Using Twitter to really help someone

I've been using Twitter for the better part of 6 months now and have found it to be a compelling way to network with other people. Sure, it can be a fantastic waste of time if you let it but so can nearly every other internet technology. I use Twitter for a wide range of things, from asking about which photo management tool to use, following key people that talk about topics I'm interested in on through BS'ing with my friends on different topics. There's something about limiting the conversation to 140 character statements that keeps everything very focused.

It's hard to understand the impact that this form of networking can have outside of how it impacts you directly. Can Twitter really be used to connect people together quickly? Last night I ran across something that was pretty cool. This tweet came across my Tweetdeck "Friends" feed last night:
From @jtnt:
RT @MackCollier: Pleas help @armano help out a friend in need (pleas RT if you can) - (via @AaronStrout)

In Twitter Speak the RT means Re-Tweet; forwarding a Tweet you read to your followers so that it hits a broader audience. Just like the old Faberge Shampoo commercial, they tell two friends, and so on, and so on...

David Armano (@armano) put up a blog post and followed it with a tweet to his network of followers. I had never heard of David Armano before that tweet but since Nick Tolson (jtnt) is someone I trust I figured I would check it out. You can read David's blog post to see the context but it is a very touching story and clearly impacted a lot of people, prompting them to make a donation on Daniela's behalf.

In less than 12 hours David raised over $11K for Daniela. His original goal, with a deadline of Feb 5th, was to get $5K. Needless to say he was a bit overwhelmed and his recent tweets reflect that.

What's interesting to me about this outside of the incredible "feel good" nature of what David did is the speed with which this took off. The power of Twitter to span out across a wide range of different groups so quickly and with such a visible impact is interesting to say the least.


Anonymous said…

I have to admit I'm going to twitter much more than news for large stories anymore. The #mumbai hash tag on Thanksgiving was amazing. The amount of coverage I received on twitter as opposed to just switching back and forth between cnn, foxnews and msnbc was surprising.

I live in Berks County, PA, about an hour from Philly. My mom emailed me the night of the small Lancaster tremor. I didn't feel it and she only lives 4 or 5 miles from me. So, I scoured the local news sites (remember it happened at 12:00 midnight) hit, nothing about it anywhere. Load up and type in earthquake and there were dozens of posts already.

Not only did I find more info from twitter on the tremor. I found a bunch of people local to my area to follow.
David Alison said…
@the_0ne: The part of Twitter that makes it a killer application for me is search. With people using the hash tag functionality it really opens a great view into just about anything you can think of.
Anonymous said…
The speed at which news breaks on Twitter is one of the things I always reference when touting it to non-believers.

The experience of hearing big news on Twitter and then checking the major news sources and finding nothing has been repeated for me many times.

FWIW, @BreakingNewsOn is the news outlet that breaks everything the fastest, I've found. I've completely stopped following CNN or any of the other majors.
Anonymous said…
Oh, and Dave, the name's "Nicholas." ;)
David Alison said…
@Nicholas: Sorry man. Henceforth I shall refer to you as Nicholas. That or just "J" ;-)

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