Friday, April 24, 2009

Oprah and Ashton are on Twitter - But Have NO Clue What They Are Missing!

My desire with Spreading Joy Corporation is simple - I want to be spreading joy everyday! I have a huge desire to give big - Oprah Big - but until that day comes, I have decided that I will simply give what I can.

Twitter allows me to do just that. While SJC is an IRS approved Non Profit Organization, we currently do not have a steady stream of income. So, when I purchase things for the homeless, for Joy Packs, books, thank you cards etc, it is coming from money my husband and I donated - which is fine because we are doing what we can until we can give big.

But twitter - it allows me to make a difference and THAT is what people who only follow a "few select people" such as @oprah and @aplusk are missing out on. Granted, Oprah hasn't been using it that long and I'm sure she will probably add more over time, but when you are only following 98 people like Ashton is, then you are missing out. Sure what you have to say goes to your million or half of million followers and they comment on what you said, but you are missing a HUGE opportunity to make a difference.

Oprah is following 11 people
Ashton is following 98
Demi Moore is following 78
Larry King is following 46
Jimmy Fallon is following 97
Ellen Degeneres is following 20
Al Roker is following 47
Katie Couric is following 75

I was happy to see that Shaquille O'Neal is following 488 people. So he isn't missing out as much, but I wonder how many of the people he is following are fellow players.

The reason these guys are missing out is because they are only keeping up with each other. There are so many wonderful people on twitter which equals to so many ways to make a difference!

They are missing the fact that every Friday people in twitterland tell who is making a difference in their corner of the world with #followfriday. Many people will suggest who you should follow based on the content of their tweets. You can connect in so many ways but if you don't follow people and get to know them, you'll never know what you are missing.

There are people who are dealing with things like cancer and while they want to remain positive, they do have down days. Imagine how a simple tweet from @oprah would serve as an instant pick me up. Miley Cyrus is only following 34 people. If she were to desire to get the most from twitter and follow others, she would know that Jonathan Jay was a 15 year old fighting cancer and loves her. Imagine how a horrible day could be turned around with just 1 tweet! They would also know that Heather is a young mother that will be having her 3rd brain surgery soon and the new medication has zapped her energy. But regardless of that Heather will pray for you and unashamedly tweet that she is praying for you should you ask for prayer.

Following various people that you do not know, the opportunity for learning is unbelievable. Maybe because I'm doing what I can with what I have and money is not something I have a lot of right now - I love learning for free. I'm so new at this and I've asked for "honest" opinions. People like Jill and Brian will help newbies like me and give valuable feed back on their sites. Not only is the feed back awesome, but the articles that get posted are amazing! Someone recently tweeted about 25 Ways to Let RSS Feeds Optimize Your Life which will help me tremendously! This is what it's all about! This is what you miss out on by only following a few people!

By only following a few people you miss connections with people that you would otherwise never have the opportunity to get to know. For instance, Lark a "Poet, technical writer, movie lover, voracious reader, and witchy woman." and myself your basic do what you can with what you have - have more in common that what is on the surface. She is going through a similar journey with her Step Dad that I went through with my Step Dad 14 years ago. If I had not followed her, I would have never known. Her interest in the paranormal and love for horror flicks is what got my attention in the first place. I enjoy her tweets everyday but there will be days that she is down or the treatments aren't going well and I hope that I'm attentive enough to make a difference!

By only following a few select people - you miss out on awesome stories of changed lives! Mark who has been homeless in the past, came out of it and then due to this economy recently lost his home again still helps the homeless. His number one goal is to make the issue of homelessness front and center. To help invisible people become visible again! Mark received a call that one of his homeless friends, John, had been mugged while traveling north to find work. He sent out a tweet for help and Jimmy was working close by and was able to help. John didn't have to spend the night in 27 degree weather after having been mugged. Mark was able to help a homeless friend through this crisis even though he was no where near John.

