realism and you favor those who are open, honest and real on Twitter. Racers have Twitter accounts that are ran by their publicity agents and are so generic that they end of adding clutter to your timeline and that’s pointless. Fans like when their favorite driver, actor or industry person shows some personality and flavor in their tweets. It makes them more accessible and approachable.

Many fans liked this about Paul Hembery. He was unvarnished and truthful with his commentary on Twitter and they have also enjoyed this about Ron Howard as well as Fernando Alonso. The point may be, is there a happy medium?

Hembery was slated publicly and that’s a shame. It’s the bravery of being out of range that allows trolls to do what they do but Alonso, so far, is a good example of being human, accessible, approachable and yet not tweeting anything that is dangerous to his image or career or the careers and images of others. Even the target of Hamilton’s tweet seems to manage Twitter properly as Jenson Button understands the medium.

What do you like best? Do you like realism be it warts and all or do you think there is a happy medium? Who handles their Twitter account the best with the right amount of personal with the right amount of reserve to be insightful of protective of their brand?

An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Cona

    Actually Mr. Smooth used to follow Lewis, I know that for a fact, within hours of both announcements, JB stopped following Lewis and started following Sergio…if you have any doubts ask Twitter to check JB account!!!

    • The plot “thinnens”. :)

      • Cona

        I think the media is out to destroy Hamilton for whatever reason, apparently you like to destroy one of your owns, like you said, the plot continues and the campaign never ends.
        Guys like JB never have a happy ending, his long tail will catch up with him one day, perhaps even next year, you never know.
        I hope JB is paying you guys well, or are you just blowing his dxxx for free?
        Why don’t you report about more serious matters, like for instance, the corrupted, murdering regime behind the Williams Team sponsorship or Bernie’s dodgy dealings? It’s easier to attack the most vulnerable ones, I suppose…

        • Rapierman

          So much for civility. :-P

          • Cona

            Civility my ass…the World is big but is becoming immensely crowded with double standards tossers, perhaps another WW is needed to hype a few millions and start the cycle all over again, a new boom would certainly benefit the World economics and the global markets, plus getting rid of the surplus, which is a bonus…:)
            Money can buy you anything nowadays, but cannot buy, decency, dignity, truthfulness, ethics and morals, values that are in shortly supply these days…

          • Cona

            I meant wipe :)

        • Whoa! Nice shootin’ Tex. No one is out to “destroy” Lewis. He tweeted those tweets himself and we’re merely discussing those. I also included an alternate view that fans don’t like publicists handling driver’s accounts because they rean’t real. Whether you agree or disagree with a driver’s comment, some like the realism and honesty even when its visceral or pointed. We discuss Mr. E’s realm, Hugo Chavez sponsorship and much more here as well.

          No one is getting paid off here to promote anything or anyone and we, as far as I know, are not engaged in oral sex, mate. you can make your point and engage the discussion without resorting to such acidic comments. I can tell that you are frustrated and I get that way too but the rule here is “civility & Decorum” and we like to have dialog about issues and even when we disagree, we appreciate that others are willing to share their opinion. Vitriol such as yours is more than welcome at other sites and even encouraged but not here. We’d love to have you as a part of the discussion but not if we’re all going to be called C*$% suckers in the process…we didn’t call you that for having a differing opinion from us did we?

          Keep it civil and know that we’re very happy to have you here but I hope you follow your call that the world lacks decency, dignity et. al. and give us credit that we are trying to exemplify the very things you say are missing in this world. If they are missing and that frustrates you, then you are at the right website…just don’t engage int eh behavior that ads to the world’s lack of poise and integrity.

          • The last thing we need is a world war over a formula 1 driver’s twitter comment; Actually, the last thing we need is a World War – of course Lewis is going to a German team…

        • mini696

          Both of those things you talk about have been discussed.

