This is a guestpost by Mariana Ashley, writing about online colleges. More about her at the bottom of the post.
Sure, like me and many others, you might use Twitter for personal pleasure, keeping up with friends and the latest happenings in the world at large. Or perhaps you use Twitter for marketing purposes or some other professional pursuit.
But how often is it that Twitter has substantively changed someone’s life? Apparently, more often than you would think, as the new Twitter Stories site demonstrates.
Twitter announced Wednesday a new site that features “Twitter stories,” short narratives, some submitted by users, in which Twitter is used in a radically different, creative way. Some of these stories are truly inspiring. Here are a few:
1. Twitter enables speedy kidney donation.
Chris Strouth, who, after spending years suffering from kidney disease, became progressively worse and needed a kidney transplant quickly. Most patients who need a new kidney often die waiting, but shortly after Strouth tweeted, “sh*t, I need a kidney,”.
What’s fascinating is that an acquaintance and Twitter follower saw Strouth’s tweet. Within seconds they volunteered to give them one of their kidney’s and practically saved his life – through Twitter. And all of this happened even though Strouth and his friend hadn’t talked in years.
2. Twitter saves mom-and-pop bookstore.
Aside from the obvious political ramifications that Twitter has had in various revolutions, most notably Egypt’s uprising, Twitter has likewise impacted small businesses in a profound way. A Portland blogger, worried that his mother’s independent bookstore, on the verge of shutting down, would not survive the economic downturn, wrote about his mom’s plight and tweeted the story.
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He promised readers that if they purchased $50 dollars’ worth of books from her store, he would buy each customer a burrito. The story spread quickly via Twitter as his article was retweeted, reaching several hundred Portland community members. At the end of the holiday season, the bookstore experienced a dramatic surge in sales, and continues to have unprecedented success.
3. Twitter optimizes fish freshness.
Showcasing Twitter’s more practical uses, Twitter Stories tells of the Japanese fishing association that uses Twitter to sell fresh fish to customers while fishermen are still at sea. By placing their offerings on an online shopping website and taking orders on Twitter, customers have guaranteed fresh fish in no later than twelve hours.
The best thing about Twitter Stories is that it demonstrates to readers the various ways that Twitter can be a tool to for initiating real change in the world—whether political, personal, or professional.
Reading through these inspiring stories enables us current Twitterers to think outside the box and use the platform in ways that extend beyond basic marketing and communication.
If you yourself have an inspiring Twitter story, Twitter Stories wants to know. Those who submit stories are encouraged to tell their story with a video illustrating how Twitter affected their lives. A CNN news article reports that the day Twitter Stories was announced, @TwitterStories instantly garnered over 160,000 followers. The site will be updated once a month.
About the author:
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.
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