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Thursday, May 21, 2009

And Then I Saw Her Face, Now I'm a Believer

So a while ago, I blogged about Twitter and wanted to know what all of the hype was about. I had been hearing about it more and more through candidates and at various User Group meetings, but I was very skeptical. How in the world could I improve my business or make more valuable connections just by updating my status every time I had some random thought or did something somewhat cute, but oh so quirky? We had discussed it a few times in the office (mainly because it is blocked by KForce) and the general consensus was Twitter was just another fad. I was not a big believer. I thought Twitter was bunk.

I was incredibly stupid.

Fast forward a few weeks.

It was a normal morning; I was running late, grumpy, and in serious need of some coffee (black). I walked into my office, sat down at my desk, and was instantly alerted to two emails from my co-worker, Ryan. My first reaction was to get annoyed that he was emailing me with work so early in the morning. I was, after all, still waking up. Begrudgingly, I opened the emails and saw that they contained articles about Twitter. I was intrigued. Kind of. (I partially read them just because I knew he’d ask me about them later.) In any event, the article (below) was from the Orlando Sentinel and was about a girl named Brittany Ward that lost her job and used Twitter and Facebook to broadcast that and drum up some publicity.

Very smart, very creative girl. I liked her approach. A lot.

So much in fact that I felt compelled to help. I put on my staffing cap and thought for a moment about who I knew that could use someone with her background. And then it happened. I had a moment of pure genius (it doesn’t happen too often). After stalking her on Linked In and getting her resume, I forwarded it to my friends over at Nature’s Table. My instincts were right because they liked her just as much as I did. After a week or so of interviews, they offered Brittany the job and she accepted.

Like I said, before this happened, I was very anti-Twitter. I hate the constant updates (about what you are eating, color underwear you are wearing, etc.) on Facebook so I made an uneducated assumption and assumed Twitter was the same way. After seeing how it can be utilized, I am a big believer. In fact, I created my profile (OrlandoTechNuts) last night and have joined in on the action…so now I can alert everyone that cares to my every move.

To learn more about Brittany Ward, the girl that opened my eyes to the powers of social media marketing, check out her blog at:

Brittany's Debut: Her Article

Lose your job? Tell your Facebook, Twitter friends
Etan Horowitz | Sentinel Staff Writer
April 21, 2009

Brittany Ward, at her Orlando apartment, has kept up with job prospects with help from online friends after being laid off. (Roberto Gonzalez, Orlando Sentinel / April 17, 2009)

Just minutes after she was laid off from her job earlier this month, Brittany Ward pulled out her cell phone and typed a short message.

"Needs a job."

Ward, a 23-year-old account manager at an Altamonte Springs marketing firm, hadn't even told her family.

But when she hit enter, more than 2,000 friends, family members and strangers learned of her plight via Twitter and Facebook.

In the past, victims of layoffs used to share the news with a close circle of family and friends. You might only learn of a co-worker's job loss if you saw him packing up his desk.

But today, thanks to social-networking tools, the newly unemployed are coming out of the dark.

For those accustomed to sharing news of breakups, car accidents and other major life changes, revealing a layoff online comes naturally.

Those who have used online tools to tell the world they're out of work say it's a more effective way to communicate news that might be too difficult to verbalize, and doing so instantly brings a stream of supportive and helpful messages.

It can also be a good way to jump-start a job search.

Ward, a 2006 graduate of the University of Central Florida, said posting online saved her the unpleasant task of having to repeatedly tell friends and family she was laid off.

"You end up feeling worse after retelling the story many times in a row," said Ward, who lives in Baldwin Park. "With Twitter, all of a sudden, they hear the story, and you don't have to keep repeating it."


beholdalady said...

You go girl. ;-)

Diane said...

In addition to the power of networks, it's also interesting that strangers are impressively supportive of strangers. Tell your family you want to quit your 9-5 to raise llamas, you get horrified looks. Tell strangers and they will say, "How interesting! My neighbor lived in Peru - let me give you his number..." People like to help people accomplish their dreams. That says a lot about humanity and is certainly a reason to be optimistic.

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R. Lawson said...

Which gives me an idea. :-)

Post your story once and anyone interested should be referred to the website. It is so annoying to discuss a layoff - I haven't called my family in weeks because I know what the conversation will be about.

Anonymous said...

So there are people who think the girl in the photo is you. And also, think that you should get a real PC ;)