Monday, May 19, 2014

What the Heck Is A Dogecoin?


Human beings tend to judge others more harshly than they judge themselves and I'm no different. For instance, my initial reaction to Josh Wise winning the fan vote for the All-Star Race was: "oh, for Pete's sake, they voted for someone who doesn't have a prayer. Who the heck are these Reddit people anyway and what do they know about NASCAR?"

My immediate follow-up thought was: "how is that different from you voting for Danica Patrick?"

Sheepishly, I admitted to myself that there was no difference. I voted for Danica because I like her and I wanted to support a woman, not because I thought that there was any possibility that she would pull off a win. I think fans voted for Bobby LaBonte last year out of affection and old time's sake. People give their vote to drivers for all kinds of reasons, probably the least of them being, the odds of them winning.

The Reddit folks ponied up enough in Dogecoins to sponsor the 98 car in Kansas. That must have only whetted their appetite because to top that off, they voted in massive numbers to get their guy into the All-Star Race. I'm old and behind the times. I didn't have a clue about what a Dogecoin was and I have enough to do trying to keep up with Facebook and Google+ and Linked In and Twitter without trying to figure out out Reddit works.

In case you don't know, here is the definition: Dogecoin (/ˈdoʊʒkɔɪn/ dohjkoyn, code: DOGE, symbol: Ð and D) is a cryptocurrency featuring a Shiba Inu from the "Doge" Internet meme on its logo. It was introduced on December 8, 2013. A Dogecoin is worth approximately .000031 in American currency.

Does that definition help? Do you know anymore than you did before?

I have to believe that, even though it leaves many traditional NASCAR fans shaking their heads in confusion, this kind of enthusiasm is only positive for NASCAR itself. Reddit caters primarily to the young and that is the very demographic NASCAR needs the most. Youth often has a short attention span so this attraction may be be short-lived before they are off to the next project but if even a few get hooked on stock car racing in the meantime, it is a benefit to our sport.

The younger generations are drawn to being interactive. They like to participate more than simply to watch. Being involved in sponsoring their own car and voting for their driver for the All-Star race gives them that sense of personally making a difference.

So, congratulations, Reddit, you accomplished something in both directions. You made NASCAR appealing to a lot of people who might not have paid any attention before and you made NASCAR fans a little smarter ("little" being the operative word in my case) about Reddit and Dogecoins.