The Power of Twitter – New Tires for BigBags

I love Social Media. It has totally changed the way we interact, both on and offline. While there are many players in the social arena, one is currently outshining all the rest. So who is the most powerful player in the social media world? Twitter. It is so powerful that Google is changing the way it delivers search results to accommodate it.

I am asked fairly regularly to explain what Twitter is, and if it is worth getting involved in. The answer is yes, it is an extremely valuable resource if you use it well. The following example illustrates this perfectly:

Yesterday, a former co-worker of mine, Nate Bagley, aka BigBags, was in a car accident. The car itself was ok, but two of his tires were ruined. The cost to replace 2 winter tires? $225. Unfortunately, Nate is an unemployed student, and most certainly couldn’t afford to buy new tires.

Right after the accident, Nate tweeted his frustration at what had happened. One of his buddies, Seth Jenks, rallied their Tweeps to save the day and raise the cash to buy new tires. The following is the Twitter conversation that provided Nate “BigBags” Bagley with a new set of tires:

Just blew out my two front tires… now I need to buy new ones. I hate hate hate hate hate winter. Hate it. HATE! (bigbags)

@BigBags Awe. I’m so sorry babe. That expense blows. (looneytunes)

@looneytunes I want to punch the winter in the face. (bigbags)

@sethjenks I think you should make a samich for @BigBags. He is having a bad day. 🙁 (looneytunes)

@BigBags Dude! you need me to come get you? (sethjenks)

@sethjenks I’ll be ok. I made it to South Jordan. I need to go buy new tires tomorrow morning though. 🙁 #FMyLife (bigbags)

@BigBags you staying there tonight? (sethjenks)

@sethjenks Yeah, looks like it… I’m kinda stranded. (bigbags)

@BigBags Dude, what happened? (jazzcat)

@jazzcat Snow happened. I hate winter. Took a corner a little fast and lost traction. Slammed into the curb. Tires popped… *sigh* (bigbags)

@BigBags Dude I did that in a mini cooper once. totally ruined a pair of expensive rims. (sethjenks)

@sethjenks Ha ha. I’m so ready to be done with this month/season/year…  (bigbags)

@jazzcat @JordanBrown @looneytunes Lets see if we can get twitter to buy @bigbags new tires!!! (sethjenks)

@sethjenks I’m in. 🙂 (looneytunes)

@sethjenks I’m in. (saintless)

I love my Twitter friends so much. (bigbags)

@looneytunes ok its going to be like what $150 to get new tires? (sethjenks)

@sethjenks About that I think. (looneytunes)

@BigBags what’s your Paypal? we are going to have 15 people donate 15 bucks for tires!!!! (sethjenks)

We are going to have 15 people donate $15 to @bigbags for new snow tires because he got in a wreck today and popped his tires. (sethjenks)

@looneytunes send a paypal donation to natebags@gmail.com #newtiresforbigbags (sethjenks)

We need 15 people to donate $15 to natebags@gmail.com via paypal (i just donated) #newtiresforbigbags (sethjenks)

@scottcowley are you willing to donate $15 to @bigbags for new tires? if so send the funds to natebags@gmail.com via paypal. (sethjenks)

so far we have two donations for #newtiresforbigbags 13 more to go. thanks to myself and @looneytunes (sethjenks)

Thanks to @Saintless for donating to #newtiresforbigbags we have 3 donations. Only 12 more to go. (sethjenks)

@sethjenks Where’s the count? (dizzlepop)

@dizzlepop the count is in my head as you guys are tweeting that you have made donations. #newtiresforbigbags (sethjenks)

@startupprincess care to donate $15 to your favorite Nathan? his tires popped because of winter. (sethjenks)

woooot woooot *raising the roof like a nerdy white guy* @dizzlepop is donation number 4 only 11 more till #newtiresforbigbags (sethjenks)

Jobless college student is open hand slapped by winter roads. Tires popped donate $15 to Natebags@gmail.com #newtiresforbigbags (sethjenks)

