It was in 2008 that I first discovered the power of a single tweet. In those days Twitter was still a social media fetus. And let’s be honest, the only person who took it seriously then was Ashton Kutcher.
I mean why else would I have written “tweet, twit, twat” from my account, like I did that day when I was a bored senior in college?
Within minutes of clocking that “Tweet” button it seemed like the entire Internet porn industry was following me. (Talk about a let-down).
And no, this is not the story of the tweet that launched a porn career. What I realized then is that there were actually other people out there on the series of tubes… and they could easily see what I had to say.
Cha-ching. I was hooked.
Fast forward 2-ish years and approximately 306,602 wasted characters later. I’m copywriting for a web start-up and running their social media when I get an email from Peter Shankman (founder of HARO). Turns out the mad scientists over at Klout.com considered me an “influencer” in the spheres of travel and wellness, thanks to the ol’ day job. The email explained that my Klout score earned me an invitation to Mr. Shankman’s holiday party in NYC. I looked at the date: December 15th. How convenient… my birthday.
The day before the party I got an email with all the last-minute info. There would be a full open bar, rum and tequila tasting stations, pastries and goody bags. Oh, and one lucky person would win an all-expenses-paid vacation from Apple Vacations. All the host asked in return was that guests cause a social media ruckus and use the hashtag #shankman2010.
My eyes skimmed the email. All I saw was “guest list”, “open bar” and “food”.
I was excited… so I tweeted.
December 15th came, I turned 23 and rolled up to Peter Shankman’s party with my roommate and a coworker. We partook in the open bar, the pastry, the tequila tasting and rubbed elbows with social media’s best and brightest in virtual anonymity. As far as Wednesday night birthdays go, it was quite the success.
When Mr. Shankman got up to speak and thank everyone for coming, I was more than a bit buzzed.
“One more thing” he said. “This morning someone tweeted that this party tonight falls on my birthday.”
My heart thumped.
“I know who it was,” he said, “so if you say it was you and it wasn’t, I will call your ass out.”
My roommate was beside me nearly breaking my arm and screaming my name. People started to turn and look.
“Yep, that’s you,” he said from the stage. “Well guess what? One of tonight’s sponsors, Apple Vacations, said ‘well, we should probably give her a birthday present’. You’re going to Cancun!”
And it’s true. My roommate and I went to Cancun for 7 days for free thanks to Peter Shankman, Apple Vacations and that good ol’ # symbol.
The moral of this story: People have always laughed at my affection for Twitter. They don’t get it, or they think it’s a waste of time. To those people I say: These tan lines aren’t laughing.