the power of social media


For the past few years, my siblings and I have opted to draw names for Christmas gifts. I’m not sure why it took us so long to come around to this practice, since apparently it’s pretty common. Besides, picking out one awesome present for one of my siblings is much more fun than hunting for six personalized gifts that fit my graduate student budget.

Not to mention that it cuts down on both shopping and wrapping time, which I am very much a proponent of.

This year, as we all sat around many pushed-together tables at Denny’s the morning after my sister’s wedding, I drew the name of my oldest brother. He’s generally pretty easy to buy for, but some time passed and he hadn’t provided any ideas. So, like the short little almost librarian that I am, I started researching.

I started perusing various websites of one of my brother’s favorite bands, No More Kings.  I checked out the group’s merchandise site, but worried that I would give him a duplicate album, DVD, or t-shirt.  As I contemplated my next move, I clicked aimlessly around the band’s Facebook page and MySpace profile.  When I snapped back to reality, I found myself on the lead singer’s Twitter page.

Since I have virtually no shame, I tweeted him.  I begged him to help me give my brother a rad Christmas.  You know, aside from the overwhelming joy of spending the holidays with me.  So I tweeted some guy in a band all the way across the country, laughed at myself, and started looking at some really sharp Cincinnati Bengals hats so that I would actually have a gift for my brother.

I was beyond astonished when this very cool band member responded to my whim of a tweet.  After a couple of emails, I made the point that he could send me any old thing he thought was worth my money, and I would be ecstatic.  This was the absolute truth, and I wish someone could have been with me to share the moment that the package arrived at my door.

From a little social media digging, one little tweet, and a single PayPal transaction, I had the motherload of all secret santa gifts:

2010-01-06 19:47:29 -0500

See that thing in the middle?  On top of all the autographed merch, this amazing dude drew a picture of my brother.  This has less to do with social media and more to do with the fact that the lead singer of No More Kings is comprised primarily of awesome, but I don’t care.

Even after all this time, I still love making the whole social media defense.  It took me quite some time to warm up to the whole idea of Twitter, but I have officially been completely converted.  My Web 2.0 gift-giving experience warms the cockles of my heart, because it adds to my arsenal of positive and valuable uses for social media.  The real upside of this is that it really demonstrates how all of these crazy interweb tools bring us closer together, even when we’re sitting in the same living room on Christmas morning.  My brother was at least as pleased with his gift as I was- which says a lot-  and all because of one little tweet.


2 Responses to “the power of social media”

  1. 1 shander1

    I was about to give up my Twitter account, but you’ve convinced me to keep it. Great story!

  2. I enjoy reading your blog; to express my appreciation I have awarded you the Happy 101 Award which can be picked up at

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