A Power of Twitter

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.

22 thoughts on “A Power of Twitter

  1. And that’s what I love about Twitter… great story!

    I’m so wrapped up in prepping for new teacher orientation that I’ve been out of the Twitterverse during the day quite a bit these last two weeks. I always worry about what I’m missing!!

  2. Cory, I can’t thank you enough again for coming up today. Between the network and filter issues, your presence made the difference. 4 of those attendees came up to me at the end of the day and expressed how amazing the experience was for them. Not because we could show them much about the tools, but they understood the power of the networking. Anytime I can return the favor, let me know.


  3. I think this summer could be nicknamed “The Summer of the Personal Learning Network”. I saw the above Twitter conversation unfold and just smiled. Whether through Twitter, Plurk, a chat room, or a Ning, we’ve been able to help each other learn, grow, and sometimes just get through the day. Thanks for sharing another great example of how great these connections can be.

  4. That. Is. Freaking. Awesome. I’m so impressed, and a mite bit awed. Congrats, excellent way to demonstrate how powerful this technology can be… and what a fantastic experience for you, too!

  5. A very cool story indeed. Thanks for sharing!

    So many elements here… Kelly’s inclination to tweet where he was, you were online to see his message, you were able to free up your schedule, you had expertise on the topic which Kelly was presenting, etc. Wait until everyone has Twitter (or something like it) on their cell phones…

  6. Awesome example of the connected world. PLN at its finest. Also, I think one of the greatest things here is that Kelly did not feel threatened about sharing the stage for his presentation. Goes to show, the collective is stronger than the individual. Beauty.

  7. @woscholar – I absolutely agree about Kelly being willing to share the stage. I wonder if the people who really appreciate the connectedness of social networks are the same type of people willing to give up some of the acknowledgment that goes with being a sole-presenter?

  8. One of the things that hit me as I was reading through the comments is something that I have seen over and over since I started started really working on creating my own PLC. Everyone is so welcoming and willing to help. I think there is a feeling amongst people who are open to networking that we are a community and that we want to share our ideas. I have never felt like the people who have helped me expect anything in return. I feel like I give back to the community when I pass along what has been taught to me. Eventually (hopefully!) those people will continue to learn more and continue the cycle.

    I think I speak for most of us when I say there is nothing like meeting someone in person from our PLC. I cannot even imagine how great it would be to get to present with someone that is in my network. It was just pure luck that Kelly and Cory were in close enough proximity to pull this off. Like most people my PLC is spread across the world. Why not use the tools that we promote to pull this off on a more regular basis?

    Why not use Skype or Twitter to sell the idea of social networks to our colleagues who are still having trouble buying into technolog and/or networking? If we can demonstrate the power of PLC’s we will have a better chance of willing over converts. This story needs to be the first of many examples to share.

  9. @Darren – Im jealous you guys get a CR20 workshop in your backyard! Wish I had a pilot on standby that could fly me up there 🙂
    Hope they bring the traveling show to Vegas some time, would love to participate in it and hope to see some Ustreams when you all are presenting!

  10. Cory,

    This is awesome! Another great PLN story!

    I have a presentation for 200 on Wednesday on integrating digital media and social networking! South Florida is a little warm and humid this time of year, but I’ll buy you a cold drink (something with an umbrella). 🙂

    Totally cool!


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  12. Most people don’t understand that Twitter is NOT MySpace or Facebook, and so think that they don’t need to follow anybody back or engage in their followers. Hell, most of them only tweet once or twice, or only post mundane crap. It’s really annoying.

  13. Social networks have a high power because people together are a great power. Assembly ideas from around the world do wonders.

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