Why I Love Twitter: A Confession

From the start, I’ve been a Twitter naysayer.

I just couldn’t understand how micro-blogging and sharing every little teeny detail of one’s life — right down to the type of food you’re eating for lunch — could possibly be relevant…or interesting.

But oh how wrong I was.

It’s not that Twitter is always interesting (though it can be), but it certainly is useful. And it’s connecting us faster and wider than even this blog has been able to do.

During the winter weather, we’ve seen our number of followers steadily grow, as we’ve tweeted storm safety tips, fire responses and the status of our emergency warming centers. And I’m taking a wild guess here, but I’m betting that a lot of Portlanders that are following us now are folks that had little to no ties to the Red Cross before.

And that’s the point — Twitter is another way to “meet” new people, to forge connections where none existed.

For those that think Twitter offers no organizational benefits, let me offer two quick tidbits:

1) Earlier this week, we received a Twitter direct message from KGW’s @TheSquare asking for us to send a guest for their 7 p.m. live show. We did. If we weren’t on Twitter and interacting with the @TheSquare team, the segment might never have happened.

2) Also this week, @theonetruebix suggested we organize a blood drive “tweet-up” where Twitter users can all get together and donate at the same time. Robin and I had already been thinking of organizing an emergency warming centers tweet-up, but this is even better. It’s a fresh idea suggested by a real Portlander — not us — and you better believe we’ll make it happen.

So with that said, here’s your reminder to follow us on Twitter. And follow other people as well. At the moment, I’m Twitter’s biggest fan…try it for a while and I guarantee you’ll love it, too.

P.S. If you’re still wondering what Twitter is, you might check out this quick explanation from CommonCraft.