Prayers for Anissa – a hopefully someday friend

standard November 18, 2009 5 responses

Part of my new job at Tiny Prints involves Internet research. I spend a lot of my time blog hopping, discovering new blogs, visiting old favorites, checking out friends of those favorites, and then moving on to the next.

Today I discovered a blog I’d never seen before. It was funny, well written, and had compelling posts. It was a family blog, like many of the ones I see daily. I logged all the details in the spreadsheet I’m compiling and moved on to the next one.

I had no clue that the blogger was well known and loved by many of my own blogging and social media friends.

I had no idea that less than an hour later I’d not only know more about her than I ever expected to know, but that I would have created a special Tweetdeck* search window dedicated to her.

While I was reading her blog for the first time, getting to know her family and their scary story, Anissa Mayhew was having a stroke and being rushed to the hospital.

Watching Twitter rally around one of their own is both an inspiring and devastating thing to see. Inspiring because it’s breathtaking to see so many people rush to help someone they only know virtually, devastating because it’s usually for a horrific reason. The death of a child, the illness of a parent, a tragic accident.

There was no reason Anissa and I hadn’t crossed paths before. She’s active on Twitter in my circles. According to Facebook we have almost 100 friends in common. She’s a blogger, like me. But there are hundreds of thousands of us. I can’t know them all, they can’t all know me.

Tomorrow I would have emailed her for professional reasons and most likely we would have become friends or at the very least Twitter buddies.

Instead, tonight I’m going to bed with a heavy heart, thinking of this mother lying in her hospital bed, her fate hanging in the balance. I’m thinking of her children, the youngest of whom only just won her battle against cancer. I’m thinking of her husband, for whom it must be so painful to be in a hospital, who must be going through hell tonight.

The five of them should be together.Tomorrow she should be laughing with a friend or playing with her kids when my email arrives unnoticed in her inbox. She should reply, follow me on Twitter, strike up a conversation here or there. That’s how it was supposed to be.

Really, I just wish that’s how I’d gotten to know her.

She fought so hard to keep cancer from taking her daughter. She deserved a bit of peace and quiet and normal. I hope against hope that she can still get it. And that I can get to know her all over again the regular way.

*Tweetdeck is a service that allows me to keep up with my Twitter friends without having to use the Twitter web interface. I can create search windows that track just one keyword if I want to be able to pick out those specific tweets from the regular timeline.

Prolific Tweeter and Proud of it

standard November 7, 2009 1 response

At the end of the work day I attended an office Beer Bash designed to help the newbies get to know the people who have been there for a bit longer and to help the different teams get to know each other a bit better. To get us mingling, the organizers prepared a round of Human Bingo.

We walked around, paper and pen clasped in hand, looking for the person who had played pro-ball in college, a driver of a hybrid, someone with 2+ kids. 

I approached a girl I hadn’t yet met and introduce myself.

“Wait, Jessica? As in Jessica Rosenberg?” She replies, looking both shocked and delighted.

I just nodded, kind of confused by her reaction.

“Man you tweet A LOT.”

I couldn’t tell if it was awe I heard in her voice, or thinly veiled horror. I’m not sure I want to know which it was.


But you’ve been warned, I’m prolific.

Things I’d pay for on Twitter

standard October 1, 2009 5 responses

A few days ago I read an article that mentioned the big Twitter question: What’s Twitter going to do to start earning some money?

It made me think. What would I pay for on Twitter?

I love that Twitter is a free service. No doubt about it. But I’m a huge user. I’m on there multiple times a day. I have lots of followers. I follow lots of people. In short, I’d stay if I had to pay. I’m addicted. Can’t live without my Twitter!

That said, if I were a paying user there are a few things that I’d expect in exchange.

1) I want to be able to search my followers and the people I follow.

2) I want to be able to organize my followers and the people I follow into categories and priority lists.

3) I want the option to email people. Or at least send longer Direct Messages. Maybe 200 characters, or, gasp, 250.

4) I want click-able links on people’s profile pages.

5) I want a faster way to follow back people. When I follow back I look at bios, conversations, and relevance. I click on every single profile page. It takes a long time.

It’s not much. And it definitely doesn’t mean that I don’t think that Twitter is amazing just the way it is. I’m just saying that I’d be willing to pay for the service and it would be unbelievable if they took it a half step further.

What would you pay for on Twitter? What would you like to see improved?

*Photo by Bakerella. Found on Twitterlogos.

Me according to my Twitter followers

standard May 1, 2009 4 responses

I spend quite a bit of time on Twitter just being my usual goofy self. I tweet random thoughts that pop into my head as I go through the day. I tweet supportive or funny messages to my Twitter friends. I reply to questions. I forward info that I find pertinent or useful.

The gist of it is that I’m a busy tweeter and I’m most definitely all me when I’m on there. And people must like me because I kinda get a lot of followers. As in probably 30 or so new followers every day. Which, I know, is totally insane, because I’m not really that funny or that interesting. But anyway, that’s neither here nor there.

When you’re on Twitter and people follow you, you get a handy little email that tells you that they did so you can go check out their profile and decide whether or not you’ll follow them back. I’m anal so I check each and everyone of the profiles and make a careful decision based on whether or not the bio is filled out, the person actually converses with others, and oh yeah, if the person says things that might be of interest to me.

All that is fine and dandy, but here’s what I want to know:
Should I take it personally that the majority of the people who follow me are either Career Counselors or Fitness Gurus. I mean, is Twitter trying to tell me something? Like maybe that I should get off the couch, find a job, and start exercising more?

Or am I just being a bit hyper sensitive?