There is a lot of power in social networking and specifically the synchronous interaction capability of Twitter despite the many valid concerns people have raised. Without going into all the positives and some of the negatives, I just want to share a cool story.
Yesterday, late afternoon, I was working (watching a video) at my desk (dining room table) with half an eye on Twitter. A tweet came up from Kelly Dumont who, in the relativity of a global social network actually lives fairly close to me.
Instantly my ears perked up and my eyes widened. I started thinking, wow, thats the closest any of my Twitter friends have been to my little neck of the woods (St. George is a beautiful little town in Southern Utah which is only about 2 hours from me). So I tweeted back:
My comment obviously wasn’t one of my intellectually shining moments because Kelly said right back:
When I made the previous comment, I hadn’t been thinking about meeting Kelly at NECC, only about seeing a Twitter friend near Vegas, and I never saw Kelly when he visited my campus last school year (but had heard the story so still should of known better :). So, I responded in my normal sarcastic way that also acknowledges I had obviously said something foolish:
From there the joking took a turn, and this is where a Twitter conversation turned into a life experience that I will appreciate for a long time:
I checked out the site he linked me to and saw he was presenting about using social networking tools in school at a conference that caters to student and faculty tech leaders in K-12 schools throughout Utah. I quickly thought about what the next day held, and since I was working on projects that could be put off an extra day I said:
From that point, we figured out the logistics through a series of more tweets and in a little more than 12 hours from the beginning of the conversation I left Las Vegas for St. George. I arrived about 20 minutes before the presentation began, said hi, quickly outlined what we were going to be talking about, and ended up co-presenting at a 3 hour workshop this morning with Mr. Dumont.
I had no idea Kelly was going to be in St.George before he posted that first tweet so to be able to go from joking around on Twitter to presenting at a conference in less than 16 hours was quite an experience. Kelly and I don’t have each others phone numbers, we have never emailed, we have never Skyped, but we were able to seed and grow an idea in a matter of minutes that brought us together at a place to teach. A power of Twitter.