There are a lot of sceptics out there who think that Twitter has little value or point in life. Most of those, as far as I can see, have not used it or given it a run for its money (although it is free to use by the way).
Over the past week or so I have seen much written on the Power of Twitter. Thanks to a tweet from @jackofkent I saw a blog post from Wendy M. Grossman (@wendyg), ‘It was the best of mobs, it was the worst of mobs’, that covers it well. She refers to the British side of Twitter flexing its 140-character muscles over (1) the British Chiropractic Association's ongoing legal action against science writer Simon Singh; (2) Jan Moir, who wrote in the Daily Mail about the death of Stephen Gately; and (3) the Carter-Ruck/Trafigura court injunction that briefly prevented the Guardian from reporting on a Parliamentary question for the first time in British history.
Somehow I managed to miss the first of these three events but I certainly witnessed the other two and actively took part in Tweets on the last of them.
Jon Bloor (@beej777) also did a very good post on what he calls this recent ‘Twactivism’. Jon states that the picture he has seen “is of a swathe of people who care deeply and passionately about political, civil and human issues and are prepared to jump in and defend them”.
In amongst all this I noticed a Re-tweet from Su Butcher (@SuButcher) of a Tweet from Nich Starling (@Norfolkblogger). It read “Am out with friends who think twitter is shit. I have a challenge to see how many people respond to this tweet in 10 minutes. Come on”. He received 88 replies in those 10 minutes and over 100 replies in total, including one from me that stated:-
“I have raised £985 via Twitter for Habitat for Humanity: http://ow.ly/v088. Tell your friends that.”
Today that figure stands at £1,085. This is the Power of Twitter that I have witnessed first-hand of late in my own little corner of the Twitterverse.
This fundraising started with a tweet between me and @Clarinette02 about a possible takeover of American ‘law firm’ Bitcher & Prickman. We were joined in our takeover attempt by @Sobk13 and @wikizine. The three ladies being my ‘Angels’!
Negotiations were fraught and rather protracted but always amusing. Due diligence had revealed that the only assets involved were paper and ink. We were willing to pay $20 but @RichardPrickman wanted more and @BeatriceBitcher was sitting quietly in the wings. @CharlesFincher and @LawComix were ever present.
Other Twitterers dropped in and out of the ongoing saga. @thetrialwarrior was there with his words of wisdom and sabre at the ready. @valentilaw and @debdobson encouraged settlement. @Charonqc was ‘mediating’ and drinking Rioja. @amds007 provided secret intelligence from the USA. @London_Law_Firm came in from the left side to assist the Angels in my absence. @LadyJE and @IkenCEO kept a close eye on @RichardPrickman and indeed @LadyJE continues to diligently guard #BandP. @Lilwizz brought bandages and stretchers. @JaneMcPheeS was working and missed it all but caught up on events via #BandP.
After much tweetiations a showdown was arranged to settle matters once and for all. I then offered to call the takeover off for a £30 donation by @RichardPrickman to Habitat for Humanity. He agreed and part of the deal seemed to involve @Charonqc having a tango with @BeatriceBitcher which duly took place.
As a result of this the tweeps involved in the ‘takeover’ became very aware of my fundraising efforts for Habitat for Humanity, which had just been officially launched. Donations started to roll in via our Just Giving Argentina 09 web page. @BeatriceBitcher even donated more than @RichardPrickman as she is never outdone by her partner.
Tweeps who have generously donated are mentioned on my continuously updated post: #FollowFriday for Just Giving.
Special mentions must go to @thetrialwarrior, @London_Law_Firm and @valentilaw who have become Corporate Sponsors.
I have been genuinely overwhelmed by the generosity shown and the willingness to donate by tweeps to our Global Village Challenge. The Power of Twitter is clear to see in this. I was able to bring what Nicola and I are doing for Habitat for Humanity to peoples’ attention much quicker and arguably more effectively than I could ever have done through conventional means. Furthermore, I was able to target a whole section of donors that I would not have been able to easily target at all had it not been for Twitter. Donations have come from the USA and Canada and not just the UK. Twitter certainly has global reach. Its power should not be underestimated.
So thanks to Twitter we have raised £1,085 that we may not have raised otherwise. I am certain that by the time we finish our Global Village Challenge other tweeps will have added to that figure. If you have not donated yet and would like to do so then you can donate now at www.justgiving.com/argentina2009.
UPDATE: As at 30th October 2009 we have raised £1,380 from Twitter followers.
See also a very good article in the Guardian (31st October 2009) on the 'Power of Tweets'.