Thanks to @barryegbert for a very very generous donation to #newtiresforbigbags (sethjenks)

BIG thanks to @looneytunes @dizzlepop @Saintless and @barryegbert whose big hearts saved Christmas… I mean purchased tires for @bigbags (sethjenks)

Twitter has come through again in saving the day for @bigbags. HORRAY FOR #newtiresforbigbags HORRAY FOR ALL THAT DONATED!! (sethjenks)

WE DID IT!!! @bigbags has a new set of tires! thx 2 all that helped giv winter an elbow spear 2 the back of the head. #newtiresforbigbags (sethjenks)

Holy crap. Twitter people are so nice! Thank you all for the tire monies. I don’t even know what to say… (bigbags)

@barryegbert I don’t know why you’re so awesome. But I’m glad you are. Thank you so much…(bigbags)

@BigBags While I do tend to pay the bills around here @onecharmingirl is the the one with all of the brains, looks, and HEART. Thank her. (barryegbert)

@saintless I love you like little kiddies love Christmas. Thank you so much! (bigbags)

@dizzlepop You’re the jelly to my peanut butter. So so so many thanks! (bigbags)

@SethJenks your new nickname is #Notorious. Thanks for the help, Notorious. (bigbags)

The End

From the time of the accident Tweet to having $225 in his PayPal account to cover the new tires was about an hour. How’s that for real value?! $225/hr. No help was requested, but it came regardless.

So, the moral of the story is this. Twitter is more than a hobby or a fad. When used correctly, is has the power to rally support to almost any good cause (or business). If you are genuine, and provide real value to the social community, followers and friends will come to your rescue when you need it.

12 thoughts on “The Power of Twitter – New Tires for BigBags”

  1. What a wonderful story.I’m sorry to say that the vaunted twitter still kind if baffles this old cat…but so does the rest of this electronic world.Only been messing with it since may 09.Nope I’m not kidding never touched the “infernal machine” before that.

  2. Dude, so glad you wrote this post. And a big shout-out to everyone who pitched in. I needed to feel a little love that day, and my Tweeps pulled through!

    1. You are welcome! I’m glad you got your tires, and I’m glad I got to see it unfold…a Twitter Christmas miracle 🙂

  3. This shows nothing of the power of Twitter. This shows the power of communication. There is nothing special in Twitter than allowed this to happen. If this had happened on Facebook you’d be saying the power of facebook. If it happened on paper you’d be saying the power of paper.

    Don’t overstate What twitter is – an extremely simple chat room. What happened above was very cool and it was cool that Twitter facilitated the conversation to make it happen. That is what twitter is good for – creating fast easy short conversations. And for that I am grateful.

    1. I disagree. While it does indeed showcase the power of communication, Twitter facilitated the conversation, and did so faster and in a more fluid fashion than any other form of communication likely could have. Not because the technology is more advanced, but precisely because it is simple and because it has such a passionate following.

      Twitter is far more than a chat room. It is vastly more interconnected, and has a larger user population than many of the top chat rooms combined.

      With any other medium of communication, help would have needed to be requested. Nate didn’t ask for help, he simply vented his frustration. Texting, phone calls and emails might have had the same result, but it is unlikely that it would have happened as quickly. A chat room or blog could have taken days to get the same response. Twitter did it in an hour.

      So I stand by my statement that this showcases the power of Twitter.

  4. Sam,
    Thanks for capturing this. I pitched it to Fox 13 News – because of Twitter. I sent out the pitch as a tweet. We’ll see if it gets covered but to me we all need a feel good story about the cold weather in Utah . You know, to warm our hearts while our hands are freezing.

    Twitter connects humanity. No one ever sleeps on Twitter so there’s always people to talk to. Smart people. Generous people. After a few years of tweeting it’s still my favorite way to communicate online.

    Thanks for the writeup. And next time be sure to pitch in-tweet 😉

    Janet

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