“Highlighting Folks” with Twitter

"Celebrating the first Connecting People in the RNR Show"

At 12:13 PM on October 21, 2008, that was my first tweet using Twitter for business.

Thank Jeremy Hart.

Two days before the visit of Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, and Governor Mark Warner to Blacksburg, Virginia, Hart e-mailed me this:

“And why are you NOT on Twitter?  The whole idea of Handshake 2.0 is to highlight folks throughout the RNR [Roanoke and New River Valleys of Virginia], many of whom are already on Twitter!"

Good point.

Hart had tried to explain the business value of Twitter to me a month earlier in his guest post on Handshake 2.0, Twitter for Business.

When I first began to blog, I researched blogging software.  As most business deals do, I began with "It's who you know."

Seth Godin and Pat Matthews use TypePad.  So I use TypePad.  Seth Godin doesn’t use Twitter.  But Pat Matthews does

On October 21, 2008, I signed up for Twitter.  Our developer set up Hart’s recommended Twitterfeed on Handshake 2.0.

On October 22, 2008, as I was setting out layers of warm clothes to wear for an early arrival to get a place in line for at the Lyric Theater for the next day’s Eric Schmidt and Mark Warner appearance, I thought about lugging my laptop so I could blog about the event for Handshake 2.0.

Then I realized I could tweet the news onto Handshake 2.0 from my cell phone.

Jeremy Hart said he would never tell, but I’ll confess.

I phoned Hart that night and said, “I keep calling the number that Twitter gave me to activate my phone connection, but I keep getting ‘Verizon is not able to place the call.’”

Very gently, Hart said, “You have to text.”

He must have sensed that I didn’t quite get it yet, because he elaborated.

“You have to send a text message.”


I got out my reading glasses and peered at my cell phone's metal-on-metal keypad.

I sent Twitter a text message, slowly. 

Twitter phoned back!  Okay, it was an electronic voice.

I was ready to "highlight folks."

I would tweet the next morning’s tech star news.


This post is part of a series by Anne Giles Clelland, founder of Handshake 2.0, on the visit of Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, to the Lyric Theater, Blacksburg, Virginia, October 23, 2008.

Links to the series:
Tech Stars

"Highlighting Folks" with Twitter

Jeff Sturgeon of The Roanoke Times wrote about the event in Google CEO says Virginia ripe for new businesses on Roanoke.com.  Here's coverage from Virginia Tech's Collegiate Times, the Warner campaign, and Virginia Tech Campus Gallery.

You don’t have to be Google to get your company’s story on Handshake 2.0

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  1. Anne, From my perspective, I see the biggest value of Twitter as a quick way to post an update. I used to blog, but I did so infrequently because I rarely had time to write something I felt worthy of posting. Due to its character limit, Twitter demands only short posts, so it’s easy to post a quick thought.

  2. Cory, Twitter has certainly not only provided a new outlet for many blogs to publicize their posts, but also as a way to have conversation outside of the blog.

    The real estate industry is one of the heaviest users of Twitter, and one of the other benefits I’ve seen has been its use as a communication tool at conferences. Now, if I can’t make a conference but follow people that ARE there, I can follow presentations and things as they live post from the event. Certainly it’s but a snapshot of the whole event, but a snapshot all the same. I’ve even seen folks who aren’t at the conference, but following on Twitter, interact with the speaker by having the opportunity to ask their question through the medium.

    If that’s not engaging in conversation, I don’t know what is.

  3. Jeremy, this article from the Wall Street Journal, Twitter Goes Mainstream, 10/27/08, supports the points you have made in posts and comments and, yes, uses the example of a real estate agent to show the business use of Twitter:


    Cory, the “quick update” use is the one I have found most valuable, also. I can tweet the latest news to Handshake 2.0 from my cell phone and elaborate later.

  4. Good find, Anne – I had forgotten about that article. Interestingly enough, Daniel Rothamel (the agent referenced in the article) is the one who introduced me to Twitter.

  5. You know Daniel Rothamel?!


    Talk about–or Twitter about–it’s who you know!

    I wrote more about you and Twitter and it’s how you know here:

  6. When I first saw it, I was awed, and maybe this will be a reader’s first time, too:

  7. Jeremy Hart sent me this link to a new blog by ProBlogger, Twitter Tips for Beginners:

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