Yesterday I posted a picture of the bra that I will be wearing on the 3-Day into my Twitter feed. It had been embroidered by Claudia at Wild Horse Custom Threads with the Keep Going® Blogger logo. For those that have not read in previous posts, Energizer® selected me to be the blogger for the DFW Susan G. Komen® 3-Day for the Cure. Energizer had sent me these shirts with the logo to wear on the walk, but since I promised the people that made donations that I would wear a bra on the walk, I worked with them to get the logo on the bra and wear that instead. So I posted the picture of it and a little while later looked at Twitter and found a ton of replies. Things like:
“You seriously have the best bra embroiderer ever!”
“Of all your awesome bras, that one might be the most awesome.”
“You have the best bras ever! I’m jealous.”
There were more, but I would have no room to write anything else if I didn’t stop there. If you don’t use Twitter already, you probably fall into one of a couple of camps. Those who think that Twitter is a useless waste of time, those who don’t understand what it is, and those who want to sign up but haven’t had the chance to.
I’m not going to get all technical on you about Twitter, I’m not even going to try and convince you that it’s not a waste of time (because I admit that unless you’re aware of it that it can waste a lot of time), but I will talk about a wonderful group of people on Twitter that are my reason for continuing to use it and how they have been so helpful.
Why I Use It
A little over a year ago my former supervisor, Dianne, suggested that I start using Twitter. She said that it was a great platform for promoting yourself and getting to know people in your field of work. I took the suggestion, signed up for an account and started using it. At that time, I didn’t really know how I wanted to use it, so I posted about a lot of different topics. I had originally intended to post about my work related technical items, but very shortly my interest flagged. I was already doing work, so writing about work just didn’t hold a lot of interest. I started mixing in other things and looking back it was very disjointed and I don’t think very many people would have been interested in what I was saying. I decided to start over. I created a new Twitter account (@60Miles) and decided to use it to focus on all things related to the 3-Day for the Cure. I also used it to help promote my site.
What I really think made it change in my mind was looking at it as a community. As I posted some things about the 3-Day, I found other walkers that were using Twitter in a similar fashion and I started following them. I moved to a new town awhile back and while there are many walkers within 50 miles of me, I didn’t know any of them well enough to talk to them regularly about the walk. There on Twitter was a group of people who I knew had this common interest that we would “talk” back and forth daily on the subject of the 3-Day. In addition to that, it was a great way for walkers and crew of all different sorts of experience to get together and give each other tips and offer help and motivation when needed.
For instance, when I was writing the post about camp life a month or so ago, I turned to some of the people on Twitter to help me remember what all of the tents at camp were, because I wouldn’t have remembered them. I’ve turned to them for help with fund raising. I’ve also answered questions for people on Twitter about what to pack, information about fund raising door to door and much more. They have been a sounding board for me more than I could have hoped.
If You’re Just Getting Started
If you’re just getting started using Twitter, you don’t really get a lot of direction when you first sign in. You won’t automatically be following people that are walking in the 3-Day, if that’s what you’re looking for. People won’t know that you are walking in the 3-Day immediately. You won’t be instantly hooked into that great online community. That’s where the 3-Day Tweeps come in.
Several months ago Cat Holland, the Keep Going Blogger for Phoenix and one of the amazing 3-Day people on Twitter, came up with the idea of creating a virtual team for 3-Day walkers. I know that there were other people involved in this brainstorm, but since she started the web site I’m giving her credit for now. They weren’t officially (by 3-Day for the Cure standards) on any team, but they bonded together and created this online support network through Twitter. She built a web page (at http://3DayTweeps.com) and started creating pages that the 3-Day Tweeps could fill out about themselves. It’s sort of an online repository of recommended 3-Day people to follow and a little bit about them.
I have to say that the 3-Day Tweeps are probably one of the most considerate, caring and kind groups of people that I have come across and I haven’t met but a few of them in person. Need help fund raising? They will gladly repost your fund raising request. Need advice on training? There are many veteran walkers on the 3-Day Tweeps that have years of experience for you to learn from. Having a bad day? Even if it’s not 3-Day related, there are people on 3-Day Tweeps that will commiserate with you to try and make your day a little better.
So, if you’re just joining Twitter, or if you have been on for awhile and haven’t connected with anyone (or want to connect more!), then go to http://3DayTweeps.com and click on Meet the Tweeps. Chances are you will find someone who is walking in the same city as you are to follow (but I recommend following them all, we are one big community after all). Once you’re sure you want to do it, fill out the simple form to join the tweets on the 3-Day Tweeps site and you’ll be listed on their page too!
To Sum Up
As promised at the beginning of the post, I didn’t say that Twitter wasn’t a waste of time. Just like everything on the Internet, it can definitely be a waste of time if you use it like that. But it can be used to much better purposes. Find a community that works for you and join it. If you’re walking in the 3-Day for the Cure and considering using Twitter, then make sure to follow the 3-Day Tweeps and join them on their web site. If you’re walking or crewing in the 3-Day and are already on Twitter but not part of the Tweeps, what’s stopping you?