Posted on : 24-07-2009 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Personal, Social Media
I have tried to write this post numerous times and continue to get lost for words. I will apologize ahead of time but I have been wanting to write this for a long time, but post it today. With all the attempts to start it, I am just getting to the third sentence at 12:02 on Friday, 7/24. Those that know me, they know July is an emotional time for me. In fact I even snapped at one of my favorite leaders at work (I should call her today and have her read this). Twitter has been a wild ride for me, and, for the most part, it has been an amazingly positive experience. I can not believe all the friends I have made and all the people that have written about our work. But that is such a small part of the overall story. I am hoping this will show everyone the true power of social media and Twitter.
So as everyone knows I work for Comcast, a company that has been very good to me. Since I started on Twitter there are many people who have started to understand the company a little better and may have an improved feeling toward the brand. I want to take everyone back a little bit to last year. I started on Twitter back in April, 2008. With all the discussion of my help, I was working day and night. I did not have others on Twitter until September or October. Needless to say it was tough, but on July 26, 2008 I realized what all this hard work was all about.
It was not about PR or marketing, as some believed. For me it was about helping people that needed assistance, but even I was proven wrong. Late July is a unique time for me. My soon to be 3 year old daughter, Lily, was born on July 25. Last year we had a variety of different things going on, so the only day we could have a party was July 26. I still can not believe that we had a party on the day, but we would have felt guilty if she did not have a party, which we did think about. This is because our other daughter, Gia, passed away on July 26, 2004. In many ways the party turned out to be a good thing, because we were so busy and focused on creating a good day for Lily that it made it much easier on us. I will never forget the day for so many reasons, from the running around in the morning picking up cakes, balloons, beer, soda at all different places (having it all piled in the Prius must have been a funny thing to see) to the waiting when everyone arrives late after rushing to have it all prepared. Anyway, the day went well and we were hanging with some neighbors after everyone left. I swore I would not even look at Twitter that day. We were sitting in the family room drinking and talking. My Mac sits on the counter, and I was sitting on the bar stool, so I could not help myself. I started glancing through my search and I started to notice some interesting tweets. People responded to others that tweeted me. Some told Twitter users to let me have my day, others offered suggestions to help, while others simply offered to help. All I can say is I was touched, and to be honest amazed to see it. This is when I realized what Twitter is really about.
I hear experts on social media talk about ways to market or how to build up your reputation, these types of thoughts are all wrong. This is not about going out and posting all kind of links or driving people to other sites. Twitter is about community and relationships, pure and simple!
I will probably not be around much this weekend, but now I have a team out there who are eager to help. In fact they have asked me to turn it off this weekend (they even threatened to turn off my internet access). I do want to take the time to thank them, but also the community of Twitter who over the past 15 months have been so good to me. Thank you!