A young woman boards a plane heading from Dallas, Texas to Calgary, Canada. She takes her seat and strikes up a conversation with a dashing young man in the seat next to her. The plane lands and they go their seperate ways wishing that they had left any form of contact to the other. If you have seen any romantic comedy in the last decade you can probably assume what happens next. By some miraculous stroke of luck the two meet again and as the saying goes "they live happily ever after". How about we put a 21st century twist on this story and investigate further the true love story of Erica Domeseck, @psimadethis, and Clauco!
Up to this point my story is completely true except for the part where I mention the miraculous stroke of luck. You see, Erica Domeseck is practically a professional at Twitter. She is one of those rare breeds of people that knows how to use the power of social media to get what she wants as well as WHO she wants. Lets take a look at a conversation that is sure to go down in Twitter or love history.
There is so much that goes right with this trail of tweets that it makes me giddy at the sight of it. Lets start with the initial tweet at the top. Erica tweets directly at American Airlines without sounding desperate asking for a simple favor, using her flight number as a hashtag. Genius! Thank God someone at AA was monitoring their Twitter account because their initial response although weak, was prompt. If I were in Erica's position, I would be a little disappointed at this point, but lucky for American Airlines she is a relentless Twitter force of nature.
This is where the fun starts. Its at this point that American Airlines has a very important decision to make. They can shoot her down and be forever known as the company that turned their backs on love or rise to the challenge and change this girls life forever! Let's watch what happens next.
She did it! Erica Domeseck a person, got a major airline (American Airlines) to help in her quest for love by posting Clauco's description to the world. What an incredible deed! Now as you can probably guess this string of tweets went viral as the search continued with an appropriate hashtag #FindClauco.
Now lets step back for a second and realize whats going on here. Remove the wedding veil if you will. This was not just some string of tweets between Erica and an airline company. This was a sophisticated and well thought out strategic move on both ends. You see Erica is in the business of helping people with DIY (do it yourself) projects and has devoted her twitter account to it. American Airlines saw the opportunity to appeal to our most important human emotion. Now to be fair they may truely be interested in her love interest but think of this slow rolling ball up the middle they've been served up. All they had to do was give support, stay broad and boom we have national news! Both pages are going to receive thousands of new visitors and probably some business. You see at the end of it all she found love at first flight but AA found love at first tweet.
How did it all end? Turns out someone found Clauco! Erica quiltely announced that she found her handsom man and has been hush about the details. I wish them the best and for the sake of love hope its happily ever after for them.
One of the major problems with parkour communities right now is jam planning and coordination. Currently, Rochester uses Facebook to plan jams. Honestly I wish it hadn't turned out that way. The only way to announce your jam was to post on the discussion boards (which no one checks with any real frequency in ANY Facebook group) or to send out a message. Only administrators of the group can send out messages though, so unless I made everyone an administrator, only a few select people could effectively plan jams.
I recognized how detrimental this was to the community and I made a push to start using the American Parkour forums. As it stands, almost all typical parkour communities use forums to plan their jams, and it works pretty well. Forums allow anyone to post a jam, they facilitate easy discussion and planning of the jam, and it leaves a public record of past events. The problem is people had no incentive to check APK because any event we planned was blasted to them through Facebook. Additionally, it's difficult to reach critical mass on a forum (as defined by the amount of activity occurring to keep it interesting enough for people to keep coming back and generating more activity). So short of the leaders of the community abandoning Facebook entirely. I had to find a way to solve this problem in order for the community to be sustainable. How could we decentralize jam planning without destroying the community?
Then the idea. Twitter. It all fell into place, and the solution is SO much cooler than you think it is.
A quick rundown on Twitter lingo in case you aren't familiar. A Twitter update is called a tweet. You can do something called "retweeting" which is basically quoting someone. It's typically used as a way of saying "hey. This guy is pretty cool, you (your followers) should hear what he has to say." Then there are hashtags, which is Twitters keyword system. You can end a tweet with #08DebateTopics, and then whenever someone who was interested in 2008 election debate topics searched for that hashtag, tweets about energy policy, Iraq, and the economy would all come up.
So here is how my solution works: