I Helped. I Bought. I Had Fun: The Real Power of Social Media

Tonight I had a total hoot, spent 20 bucks, and helped a charity I believe in — all while sitting in my attic answering my work email.

How? Through the power of social media tools like Twitter and uStream, and the awesomeness of the people they connected me to, namely @Robin2go and her kitchen co-hosts on the live Web show, Chicken and Stars.

In the course of an hour-long uStream show filled with opinion and frivolity (DRINK!) I kept myself entertained by interacting with others in the audience and also bought a new skin for my Netbook from a company called Gelaskins – a company I had never heard of until folks in the audience started commenting on how cool @reginaldgolding’s laptop looked.

Even cooler than @reginaldgolding’s laptop is Help Attack, a fantastic tool that he mentioned during the course of the show that turns people’s Facebook and Twitter status updates into donations for their favorite causes. Now every time I tweet, Save the Music gets a nickel. How cool is that?

How did this happen? Why did I happily fork over real money to companies and apps I’d never heard of? It’s simple but oh so complicated: awesome people + tools to connect them + awesome products or ideas = me opening my wallet.

See, if I had gone to Gelaskins and their products sucked, I wouldn’t have bought one. And if Help Attack wasn’t a great idea and simple to use, I wouldn’t have signed up. But likewise, if I hadn’t heard about either of these worthy enterprises from @Robin2go, I would have been much less likely to click the “Order Now” button.

You see, Robin is — of course — a real person. About as real as they get. She is a real person who I’ve really met and who I really really like. That would be true with or without Twitter. But with Twitter, I can spend the evening with her (DRINK!) even though she is in central PA and I am in western NY.

I’m not really sure how traditional marketing works in this┬áscenario. No amount of marketing can turn a crap product into an awesome one, and Robin isn’t a “message” or a “value proposition.” She’s a friend.

–lori

2 comments

  1. Robin2go says:

    I love that you showed up for the relaunch of our Chicken And Stars broadcast! Thank you for the awesome shout out, as well as the love, laughter, and support that you provided. I’m so incredibly stoked that you found value in our good time–Gelaskins are awesome, and Help Attack is amazing. Likewise, we couldn’t have fun without friends like you because, quite simply, you RAWK. Thanks again (DRINK!) and hope to see you online next week… same #bawk time, same #bwak channel. ;D

  2. Sarah Vela says:

    Hi Lori!

    I’m so glad to hear stories like this. AND glad to hear that Chicken & Stars is BACK. Thanks for stopping by HelpAttack! and making a pledge – we’d love to hear back from you about your experience, and hope that you’ll consider using it as a donation tool throughout the year.

    Cheers!

    Sarah Vela
    Cofounder & CEO, HelpAttack!

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