Why To Twitter

I love Twitter. I’m a little bit evangelical about it.

As a result, I hear arguments. Most of them don’t hold water…like when someone claims to hate it but they haven’t ever tried it (which doesn’t apply in all cases, but certainly does in this one). I’ve also heard people say, “I don’t know what to say on Twitter,” when they are the same ones who light up a new facebook status every 10 minutes.

Even if you don’t want to do the talking, you can do the listening [1].

Today gave me a shining example of why organizations (and businesses) need to use Twitter.

The Capital City A&M Club has weekly Monday lunches. During the fall, they replay the copy of the weekend’s football game without any of the filler between plays. Other times of the year, they have speakers and networking. I never really pay attention to the thing, but a friend made me realize that this week, Dr. Ben Welch would be speaking about leadership.

…except that he wasn’t. He had to cancel (dental emergency) and Scott Jarvis was speaking about Texas A&M Qatar, instead. They even did name/year intros. Since I’m not a “Class of” anything, I was left saying something like, “L Luza. I didn’t go to A&M.” (That isn’t even technically true, but lying is better than telling them all about my horrible experience.) “I used to work for Dr. Welch, so I came here to see him. I’m married to an Aggie class of ’89.” yuk at my embarrassing drivel instead of just my name.

It was a great topic, but it wasn’t worth my drive down and the disruption of my mid day. Dr. Welch’s topic would have been worth that and more. Scott did a lovely job and shared great information…but it wasn’t anything I needed. And, since A&M isn’t my alma mater, it was only mildly interesting to me. And, as it turns out, Dr. Welch sought Scott as a replacement on Saturday night. They had ~36 hours to let everyone know of the change.

  • They could have emailed the change to their list. It’s a huge list so they probably have a rule about not bothering people more than once a week. Fine.
  • I had emailed the guy in charge of this group with my menu questions. He could have written me back or alerted me to the change [2]
  • If they had tweeted the change, I probably would have seen it and would have stayed home.

So, see? Twitter is the easiest fix to problems like this. Stuff happens. It’s how you handle stuff that matters. [3]

[1] I get all my news/weather/sports via Twitter. It’s the first place I learn of things like the Tsunami in Japan, celebrity deaths, and other “what everyone is talking about” topics. It’s just the most efficient way to broadcast short messages. And, because it can work via SMS Text Messaging on your phone, it can be critical during a disaster like a hurricane or earthquake.
[2] He was out of town. He got a replacement to run the meeting, but wasn’t checking email and didn’t delegate that to someone else. Really? He’s in charge of a weekly program at what might be the largest A&M Club in the country and he didn’t either keep up with his email or temporarily forward them to someone else? Oh, wait, he can’t do THAT because he uses his WORK email instead of one like <MondayProgram@AustinAgs.org>. He even had the balls to claim this was a last-minute change. Um, no it wasn’t; 36 hours is a far cry from last minute. The Aggie jokes just write themselves, here.
[3] It was pointed out to me that announcing that Dr. Welch couldn’t make it might have hurt attendance. While I’m sure this is the case, it’s clear that a) they weren’t that organized or calculated and b) was it worth it if now I’ve blogged about what poor communications were used?

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