> It Started With A Tweet

It Started With A Tweet

Posted on Saturday, July 10, 2010 | No Comments

Anyone who reads this blog undoubtedly follows me on Twitter and if you don’t follow me on Twitter, I only have one thing to say to you – “why ever not?”

For those who don’t follow me, to the right is my stream for your reading pleasure and a handy button to come follow me in real time. But enough with the shameless self promotion, let me get to my point.

I’ve always known that Twitter is a powerful tool, I’ve read the books, visited the websites, been to the seminars and realised it for myself, its a tool that connects vast amounts of people 140 characters at a time and has a reach into so many of our daily lives. Its a powerful tool – and that message was re-enforced to me just this week.

Anyone outside of the US has probably been wondering just who Lebron James is and why he’s been a trending topic for the past couple of weeks. Well, from what I gather he’s a top Basketball player who decided to announce which team he would play for next (Miami was the result). This caused a mass amount of traffic on Twitter with everyone getting swept up in the story. On Monday, the official Twitter account – @Twitter – finally verifed that @KingJames was thee account for Lebron James and welcomed him onto the site – his followers increased in no time as everyone clamoured to find out the latest news and pending announcement.

My ego, being what is it, instantly spotted that 'when I signed up to Twitter, I’d not been given the same warm welcome and decided that I would make an off-the-cuff tweet back to the @Twitter account asking why I hadn’t been welcomed in the same way – after all I’m just as an important and equal user as @KingJames right?

My tweet went out as thus:

@twitter I never got a welcome like that when I joined @twitter - I somehow feel de-vauled! :(
I hit “Send” on TweetDeck and never thought anything more of it and went back to reading TechCrunch or writing email or whatever I was doing at the time. TweetDeck continuing to run in the background, I noticed a lot of messages were appearing but from no one I recongised and I decided to ignore them as TweetDeck bleeped away alerting me to these messages.

It was then I realised that the bleeps were getting closer together and messsage popping up more frequently and also found my mobile phone vibrating wildly as new email arrived on the device. I clicked TweetDeck to the front and to my surprise a barrage of tweets all addressed to me appeared in my stream! Scrolling down to the beginning it was then I realised that @Twitter had replied to my message and highlighted my account to the world – the replies and retweets appearing in my stream were from all those that had seen that tweet and joined in the buzz.
Oh, and also a much belated welcome to @craigbutters -- see: http://bit.ly/9yn30F.

(Link for status is here)

I picked up my phone – 22 new emails in the past 15 minutes! Opening the mail application, all of them new followers joining my stream. By the time I switched off the laptop a couple of hours later I’d got 86 new followers!

But it was the @ replies that appeared in my stream that most amused me; it seemed like everyone wanted to know who @craigbutters was – some speculated that I too was some famous obscure pop-cult character that they hadn’t heard of yet, others realised straight away that my message had just been selected for reply by @Twitter out of the undoubtely millions they receive every day – but it was a total “15 minutes of fame” moment.

A moment that also saw my page crash -- talk about a true celebrity moment, I'd like to think my page generated quite a few hits that night and caused problems:

It was this one tweet that has reminded me just how powerful the Twitter platform is – one tweet from the right person can change lives, situations, gather support, oppose or promote ideas and change the opinion of everyone.

My message to you is never under estimate your tweet, no matter how minor you think your 140 character message may be, there’s always someone reading – and then just about anything can and will happen.

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