If you're still doubting the use of or need for Twitter, this is the post for you. I'm constantly amazed at what a powerful personal and professional network it is for me. When it's working (which has been sporadic of late), it can transform the way you think about relationships.
Let me give you a real-life example.
Earlier this week, I headed down to New York to see a client. I usually do day trips on the Acela, but this time, I had an evening commitment and I needed to be in Washington, DC the following day. So the day before, I went online to find a hotel room in the city - which is usually not a problem, especially with the last-minute travel sites.
Only this time, it was different. No rooms in the city were to be had for under $800. I could stay at a hotel near the airport, but my commitments required me to be other places in the city, so it would be a logistical nightmare (and expensive) to stay near the airport. What to do? I turned to Twitter, of course.
Many people in my network were willing to help - I received replies directly on Twitter and private direct messages. Suggestions ranged from specific hotels they knew to areas of the city to consider, all the way to someone who pulled up a specific price quote on a room for me. The problem was, all of these places were sold out.
As I was waiting, I tweeted:
Well, I learned never to underestimate the power of the crowd. Tim Peter (@tcpeter) came forward to say:
Turns out he is working with a group that does luxury reservations and this was their impetus to start a Twitter account (@luxres). I received a tweet from them asking how they could help, and within the next 15 minutes, they got me a reservation at the Mansfield, a boutique hotel in midtown Manhattan. Perfect! While the price was a little more than I wanted to spend, it was nowhere near the gouging for some of the rooms I had seen.
Thanks to a well-connected and attentive community, I was able to keep myself off of a Central Park bench for the night. It just goes to show, that if you take them time to invest in relationships and being a valued member of a community, it can work in your favor when you need it.
Special thanks to (a bunch of people you should be following on Twitter): @tcpeter, @luxres, @chelpixie, @SavvyAuntie, @DonnaPapacosta, @Spangles, @joec0914, @adamcohen, @stevemann, and @ParentopiaDevra.