      • Joseph Morgan

        Its an oversight on Button’s part to not follow his team mate the past 3 years, if he is keen to preserve the “hey we get along image,” and yet he suddenly adds his soon to be team mate Perez after Hamilton’s announcement to move to Mercedes. That does sound very shady and for all of Button’s good guy PR makes him look fake. Hamilton at least admits his mistakes something his detractors won’t pardon him for in their blinkered support of Button. For all his arrogance and naivety Hamilton seems more of the human being here. If I were Sergio Perez, I would take heed of this lesson and protect himself while being Button’s team mate.
        I would wonder why Button hasn’t followed Lewis and all the hype about them being best buddies was obviously one-sided. Lewis obviously felt there was a ‘friendship’ of some sorts. Makes Button a hypocrite in my books and shows how shallow the team have been towards Lewis over the past three years.
        Button has been a ‘snake in the grass’ since he moved in to McLaren. Lacking, as he does, the speed and skill of Hamilton he knew he’d have to resort to politics and the subtle undermining of Hamilton to get close to his success. Hamilton’s problem is that he’s naive and immature and fell for Button’s wiles hook line and sinker.

  • Rapierman

    Memo to @jensenbutton and @lewishamilton: Hoiw ’bout we try “shut up and drive”? Bet that’ll solve all your problems. #Annoyed :-P

  • Rapierman

    Twitter is okay, but it can also be an extension of “shoot-your-mouth-off-jackassism”. Like your mouth, you must think before you tweet. You’re talking to a world-wide audience, not all of which will be appreciative of what you say. Always be careful.

    • NeilM

      Minor correction: Twitter is the very definition of of “shoot-your-mouth-off-jackassism”.

  • profernity

    I think the key to a good twitter account for sportspeople is to be honest about your feelings to events that only pertain to yourself. For example, honestly talking about how gutted you are, following a poor performance, is different to trashy passive-aggressive gossip talk like, “Jenson unfollowed me, I thought we were teammates”. It is never good to be passing simplistic comments on others in the sport, including team mates, other drivers, officials, and track marshals.

    Twitter has never been good for making statements requiring explanation – it’s only 140 characters long, and no, I don’t appreciate a volume of tweets marked (1/10) to (10/10). It is best for the simplest of statements, and the simplest is an honest appraisal of how you feel. If you’re really shat off about another driver, you’re going to have to do it the normal way – mouthing off to reporters.

    Alonso does get this balance right. His feed feels genuine, and you know how happy or disappointed he is by his tweets. There is a difference between a PR-polished, “We didn’t get the best out of the car today” and the (perhaps excessive) exclamation points Alonso puts at the end of every sentence.

    Or maybe someone in Lewis’s management should give him a tumblr account and make it private – it’ll allow him to indulge in some whining since he seems to not be able to rein that impulse in, and perhaps he’ll even post some animated gif sets of Doctor Who and the Avengers along the way.

  • cconf1

    A someone who never has — and never will — have a twitter account (hell, I don’t even own a cell phone), I don’t feel like I’m missing a thing. :)

  • Husker

    Can’t find the tweet, but the day (or the day after) Hamilton announced he was moving to Merc, someone from the British media pointed out the same thing – Button has unfollowed Lewis – to which Button replied something like “Never followed him, but makes a great story…” (paraphrasing).

    I want to say it was Will Buxton for some reason? Probably not him…argh. No idea.

    Well, whoever it was, I find it funny that Button decided to reply to -some reporter- but not Hamilton. It could well be he just missed it, but if Jenson actually saw it, he did the absolute right thing. Ignore it instead of playing some sort of sorority drama online…and Lewis finally figured out (or someone pointed out) the truth leaving him looking quite like a drama queen.

    Gotta respect the fact that he didn’t delete the tweets tho, but still – was THAT the best place to cry about it? Couldn’t he wait and ask Jenson himself this wednesday in Korea? Yes it would be an awkward conversation. A private awkward conversation, but not as awkward as it actually was.

    Sometimes you just wonder WTF goes through his mind sometimes, hehe.

    IMO, best F1 driver’s Tweeters:
    Alonso, Button, Webber.
    Just discovered Taki Inoue’s tweeter acct. and he’s quite fun to follow.

    Teams: Lotus, Sauber, Caterham, Marussia.

