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Twitter can absolutely change the world ('cuz it just did!)

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By now most of you know that Twitter is my hanging out place. I’d rather be there than just about anywhere (unless you count hanging out with the Young Turk – which trumps any other groovy experience I can think of). The reason I love it is that it is so engaging, so accessible – so REAL – plus it is just plain fun.

Some pundits call it a complete waste of time – which is insulting considering the connections I make and others make that would be impossible without the intimacy of Twitter. And, after yesterday’ 12for12k blowout – I dare anyone to substantiate the ‘waste of time” argument. Here’s what went down:

The formidable Danny Brown (@DannyBrown) dreamed up 12for12k to make a sizeable financial impact on causes that are making the world a better place. Causes such a children impacted by war, children suffering in silence after enduring sexual assault and children who are hungry every day. By leveraging the reach of social media, Danny knew the potential to make a difference was world-changing.

January and February’s results were thrilling – as the word spread and momentum grew. The 12for12k avatars starting popping up everywhere! Those of us who’d caught Danny’s vision were certain this project was worth our efforts.

And then March happened. The unofficial mayor of Twitter, Scott Stratten, threw his formidable Twitter clout – plus his personal time and energy into raising awareness and serious cash for www.strength.org which is dedicated to ending child hunger. As Scott so eloquently said in his video “I don’t need to talk about child hunger, I don’t need to explain child hunger. It just needs to STOP.” (Just thinking about his passionate emotion as he delivered those words bring tears to my eyes as I type.)

Others joined his effort and donated incredible prizes and giveaways as Scott masterminded a 12 hour Tweet-A-Thon with a goal of raising $12,000 in a single day – all on Twitter.

Prizes

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taligilletteDonated by Tweep: TaliGillette

Sterling Mama Necklace ($250)

TaliGillette.com

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sexythinkerDonated by Tweep: sexythinker

iPod Touch ($229)

iPod Touch

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_mschechter_-12k-avatarDonated by Tweep: MSchechter

HONORA Sterling Silver. 9+mm ringed freshwater pearl necklace, 17″ ($140)

Honora

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_mschechter_-12k-avatarDonated by Tweep: MSchechter

HONORA 9+mm ringed freshwater cultured pearl bracelets, set of 3 ($140)

Honora

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jengrooverDonated by Tweep: JenGroover

Butler Bag, Hybrid – 2009 collection ($165)

Butler Bag

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12for12k-banner2-1Donated by Tweep: Anonymous Donor

Kindle2 eBook reader. Valued at $359

Kindle2

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redhotcopyDonated by Tweep: RedHotCopy

She Factor Marketing System (DVD’s, CD’s & Workbook) (value $697)

Red Hot Copy

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ergotron_1Donated by Tweep: ergotron

Neo-Flex™ Notebook WorkBase Perfect for extensive laptop computing ($99)

Ergotron

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rossbeckhamDonated by Tweep: RossBeckham

Flip Video Ultra Series Camcorder, 60 Minutes (Orange) ($149)

Flip Video

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mi_webspreadsgifDonated by Tweep: webspreads

$AU250.00 Amazon Gift Card (Australian Dollars)

Amazon

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daimanuelDonated by Tweep: daimanuel

P90X complete fitness program. Value $119.

FitnessTown.ca

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12for12k-banner2-1Donated by Tweep: Anonymous Donor

$500 worth of free reservationless conferencing (Toll Free Conference Calls and/or Web Conferencing)

AccuConference

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jonfieldsDonated by Tweep: jonathanfields

Signed copy of the book “Career Renegade” and a 1-hour, private phone marketing/strategy/brainstorming consult (normally $500 value) CareerRenegade

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matt-leonard2Donated by Tweep: mjleonard

Wii Fit is a combination of fitness and fun, designed for everyone, young and old. By playing Wii Fit a little every day, you, your friends, and your family can work towards personal goals of better health and fitness. ($90)

Wii Fit

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johnmorganDonated by Tweep: johnmorgan

Internet Fuse 6-Month Marketing Bootcamp Enrollment (date TBA) ($1800)

InternetFuse.com

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jasonfbDonated by Tweep: jasontryfon

Custom Epic Twitter background like mine that you see on my profile ($150)

MassiveSocialMedia.com

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vpgDonated by Tweep: VPG_Printing

1000 Full Color Biz Cards from

Vertical Printing
At 9 am yesterday morning, Scott sent his first tweet-a-thon tweet:

Help end child hunger, and win incredible prizes during my 12-hour Tweetathon #12for12k Details: http://ub0.cc/77/3b

Immediately people jumped to support the cause. They gave, they tweeted, they retweeted and then they gave some more. It was an amazing thing to behold. There are over 100 pages of tweets in just over 24 hours just about the tweet-a -thon – that is a ton of tweets! If you really want to see the emotion and fervor created in a community around this event – just to a little twitter search on #12for12k and be prepared to spend several hours reading some of the most passionate tweets I’ve ever seen!

Granted the prizes were awesome – Scott gave everyone who donated $120+ a free, personal website review plus 10 raffle tickets for the prize drawing. And throughout the day other rockstars stepped up with additional incentives to encourage donations. And yes, there were some big gifts – Yanik Silver and Kevin Nations gave $500 each – for starters. BUT, the most frequent tweet of the day had this theme: ” Just $12 will help”.

Those $12 gifts added up. People gave up lunch. They gave up lattes. Tweeps who are unemployed gave. Tweeps with big pocketbooks gave. (Even the Young Turk gave but if I write about that I will cry and not finish this post.)

Heroes sprang up everywhere determined to make the Tweet-a-Thon a success. If you gave, if you tweeted, if you encouraged others to give – you were a hero yesterday. Your super-power is caring enough to get involved. The world needs as many of you as we can muster. And let me just take a sec to say “Well Done.”

Then my heart literally stopped at 3:20 EST when this tweet went out:

 WE’RE OVER $12K BABY!! http://ub0.cc/3H/09 #12for12k YOU GUYS ROCK!!

Twitter busted through the $12,000 goal in just about 6 hours. It would have been easy to stop there and claim victory. The unstoppable Scott Stratten, however, just kept right on tweeting. More people stepped up, more gifts were made, more tweets, more re-tweets. And, by the end of the day over $13,000 was added to the coffers of www.strength.org so they can do the heavy lifting on stamping out child hunger.

Clearly I could write a book about this because there were so many people involved and so many moving stories to share. I’m betting over the coming weeks and months, The 12for12k Tweet-a-Thon will be held up as an example to all on the amazing power and importance of this community we’ve built called Twitter.

I am proud to be part of an online world that never, ever stops amazing me. You guys ROCK!

(And I want to say out loud and in public that Scott Stratten is MY hero. I totally and completely adore you, Scott. Thank you for what you did yesterday. You changed lives that you will never even know about. And you changed the future of Twitter. Well done.)

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