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Sep 27 2009

Behold the power of the tweet

When it comes to Twitter, I find that people tend to fall into two camps: those who “get it” and those who don’t. And the folks who “get it” are often torn as to how hard we should try to convince the “don’ts” of what they’re missing. The service is kind of challenging to explain to begin with…and then there’s a sub-group that doesn’t see the value even when they understand what Twitter does.
Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I use Twitter for lots of different things…to stay in contact with friends and family, to interact with a variety of online tools when I’m not in front of a computer, and to learn stuff from people who share my interests. One of the folks I follow is Andy Carvin, a social media expert responsible for development of online communities at the National Public Radio network in the US. Given that I’m a huge NPR fan, a former radio news journalist and a social media geek, Andy Carvin is something of a superhero in my book, and last week he was making the rounds of some radio industry conferences in Scandinavia.

When he mentioned that his last stop would be right next door in Copenhagen, I sent a tweet saying how much I would enjoy hearing his presentation, and he promptly tweeted back the time and location. I then asked it was open to the public or just the conference attendees. (Keep in mind that tweets are limited to 140 characters, so conversations tend to be short and punchy.) A few moments he sent me a direct message (basically a tweet that is viewable only by me) asking that I send my full name to his e-mail address at NPR as soon as possible so he could forward it to the conference organizers.

NPR Headquarters

NPR Headquarters (Photo credit: Mr. T in DC)

So thanks to Twitter, and the generosity of Andy Carvin, there was an official conference badge waiting for me at Danish National Radio headquarters on Saturday afternoon. I not only got to hear his fantastic presentation on the use of social media in support of news gathering, but I also got to meet him and talk a little shop.

Of course I tweeted the fact that I was heading over to Copenhagen, but I was not really prepared for that message to end up as part of his presentation. During the Q&A, someone asked him how he kept track of all the information that streams through his twitter feed, so he opened TweetDeck on his computer, and there at the top of his @mentions column, on a HUGE projection screen at the front of the auditorium, was the following:

Shazzer: Copenhagen-bound w/plans to see @acarvin speak at a Danish radio conference. As long as I’m there, might as well buy some booze, too!

Oops.

So Andy, if you’re reading this, thanks again for the invite, and I’m honestly not a lush. It’s just that alcohol is a lot cheaper in Denmark than it is in Sweden!

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Feed my ego!

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