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Manufactured Motoczysz hype after TT Zero win?
Submitted by reikiman on Sat, 06/12/2010 - 10:00
In case you hadn't heard there are a lot of electric motorcycle races going on this summer. One of them, the TT Zero, just ran on Thursday on the Isle of Man. See: Mark Miller of Motoczysz wins 2010 TTZERO, Rob Barber of Agni Motors in 2nd One result of this is a lot of hype attention pointed at Motoczysz making them seem like the Second Coming of Christ or the best thing since sliced bread. e.g. The Motorcycle of the Future Has Arrived, MotoCzysz E1pc: The World’s Most Advanced Electric Motorcycle ... there's more out there including some claims this is the worlds fastest electric motorcycle.
To be clear the win is impressive and to hit a 135 miles/hr speed during a road race is very impressive. But at the same time I'm wondering just how much of this hype is manufactured and how much is honest hype. There are other impressive electric motorcycles in the electric racing scene, also deserving of attention. e.g. Lightning strikes second round of TTXGP 2010 with Lightning Motors win, namely the bikes racing in the TTXGP 2010 series.
In my twitter client (Nambu) I keep a search going for "electric motorcycles". Just prior to the start of the TT Zero race a slew of tweets started being sent about the Motoczysz bike. The flood has stopped now but just before, during, and for about 24 hours after the race, there were hundreds of tweets about the Motoczysz bike.
What you see in this picture is just a small sample but look at the time stamp. This screen shot records an identical tweet sent through a dozen different twitter accounts in the exact same minute. This isn't the natural course of twitterers sharing news with one another, this is an organized PR campaign using twitter to send out a message. That block of tweets was sent at 1:28 AM PDT on June 11, 2010 (see twitter.com/shayna57/status/15914279149).
Maybe the tweets in this screen shot weren't directed by Motoczysz. The link in them goes to a website that looks like a pseudospamblog, and it's plausible the owner of that blog saw a trending topic, put together a post, and sent out tweets through roboticized twitter accounts.
Going back in time this is where the flood of tweets appears to have started .. at 1:35 PM PST on June 9, 2010, the day before the TT Zero.
I've tracked down some of these tweets and they all point to the same gizmodo.com article. ... twitter.com/Gadget_Sage/status/15800654745 ... twitter.com/techscreens/status/15800655733 ... twitter.com/WPL_Ping/status/15800658039 ... twitter.com/kahotep/status/15800659563 ... each of the twitter accounts appears to be a roboticized feed of random news articles fed with the RSS2Twitter or feedtweet services. That particular block of tweets appears to go on for a couple hundred individual tweets from individual accounts.
And that wasn't the only block of identical tweets. Another set had the same title but pointed to a URL on engadget's website and also got repeated by a zillion accounts.
Summary .. Yeah, Motoczysz is obviously deserving of some attention. But some of the attention and hype surrounding them is manufactured.