The Power of Twitter

I’ve just returned to campus after attending The Placement Exchange, and I am continuing to follow the #NASPA11 backchannel via Twitter. As I reflect on this most recent TPE experience, I am continually amazed by the power of Twitter in terms of building a strong community of Student Affairs professionals, providing on-going professional development, and creating networking opportunities. Our #WLsalt initiative is a prime example of all three ways in which the power of Twitter works.

On Saturday night, the #WLsalt sisters got together for dinner. We met in the lobby of the Marriott, and each new arrival was greeted with huge hugs, a few squeals, and lots of laughter. Teri had connected with Brian Gallagher and asked him to take some photos of us, which turned out fantastically. This is one of my favorites.
WLsalt women at NASPA 2011-7477-3.jpg

At dinner, we caught up on all that has happened in our lives since we last saw each other in December. ¬†We shared the positive changes in our lives, told stories about hurt and loss, and banded together to support those who needed it. We toasted each other, the #WLsalt community, and ourselves. All of this, because of Twitter and the Women’s Leadership Institute.

After dinner, we rushed off to meet our #WLsalt evangelists and supporters for a tweetup. We had to change locations at the last minute, but still, approximately 65+ people joined us for the tweet up in the lobby of the Marriott, including a few recent additions to the Twitter and #WLsalt community.

I’m an introvert, and so was really not looking forward to making small talk with so many people, but thankfully, I discovered (again) the power of Twitter in breaking down barriers between strangers. Though I had not met many of these people in real life (IRL), I already knew so much about them by following them on Twitter. I knew their strengths, their frustrations, what is important to them in their lives, and even a little about their families.

At one point, while talking to a colleague who does not tweet and who is openly skeptical about Twitter, I said “Look around you. ALL of these people in this room met on Twitter. Look at the impact Twitter is having on our field.” While I cannot say that I pursuaded him to join Twitter, I believe that our tweet up and commitment to #WLsalt and #sachat has certainly changed my life for the positive, and I hope to continue sharing the power of Twitter with others.

How has Twitter been powerful in your life? Please share your reflections or comments with us.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Beautiful post Carolyn- we miss you! T


  2. Posted by Cindy on March 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Oh, Carolyn! This is a great post. I also felt the same way when I attended a tweetup last year at ACPA. Twitter allows the “small talk barriers” to be eliminated to let the quality connections build. I wonder if there is some mistrust about online communication and whether people are really their authentic selves on Twitter or in other places online. After meeting some amazing people in person, I can definitely testify that people really are who they claim to be online when you meet in real life!


  3. It was great to meet the ones that I did, and reconnect with Mary Jo! Y’all are an awesome group and I’m thrilled to get to know y’all, yes, through Twitter.

    Twitter is definitely an amazing tool! I wouldn’t have known about #WLSalt, #SAchat, and wouldn’t be able to follow #NASPA11 without it. BUT, we should remember it is a tool. Because we have colleagues that don’t “get it” yet, does not necessarily mean they aren’t good practitioners. History is a great teacher, so remember PowerPoint; “you aren’t competent if you can’t use PowerPoint” was a popular slogan, years ago. I know many great PowerPoint “Pros” that put me to sleep.

    Twitter can increase our networking and real-time knowledge of solutions. It can enhance communication in ways we never imagined. It should never replace face-to-face engagement.

    Keep up the great work women!


  4. Beautiful post, beautiful women :) Loved reading this. Thanks for sharing!


  5. Loved taking the photos – you are all so dynamic and wonderful!
    The Tweetup was also amazing. Simply amazing.
    Beautiful Post- Thanks for the shout out :)


  6. Each day that goes by I am more convinced that twitter, the #sachat and now the #WLSalt communities have enriched my life personally and professionally. I look forward to growing with the amazing people who join these dynamic communities. Thanks for being an integral part of my twitterverse!


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