I’ve met lots of cool people in my life. I’ve met theatre people who challenged my creativity, delta girls from Mississippi who challenged my fashion sense, educators who challenged my intellect, deeply committed Christians who challenged my faith, unbelievers who challenged my beliefs and my own children who simply challenge me. I have known all these people personally, in real life.
My one year anniversary on Twitter will be March 17, 2010. In that last year, I have been privileged to meet a variety of people who have challenged me just as much but most of them I have never met in person. They are the community of people I have surrounded myself with on Twitter. I wish I could list all the great people I’ve met but I will limit it to three. For those who think Twitter is silly or nonsense, perhaps you should not read further. After all, what good could possibly come from a place where one writes anything they wish but only in 140 characters or less?
Quite a lot. Take for example one of the first people I came to know on Twitter. His name is Steve Ross and his handle is @vinbic. (Go to his blog for an explanation of his handle name.) Steve is a progressive blogger who is concerned about politics, politicians and policy. He is my go-to guy with any questions about Memphis-Shelby County issues.
Those of you who know me well probably wonder why I list Steve here. After all, I’m a pretty conservative girl who has never voted for a democrat in a national race. However, I admire Steve because he is genuine and real. He actually cares about the City of Memphis and the people who live here. And it’s a crying shame that he was not selected to be a part of the Shelby County Charter Commission because he would have been a fabulous voice there. Shame on the City Council for missing out on him.
The next guy is actually connected to Steve. Richard Thompson is better known as @mediaverse on Twitter. He writes a blog that he describes as an online trade publication that covers the Memphis media. Since I am a media junkie, I love to follow him. Now, Richard is no shrinking violet. He says what he thinks and sometimes he creates controversy. In fact, he and I got in into it during one of our first interactions. What it was about is now history, and thankfully, Steve Ross was instrumental in resolving it. Today, I enjoy reading his comments on local media because he makes me think and be more discerning about what I am reading. I just don’t directly question him anymore – sorry Richard, I’m just not looking for a fight!
It is funny how being engaged on Twitter brings people into your life. I’ve spent the last 8 years of my life as a stay at home mom and I have been happy to do it. However, as my youngest daughter entered elementary school, I began to want to get back into my former life as a marketing/pr/communications professional. I re-worked my resume and sent it out just as the economy crumbled. Nobody was interested in someone who’s not held a full time job in 8 years despite my achievements during my working career or as a volunteer. I began to follow anyone on Twitter with the same background.
Enter my friend, Amy Howell, or @HowellMarketing as she is known on Twitter. She and I instantly hit it off and after a while, we figured out that she actually knew my husband, professionally, of course. Today, I am privileged to work with Amy and her team and that would have never happened without Twitter.
Because Howell Marketing has embraced social media in a big way, I spend more time online than ever before. In January, I was invited to attend the fabulous SoFresh conference in Nashville. I was blown away by the speakers and came away with a new appreciation for the future of marketing and pr. The connections I have made with people across this country, and the world, constantly amaze me. I am grateful for that.
In the past year, I have learned more and met more people than I have in the last ten. I am excited about what is to come. Cheers!