The aim of this post, is to analyze how Fernando Alonso uses new technologies and specially social networks and how he introduces himself as a fan of this technological world online.
I have chosen Fernando because I consider him a well integrated person on the net as he says “I think there is never enough technology,” he may appreciate it because “Technology is our motivation and the main goal for engineers and designers”.
Fernando Alonso, the Spanish Formula One racing driver was born in Oviedo. His love for carts begun when he was only three years old. José Luis, his father, an amateur kart racer, built a kart for his daughter Lorena. Fernando liked it more than her sister and made his start in motor racing with her kart. From 1994 to 1997 he won karting championships in Spain, then, in 1996 Alonso became world karting champion.
The two-time World Champion has been racing for Scuderia Ferrari since 2010, nevertheless, he begun in Formula One world in 2001 with Minardi. When he was a 24-year-old Renault pilot he won the Formula One World Driver´s Championship title; he also became the youngest Formula One World Drivers´ Champion before Luis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel wrested these records from him. In 2007, he had joined McLaren before he decided to return to Renault between 2008 and 2009.
These Formula One racing drivers, Luis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, have a totally different presence on social networks.
In contrast, the German driver Sebatian Vettel is not interested in social media. He describes Facebook and Twitter as ‘indirect and impersonal’, for him “it is not true communication”, “Facebook and Twitter are not my thing…. It is a very indirect and impersonal way to make contact with other people. I prefer personal conversations, face to face”.
On the contrary Fernando Alonso, shares the same opinion about social networks with Hamilton. Fernando thinks “there is never enough technology” and he enters the world of social networks, something that allows him to be nearer his followers.
This Formula One driver entered Facebook the ninth of March in 2012; since then he has shared pictures with us, in the same way as he does in Twitter. Normally there are pictures about his work and his training; but he also shares more personal pictures like one which he appears with his girlfriend.
Alonso uses, @alo_oficial, his “Twitter, myself… There was a possibility that someone can help me, but I said it’s better if I do it myself, because I control what I put”. Alonso finds it a good tool to control competitors’ movements “sometimes it shows you the problems they may have or the stress they are facing. You can read behind the tweet what the situation is”. He writes about his races, his trainings, journeys, his favorite hobbies like cycling, football and tennis. He writes in English and Spanish and he also combines his twits with some pictures. As Fernando tells us, “Sometimes I like to express myself more with a picture than with 140 characters”. He also uses an Instagram account that he combines together with Twitter.
Fernando Alonso has also other kinds of web pages like a channel on Youtube and his own web page.
On Youtube, he shares some videos. One of his latest video is the one you can find bellow. It was uploaded one month ago and he has already 36930 views; he used it to congratulate his followers´ Christmas.
His blog is mainly divided in five different sectors: “Fernando Alonso, My Life, Timeline, Championship and Sponsors”. It is a mixture of the social networks he takes part in, he shares some pictures form Instagram, some videos from his Youtube channel, some comments people write in Twitter,…. We could say that it is a very complete page.
Fernando Alonso uses the Internet to promote himself and make himself known on the net. He uses various digital identities to obtain this purpose. Everything he publishes together with other people´s comments, constitutes his digital identity. Thanks to it, and due to his good use of social networks he has improved his reputation and personal image, getting closer to people.
For example, he encouraged his followers to make him as many questions as they wanted. He received more than 12,700 questions in Twitter and he made the effort of answering the most interesting ones.
One of those followers asked him why he had delayed to show himself as he does now. He answered that he has always shown his real personality but that many newspapers and headlines depict him in a way he doesn´t recognize himself.
In my view, Fernando Alonso uses social networks in a proper way and he knows how to make profit of it and takes advantages of the possibilities the net offers.
We must admit that he was already famous before being online, due to his success as Formula One pilot. Nevertheless, Social networks have brought him nearer people and above all they have made him known among users of social networks around the world. On the other hand, he has been able to express himself in a way he can control. He is the owner of his own words and of the image he wants to project.
Fernando Alonso is not only successful in his races but also on social networks.
♦ López Jordá, T. (2012). Fernando Alonso exprime las redes sociales para acercarse a la afición. 08/05/2012. Accesed February 5, 2013, from http://www.lavanguardia.com/gente/20120508/54290838461/fernando-alonso-redes-sociales-aficion.html
♦ Formula 1 Championship. (2012). Fernando Alonso answers the questions the fans. Retrieved February 6, 2013, from http://formula1global.com/news/fernando_alonso_answers_the_questions_the_fans.html
♦ Business News. (2012). Fernando Alonso Lifts the Lid on His Digital Life. 26/11/2012. Retrieved February 5, 2013, from http://www.kaspersky.com/about/news/business/2012/Fernando_Alonso_Lifts_the_Lid_on_His_Digital_Life
♦ Williams, C. (2012). Fernando Alonso: Tweeting from the fast lane. 24/11/2012. Retrieved February 5, 2013, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/9699011/Fernando-Alonso-Tweeting-from-the-fast-lane.html
♦ F1Backmarker. (2013). In My Eyes: Fernando Alonso. 09/01/2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013, from http://theformula1opinion.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/in-my-eyes-fernando-alonso/
♦ Sebastian Vettel, the low-key history-maker. (2012).26/11/2012. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from http://sports.ndtv.com/formula-1/features/item/199797-sebastian-vettel-the-low-key-history-maker
♦ Baldwin, A. (2013). Life’s “wunderbar” for happy Hamilton. 05/02/2013. Retrieved February 6, 2013, from http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/f1-grand-prix/life-s-wunderbar-for-happy-hamilton-1.1464413#.URQv9qVvp0k