It’s no secret that Lance Armstrong is riding the Tour de France this year. He’s been all over the media and the web. He’s got a huge following on Twitter, and he is getting tons of comments on his TDF training videos and training blog. So what’s the big deal about using video and twitter and other social tools? Well, if you’ve ever heard anything about the Tour de France, or pro cycling in general, you probably know that the support is not without controversy. Every year, riders are disqualified for blood doping or using banned substances. The race officials have started really cracking down in recent years, yet there are riders (or teams) who choose to cheat. I’ve been a follower of Lance on Twitter for quite some time, and I believe that he is using it, and other social tools, to be more transparent about his training, his life, his Livestrong organization, and his life in general. Below are a couple of really cool videos from his website which show the human side of Lance. In both cases, we have a world famous athlete talking with everyday folks while riding his bike. It’s often hard to think of athletes or celebrities as real, approachable people, but I think the videos below show the Lance is a person on a bike, not a machine.
I’ve written recently about the importance of putting pictures of staff on librarywebsites. I really think that social tools like online video can help to personalize the library website and make it more approachable. Video and pictures from staff members can make the library more welcoming by breaking down the barriers and fears that users may have of the organization. By showing the people behind the institution, libraries can make their sites, buildings, and services more accessible.
Take a look at the videos below.
A video of Lance riding a TDF training route with an 8 year old boy
liamlivestrong.MP4 — powered by http://www.livestrong.com
A video of Lance talking with a lady from Ohio on the TDF route
ohioguest.mp4 — powered by http://www.livestrong.com