by Charlene Li
I'm often asked if Twitter is important or not, and while I'm not a major booster, I fall on the side that it's an idea and technology to watch closely. A conversation with a colleague yesterday sparked me to write this post, which has been rattling around in my brain for a while. It shows how Twitter connects people in new ways previously not possible.
Twitter is somewhat of a new thing for me -- I'm what is described as a "binge twitter-er", in that I go for long periods when I don't tweet anything. I'm getting a little better, using Twitter to ask questions or to share a post or link. But I do think it's particularly interesting in that it's a unique communication tool, and I thought I'd illustrate it with this example.
I'm in the midst of a launching the Groundswell book and realized that given all of the upcoming travel, that I would really benefit from a Clear pass, which allows me to skip to the front of the security lanes. I'm lucky in that the airport closest to me, SFO, has a Clear Lanes at pretty much every security area, so I can fly through. I have to say, I am absolutely loving it.
During the sign-up process (which I did back in January), I noticed an area where I can enter a discount code. A little bit of searching turned up that I could get a referral code from someone who already had a Clear pass, and we would both get a free month of service.
But how to find someone? I figured there had to be someone I knew amongst my frequent flyer friends and colleagues who had a pass....but I didn't have the time to send out an email, nor did I want to spam everyone. That's when I decided to Twitter the following:
charleneli Signing up for flyclear.com. Does anyone have a referral code I can use? I think you'll get 1 month free. FCFS.
(Note: Clear members aren't allowed to broadcast/publish their discount numbers, so I removed it from Anil's reply)
Now this is important to note. The time between when I put out my first tweet and Anil's response was 19 minutes. That's pretty fast, especially considering that I most of that delay was me getting around to sending Anil the direct message in the first place.
Imagine what it would have taken for me to track down, email/spam my contacts to hunt down that code. So the benefit to me was a month of Clear's $100 service, or $8.33.
I'd love to hear how Twitter has helped you get something done -- beyond sharing links, ideas, or communicating with people in your network.
And if you're thinking about getting a Clear pass, let me (or Anil) know and we can "make" another $8.33 together!