"We are all in this humans race together and it's our job to make sure we all cross the finish line as one."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Twitterville Etiquette: Quote THIS!

 There have been 9,165 blogs, articles and posts about Twitter and Social Media etiquette that we have all read and hoped we have not made near fatal mistakes with and I know I have read at least 1,964 of them.

But, I did something last week that in Twitterville is a major Go Directly To Jail offense but luckily was able to quell as fast as it all occurred.

I collect great expressions and quotes. I cut and paste them, drop them in a word document and keep them cozy on my desktop waiting to be used. I save them for rainy days or on line chats that warrant their subject matter and I infuse them into the conversation. I’m always very careful to make sure I quote who say’s it because let’s face it, Twitterville is a small town.

So, I was going into a chat with the #custserv group last Tuesday and I needed a great quote to drop on the crew and I was short on my own words that day. So I went to my magic file, found an amazing quote that had no writers credit pasted along with it. I couldn’t remember for the life of me where I saw it and figured, “oh, just use it regardless”. Here for the record is the quote:

“The Best Companies have a Strong Culture but a Thin Rule Book. Stick to Your Standards & be Disciplined. What You Permit, You Promote.”

Sounds great right? The response was terrific and everybody and their brother Re-Tweeted it and they told two friends and so on and so on…And then I get a Direct Message from “The Author”.

Now, the author is no ordinary guy, this is a guy I have been connected with through for a couple of years, I respect and look up to even use his “Leadership in a Box” program in my company. We had even chatted online earlier. His name is, Jim Sullivan and no we are not related.

The Direct Message reads (and I paraphrase here): “FYI Ty, that quote you used was a direct quote from me on Twitter on Feb.5th. Just letting you know.”

I am MORTIFIED! Sweat cascades down my head and builds on my shirt collar!  All I’m thinking is ‘have mercy this poor guy’s words are stolen and now he thinks I’m a thief and my name is mud in the world I worked so hard to build”. So I of course am a man of action and can’t deal with guilt very well (and I can’t afford the therapy to fight this one off), so I jump right on it and apologize for the incident both publicly and personally. I explain it was in no means malicious or sneaky and offer him my 2nd born heir or an Applebee’s Gift Card but not both. He gentlemanly responds, “no worries, apology accepted just wanted credit where credit due” and fair enough! YES!

Bottom line, I spent 24 hours responding to every Re-Tweet of this quote (and there were TONS of them-the quote was that good!) by addressing the Twitterer with, “YES! Great quote by @sullivision wasn’t it?” making sure they KNEW it was Jim Sullivan’s not mine.

So here’s the bottom line citizens of Twitterville, check you facts, quotes and Tweeted gems before you pull the trigger. If you’re not sure of the quote put “Anonymous” after it. If you’re a “quote hoarder like I am, make sure that you CUT & PASTE the authors name.

24 words can cost you 24 hours of clean up.

Please check out my friend Jim Sullivan’s website out at and follow him on Twitter at @sullivision He’s a smart guy! Very quotable!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Power To The People: Social Media On The Front Lines in Egypt

Twitter my friend, we had you all wrong.

What started out as a 140 character ego fest has once again proven itself in the battlefield. Literally.

This last week we all watched as the uprising, the REVOLUTION, started by the people of Egypt reached a fever pitch in violence. And on the front lines of this planets latest battle for change and independence stands, Twitter and smart-phones as they chronicled the atrocities that scared “little big men” don’t wish for us to see. Remember that it was just 18 months ago that the same technologies were hailed as a factor in Iran’s Green Revolution as the streets stirred in protests that followed the disputed presidents election.

By cutting off Egypt’s internet and wireless capabilities last week in the wake of massive protests, President Mubarak’s greatest fears came to fruition. The social networking empire he tried to bring down backfired on him in epic proportions. His people and opponents became empowered and found ways to reach out to the world, exposing his failings that would topple his regime, through Facebook, Twitter and the big bad Social Media.

By most accounts, the new armory of social networking helped hasten Tunisia’s revolution, driving the country’s ruler of 23 years, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, into exile and igniting a blaze that has spread across the Arab world at breathtaking speed.

It was an apt symbol that dissident blogger, Slim Amamou with thousands of followers on Twitter, catapulted from the interrogation chambers of Mr. Ben Ali’s regime to a new government post as minister for youth and sports in just a matter of days. It was a marker of the uncertainty in Tunis that by Thursday, he’d stepped down from his position.

Tunisia’s uprising offers the hottest encouragement for a reassuring idea: that the same Web tools so many of us Americans use to keep tabs on college pals and post momentary thoughts have a more noble role as well, a thorn in the side of tyranny. John Lennon’s ‘Power to the People”, has been coursing through my mind ever since.

There are times that I ask myself, why am I on Twitter? Why do I care about what others have to post on Facebook? Why are we all wasting our time in the lackluster tactile world of internet social media? Then, something like this reminds me why I’m here. Why we are all here. Because in some way we all make a little difference in the landscape of mankind.

From Lauren Lankford and Nate St. Pierre, who encourage others to lift up those downtrodden through Itstartswith.Us and, the Twitterthons we hold to raise dollars for organizations such as or @JEFFin140 on Twitter's #USguys selling ad space with tattoos on his body to raise money for a new house for his mom, to the stories that make the news like Egypt, Iraq and Somalia’s struggle for independence, one thing is clear. Social media has given POWER TO THE PEOPLE.

I begin to wonder if someone like John Lennon who was not afraid to take a stand for something he believed in were HERE TODAY, would he have a Facebook page, Twitter account or blog about the feelings and issues he and others are passionate about? I would have to say, Probably. Could you just IMAGINE that?

Power to the People. Power to the People, right on!