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Decentralizing Parkour Jam Planning using Twitter

On Jumping on Entrepreneurship

One of the major problems with parkour communities right now is jam planning and coordination. Currently, Rochester uses Facebook to plan jams. Honestly I wish it hadn't turned out that way. The only way to announce your jam was to post on the discussion boards (which no one checks with any real frequency in ANY Facebook group) or to send out a message. Only administrators of the group can send out messages though, so unless I made everyone an administrator, only a few select people could effectively plan jams.

I recognized how detrimental this was to the community and I made a push to start using the American Parkour forums. As it stands, almost all typical parkour communities use forums to plan their jams, and it works pretty well. Forums allow anyone to post a jam, they facilitate easy discussion and planning of the jam, and it leaves a public record of past events. The problem is people had no incentive to check APK because any event we planned was blasted to them through Facebook. Additionally, it's difficult to reach critical mass on a forum (as defined by the amount of activity occurring to keep it interesting enough for people to keep coming back and generating more activity). So short of the leaders of the community abandoning Facebook entirely. I had to find a way to solve this problem in order for the community to be sustainable. How could we decentralize jam planning without destroying the community?

Then the idea. Twitter. It all fell into place, and the solution is SO much cooler than you think it is.

A quick rundown on Twitter lingo in case you aren't familiar. A Twitter update is called a tweet. You can do something called "retweeting" which is basically quoting someone. It's typically used as a way of saying "hey. This guy is pretty cool, you (your followers) should hear what he has to say." Then there are hashtags, which is Twitters keyword system. You can end a tweet with #08DebateTopics, and then whenever someone who was interested in 2008 election debate topics searched for that hashtag, tweets about energy policy, Iraq, and the economy would all come up.

So here is how my solution works:

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