Two years ago I was the victim of a dirty trick.
I had spent a week trashing Twitter and swearing I wouldn't join the rush into social media. Suddenly an anonymous email appeared warning an account had been set up on my behalf and I needed to claim it within five minutes or face the consequences.
“Your anti-Twitterism could no longer be tolerated,” the culprit told me. “I think it would help you, just so you could be in the flow of some of the conversations happening on the site that are relevant to you and your sources.”
I reluctantly agreed to take possession of the account.
On Sunday, I topped 2,000 followers, and I'm listed on 124 “news lists.” Consider carefully that many of these folks know I'm a social media curmudgeon who joined the conversation kicking and screaming.
I thought Twitter and Facebook would meet the same demise that is on the verge of killing MySpace, one of the earliest mass social media sites. I saw Twitter and Facebook as fads with no real redeeming value. I never could have predicted what would ensue once I joined.
Favorite moments include a “tweet” I sent out last summer while covering a four-hour meeting. I requested coffee. Within minutes a cup of coffee was delivered. For months I pestered Whole Foods via Twitter about whether the company planned to open a store in Oklahoma City. On one such occasion, the company responded with a confirmation — via Twitter — and pretty much left my editors and me stumped on how such a “scoop” is handled. (The Whole Foods Twitter account had a “confirmed” status, so we went with it.)
I've met people such as Sid Burgess, a family guy, devoted to the city, who has grown in prominence as he has advocated for open government. I've witnessed how retailers such as Dan Gordon have reinvented their business models by connecting with new audiences, and how others, like the Iguana Mexican Grill, have turned fun controversies such as the “Taco Tuesday” skirmish with Taco John's to generate greater brand awareness.