Monday, October 18th was registration day for the 115th Boston Marathon. Everyone expected the race to fill up fast, but few expected all 21,000 spots to be full in just 8 hours a 3 minutes. Nevertheless, when registration opened at 9:00am ET, I went on the B.A.A. site to register myself and my wife for the race. After entering all of the information I pressed submit and the page went blank. I did it again, and again, and again, but the same thing happened.
A few minutes later I got a text message from a friend having the exact same issue. Runners were beginning to get worried. No one wanted to miss out on the race, and it appeared a lot of people were trying to access the site.
Then I went to Twitter and performed a search for the Boston Marathon. Suddenly, I found a lot of tweets pointing runners towards a new link for the registration page. Apparently, when the B.A.A. site re-directed runners to the registration page they put in some extra code in the URL that prevented the application from going through. This new link had the correct code. I quickly typed in the information and pressed submit, and then got a confirmation email moments later. It had worked, and I took a deep breath. Then I re-tweeted the link for other runners to see.
Unfortunately, there were many runners who tried registering in the morning and ultimately missed when the site did not work. Instead of turning to Twitter, they took a break and planned to revisit the site later – but by then the race was full. That, my friends, shows the value of social media.
This post is a way of personally thanking Twitter and other Twitter users out there, who used the social network to share information about this registration link. Without it, I very well may not have registered in time.