Can you tweet the love tonight?

I’m a bit of a Twitter-holic. It’s one of the first things I check in the morning (after email) and something I check throughout the day (like email). I wouldn’t even go so far as to say it’s because I like keeping up on what people are doing or saying (because this isn’t Facebook: THANK THE GOOD LORD).

Something that’s been great since the social media boon is the access we, as consumers, now have with our favorite brands. Gone are the days where we are stuck trying to weave our way through the crappy phone tree in hopes of finding a live person to talk to like Catherine Zeta Jones learned to weave through the lasers in Entrapment.

Yeah, this is still completely ridiculous.

Now we can just tweet our displeasure or pleasure in a tweet or Facebook post and have someone reach out (the better companies do this within hours). I’ve had some good customer service experiences through Twitter, from getting help from Comcast, being encouraged to purchase a pair of shoes I really wanted by Guess, and I have a running conversation with King’s Hawaiian bread.

But this past week I had a blast experiencing the perks of the connections social media now offers consumers.

Thanks to a promoted tweet, I learned that Ben & Jerry’s was touring the East and West coasts giving away free scoops of their new Greek Frozen Yogurt. And since I’m all about free stuff, I quickly jumped on board and began tweeting them. Repeatedly. At least once s a day for a week, practically begging them to swing by my office. Well, it worked!

Courtesy of my coworker, TF

 OMG! IT’S FREE FROYO!!

I did this as a surprise for my coworkers, so I didn’t tweet my pleading missives from my company’s Twitter handles and boy was everyone surprised. Even more so, I invited the entire building to join us. Yeah, I was pretty popular that day. 

Then on Saturday, I found a surprise box in the mailbox for me. I thought it was weird since I hadn’t ordered anything but then I was even more curious when I saw who sent it:

Oh? What’s this? A surprise?!

I wasn’t sure what this was about but was pleasantly surprised when I opened the package to find a thank you note for participating in their recent “Bread Pudding Recipe Exchange,” two reusable shopping bags, and a package of sweet rolls. I may or may not be drooling a little bit as I type this. And surprisingly, I still have that pack of rolls…because I was in the process of finishing up another pack I had picked up a couple days before. What? I love the stuff!

All this? For me?!

These experiences are definitely ones that will stay with me for a while. As a marketer, I see the inherent good will these small acts will do: I definitely have a more favorable view of these two companies even though I was a fan before these things happen, and I am more likely to continue buying their products because of all these warm, fuzzy feelings. And most importantly: one of the first things I did after these events was tweet about them. Free publicity. I’m a marketer’s dream.

But seriously, what I really liked about this was how Ben & Jerry’s and King’s Hawaiian made me feel like Peter Shankman (remember him? The Morton’s Steakhouse at EWR guy?) without regard to my follower count or Klout score. I felt special and appreciated and you can’t really put a price on that.

So I say thank you (again) to Ben & Jerry’s and King’s Hawaiian for taking some time out to brighten up my day.

Have a heart

News broke this weekend that former Vice President Dick Cheney had undergone a heart transplant and Twitter nearly went wild with people wondering if it were possible to create a rider of sorts where they could dictate who could and couldn’t receive their donated organs. As a relative of a donor transplant recipient, I thought this was callous and dangerous.

Organ transplants are hard to come by; about 19 people die everyday while waiting for a suitable match. As of this writing, there are currently 113,611 candidates on the waiting list (72,803 of which are actively waiting, meaning they have met all eligibility requirements and are ready for transplants) and 14,145 registered donors (all statistics from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network). Can you imagine if those 14k donors placed stipulations on who can receive their organs?

What if you had a family member who was waiting for a donor? What if it were you? And you got word that one came through except…the donor requested their organs not go to anyone who was gay. Or Black. Or Muslim. Or a woman. Or anyone who’s ever had an abortion. What if this was your last chance at regaining your life? Organ donations are, quite possibly, one of the few selfless gives we can give one another, especially knowing that most of these are given to save a complete stranger’s life. Why would you want attach such arbitrary strings to such a precious gift? Such a reckless condition helps no one.

