I recently joined the Twitter community. For those of you who don’t know, Twitter is a microblogging program that allows you to post “updates” of 140 characters or less. With Twitter, you “follow” people, which means you have regular access to their updates. I’m only following 32 people at the moment, and I have already realized some of the benefits. Contrary to what I used to think, Twitter isn’t about telling people that you are going to the bathroom or getting a cup of coffee. It’s a way to connect, network and communicate with people in ways you never thought about. People share articles about events, new technologies, public relations, social media and anything else that interests them and their followers. Some of the updates do include information about what people are doing at the time, but so far I have found most of the updates (or “tweets” as they are called) interesting.
The best thing I’ve been able to do on Twitter is contribute to a weekly charity challenge set up by @amandamooney. I don’t even know Amanda, and unless I’m ever in Chicago or she’s ever in Tampa, I probably never will. But, that’s the beauty of it, isn’t it? Amanda works at a PR firm, and she started a weekly Twitter Challenge where her followers suggest different charities. She then selects a charity and encourages everyone to donate $5 to it every Friday. The first week I donated, I helped raise $180 for breast cancer. The second, the charity of choice was Barry’s Donor’s Choose, a group I had not heard of that helps teachers raise money for classroom projects. Together, we raised over $400, enabling a teacher in NY to purchase flip cameras for her class. I donated to a local music teacher who wants to purchase drums for his students.
This is a great way for people across the U.S. to unite and make a difference together, for just $5 a week – what you would spend on your morning latte (I usually drink the free coffee at work, but still).