I am so happy at how many people showed up today at the first inaugural Austin Blood Drive Tweetup. I spoke with many staff members at the Blood and Tissue Center, and they all agreed that the Tweetup more doubled their traffic that day and brought in more first time donors than they had seen in a long time. They were also happy because there is a need for blood July 4th weekend and it would have been incredibly slow had we not showed up. Considering the first blog post with the instructions for donating didn’t go up until Sunday and we also managed to get a raffle, a sammichometer, a birthday cake for Mike Chapman, a visit by Erica at KUT, a mention in the Austin American Statesman, and custom stickers for the event, I’d consider this event a huge success.
For future events, I will have an official sign up as per the suggestion of Alex Jones so we can know who is coming, when, and get a better headcount.
There were so many good people involved in this Tweetup. The best part? Everyone who came in took part to make a difference. It wasn’t about self-promotion or networking. There is something very refreshing about that and I intend to duplicate this result when Grant Hutchins and I take a bunch of Burmese refugees to “Blues on the Green” on July 9th.
I feel like a broken record sometimes, but social media is a communication tool. Just like a cell phone. Communication facilitates action and we now have the tools to make things happen so much faster and easier than before. Quit Twittering about the donuts you eat in the morning. Stop throwing up post after post about the Fail Whale. DO SOMETHING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA. This will facilitate the inevitable cultural shift towards a society that rewards those with a message rather than merely those who can afford to push their message out. If you don’t do something with social media, people will ultimately see it as a waste of time.
I have to thank sharinghope.tv superstud David J. Neff for organizing this event with me. Props should go to Mike Chapman for delivering some killer posts on the Austin Social Media Club website, as well as the countless others who took time out of their days to blog about the event. If you didn’t come by, you missed out on the cool stickers and the sammichometer designed by Cesar Torres. My thanks to Tarus Balog at the OpenNMS Group for sponsoring the totally awesome sammichometer.
Check out the photos by visiting our Austin Blood Drive Tweetup Flickr pool.