That said, while I do not agree with the policies and actions held by Cheney, I still would not begrudge him the opportunity to have another few years with his family. Knowing what I know about the transplant process, this is not an easy time. You’re elated that a matching donor was found and you sit through several hours of surgery waiting to hear back about the results, then you wait and hope the operation was a success and the body hasn’t rejected the organ. Then you go through several months of testing and doctors’ appointments to make sure things are going well (for us, we had to live in a hotel within a couple miles of the hospital to make sure Dad had quick and easy access to the hospital for emergencies. He needed someone with him 24 hours a day!). Then you continue to hope the body won’t reject the organ for the rest of your life, downing a multitude of medicine to increase the chances of that happening. It’s tough but for another chance at life? You’re willing and able to accept the challenge.

Take a moment and consider this: strip away everything Cheney stands for and see him as a father, grandfather, husband, brother, uncle, cousin, or close friend. Now imagine his is your father, grandfather, husband, brother, uncle, cousin, or close friend and you come across online rants of people wishing he hadn’t received the transplant, how people would have actively chosen to exclude him from receiving life. How hurt would you feel?

Let’s try to remember the human side of people and not be so quick to judge someone else.

 

Consider this implied verbal consent…

Just a mere something odd hours of regaining access to my blog after another unfortunate issue with our hosting service, MediaTemple, I haven’t even thought about my blog until right now.

To be honest, I didn’t even realize there was a problem with my blog on Monday since I was busy working until much later in the day and for the first time it didn’t really bother me. I knew I wasn’t going to be posting anything that day since I wasn’t really in the mood to write to begin with. So that was actually the best time for them to get all goofy with our blogs.

But then Tuesday rolled around and still no blog. Granted, I still didn’t have a post ready to go [I was working on one that I didn’t finish] but now I was annoyed that I didn’t have that choice. After a few random tweets to mediatemple, including questioning/complaining about the bf’s site being restored first, I was finally placed on the priority list and my blog was restored some time later that evening.

Maybe they caught wind that I told the bf I was amendable to changing ISPs and subsequently took notice when he told them that in order to keep his business that they should pay attention to my tweets about the subject. They’re familiar with him so my case was definitely helped by him. So glad I have him on my side.

Poof! Be gone, aight?!

I’m embroiled in a love-hate-really hate “relationship” thing with Twitter.

Usually I love Twitter. I love posting random tidbits and reading my friends’ random tidbits and spending an obscene amount of time refreshing the site to read more. Seriously, it’s crazy and should be committed. Like, my Facebook status updates have slowed to a screeching halt once I started actively twittering.

Which is, on a side note, a great name for the site because that’s essentially what you’re doing, twittering. Twittering, as in the descriptive word for quick chatter. You know like in the books there were always a gaggle of women in the background all a twitter about the town’s latest gossip? Exactly like that. Except modern and technologically based. As is practically everything these days.

Including said books.

But for the past few weeks I’ve noticed that a lot of my tweets have begun to disappear. Actually, it’s been since the end of February since I waited a few days before finally reporting it, to no avail. It’s frustrating to say the least. And I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one going through this mess but that doesn’t help get my tweets to stay online.

I submitted my request back on March 2nd and they deemed it closed and fixed as of March 9th…with no real solution offered and unfortunately, no way for me to reopen that request to follow up on it.

Yes I know they’re working on things but there doesn’t seem to be any improvement, especially in terms of my own page. I counted upwards of 10 missing tweets as of Monday before I finally lost count and got bored of keeping track. So now I’m regulated to using Twitter search to find my missing tweets and any replies I may have missed. Which is to say: SUPER ANNOYING AND RIDICULOUS.

I know this is a free service so it’s not like I’m spending any kind of money on this thing, but my time is valuable and that’s what I’m wasting checking to see if things where they’re supposed to be. Instead of a quick one minute update, it takes longer with additional steps. I’m the last one to tell you how to fix something techy like this but I like my things to be in working shape, and if they’re not, I like them to be fixed as quickly and correctly as possible. Just do something other than try to distract me with shallow empty promises and answering questions I never asked.

Ultimately it comes down to this: if the problem isn’t fixed, I’ll have to abandon my account. Because what’s the use in twittering if your tweets keep disappearing?