    • Husker

      Found it if anyone’s interested.

      The tweet was from Jon Noble @NobleF1 on 9/28/12

      • GaryKPDX

        @Husker Did you notice Martin Whitmarsh chiming in on that conversation? Thanks for the link.

        • GaryKPDX

          Oops. I should have looked more carefully. That was the fake Martin Whitmarsh. Oh well.

          • Husker

            hehe, yeah. MW doesn’t have a Twitter acct. Lots of fakers out there. Some great some bad. I dont follow FMW so I dunno.
            Fake Charlie Whiting tweets among others make GP weekends quite entertaining. ;)

    • Lewis went off twitter for a while in and around the time the move to Mercedes was confirmed. Popped up on Friday saying he’d had phone issues, but was back. I’d say that when he was catching up on what was being said about it he came across the Jonathan Noble tweet and just reacted, then saw the Button response.

      @NobleF1 is one of the Autosport guys and JB would know him well enough to respond – shows he follows Jonathan!

      even though the whole thing is academic at this stage I’m very supportive of Lewis’s move to Mercedes. I think that he’ll suffer a bit over a couple of years but be better for it. I remember how JB matured at BAR/Honda after the Williams contract debacle, put his head down and got on with a thankless job before being rewarded for his loyalty and persistence by Brawn

  • GaryKPDX

    Looks like Hamilton, freshly informed, just retracted his silly and self-involved remark. Still, he contributes little to my enjoyment of F1 on Twitter, so I took this episode as a cue to plonk him my damned self. Drivers I especially enjoy include Button, Alonso, Kovalainen, and Webber although I subscribe to some others.

  • gofaster

    Lewis demonstrated a pattern of being a cry baby along his career. He has a chip on his shoulder and behave very poorly not only towards his team but his team mates. Frankly, I think it takes a lot more than raw talent (which he has) to become an icon in F1. Lewis lacks maturity and wisdom. One can count on many fingers the bad decisions he made (choosing the wrong management, twitter, letting his personal life influence his driving etc…). I’m not a fan, but I can’t wait for the drama when he moves to Mercedes, have a crappy car, stop winning and blame his team for ruining his career.

    • mark h

      As for me, I can’t wait to see what Rosberg has for him. Suspect it might be a bit more than Lewis bargained for.

  • F1 Kitteh

    Hamster is the best, please keep up the “good work”.

  • mini696

    I ask this:

    Who cares?

    Should Lewis be concentrating on more important things?

    I think so.

    Maybe he feels he doesn’t need to care about the racing anymore, his future is secured.

  • dude

    Personally, I do not use any social media services because there are tons of online information brokers who make profit from collecting personal information and selling it to aggregators and other parties.

    Maybe someone else managed Jenson account like his personal manager and its just typical PR work, albeit a bit early in the season. Or maybe its a psychological warfare, but I don’t see why Jenson would purposefully do this since he has no chance to win the championship. In any case, this is childish behavior by Lewis, its a virtual thing that isn’t worth concerning about. If I was either of the two, I would’ve added my teammate to the blocklist from the first day coming into the team just to make a point, this is Formula 1.

    Also, can’t have a double standard because he wasn’t helpful to his exfriend Sutil either. I think Lewis is very talented and I don’t doubt he’ll be quick at Mercedes too, though less successful due to the car, but he needs to be away from all media distraction and just concentrate on the racing, but it doesn’t looks like he can pull it together and work like Schumacher or Alonso for this upcoming change.

    • dude

      Lol, just read the Twitter update from other article. My point stands, it wasn’t to be concerned about.

  • F1Champ

    Hammy again shooting his own foot. And this guy is trying to emulate Schumacher by turning the dog Mercedes into a WC?? Cant wait for his twittering to start… ;)

  • MIE

    Didn’t Laura Marieee cover all of this last week in F1 Timeline? Certainly the Jon Noble tweets were in there. Perhaps Lewis needs to follow F1B?

  • Spiccato

    Really? No one here has any idea what’s happened privately at McLaren, or at the pub between these guys.
    When did following a social media account mean anything?