I'm truly glad that so many Hollywood people are on twitter because they are the ones that have such a huge voice. Me - as of this posting, my voice is at 949 but I'm LISTENING to over 1,100 people and loving it! This is just a tiny speck of what you can get from utilizing twitter to the fullest!

I love communicating with James at Be Legendary. It reminds me to be courageous during the scary times. I love getting quotes from insightful1. Michelle and I both love buttered popcorn flavored Jelly Belly's. No matter what Catrina is doing, she is "always a mom first" - which is awesome considering so many of our children are left to their own devices. Valerie always has great articles and she communicates with her followers. Kristen and Sandy are helping Non Profits. Stillsafe provides me with awesome quotes and is a great retweeter. Lolly inspires with tweets such as "give gratitude". Liz is one of several bloggers who is helping others become successful and outstanding! If you are new to blogging, her blog has so much info to help you get going! DJ Change always has great articles. I never know what kind of tweets I'm going to get from Kim because she "tweets about art, film, comedy, twitter, design, tech + music. i love pop culture, sunshine + laughter/ #ROFL. =)". Larry gives us random thoughts from Hawaii. Then there's The Art of Joy. A group in Scotland that is using beautiful art to fund raise for various groups. Josh takes amazing photos. Jessica helps people with marketing on a budget and she helped me to understand twitter when I first started using twitter. Susan helps others find happiness. Adam is fun to keep up with. Great ideas and articles from Designriffs. Again, there are many more that I love to keep up with, but you get the idea!

Ashton may have reached 1,000,000 followers first, but I'm spending the weekend looking for the best, brightest and uniquest people that I can follow. Who knows, maybe I'll be the first person on twitter to FOLLOW 1,000,000 people!

"Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for a kindness."~Sallust


Claus D jensen said...

Hi Marie,
Found you through the Blog Challenge!

It's funny how some people, politicians and celebrities use Twitter as a one-way communication...

I prefer its being more than one way!

Great to meat you.

Keep up the good work!!

Greetings from Denmark,
Claus D Jensen :-)

Marie said...

Thanks Claus! So much is to be gained by following new people - not just your circle of friends!

Thanks and glad that Problogger brought us together! Darren is a great teacher!

Resa said...

I just recently started following you on twitter thru Lark, and I'm so glad I did. Keep up the good work :)

Hetty4Christ said...

My goodness Marie-talk about a blog from the heart!! You were on fire with this one...and it is still giving me goosebumps!! There are so many that touch my life thru the amazing love of Jesus-thru amazing hearts they have in their faith-in their struggles-in their success-in their up and down times-hearts that are filled with happiness thru the simple touches of buttons-to one another-and it isn't just the receiving-not at is awesome I hear from people that amaze me-and my day is so bright-but it feels so awesome to brighten someone elses day-with a simple hello-prayer-understanding-letting them know...I am there...and so many others are-just reach. Reach out to God's children...the famous ones will understand one day-what they are missing-I feel famous just being able to somehow make ones day a bit brighter. Makes my struggles seem so small-and cured. He has reasons for everything!! Love you so much!! I applaud this so much!!
In His Love,
Heather @Hetty4Christ

Marie said...

@Resa - thank you. Lark is a great gal! Truly! I hope you'll enjoy tweeting with me and reading the blog.

@Hettie4Christ - Thank you. You never know what someone is going through and just a simple tweet can be an instant pick me up. Times are tough and twitter is something free that can be used for such good!

Stephen Tiano said...

Absolutely. Them and anyone else not taking the opportunity to engage with the people they follow and are followed by.

And I don't follow everyone who follows me. I try to stick with people involved in publishing or making books somehow. But, then, there are people who just say interesting things.

I do take a look at the tweets of anyone who follows me to see what they tweet about. I don't follow back if they have no tweets or no bio, or if they're sole message is about getting some free stuff.

When I decline to follow someone back, it's a conscious choice.

Anonymous said...

Dear Marie,
I loved this post so very much. Just as you showed your love for others by commenting on my blog today and encouraging me in my difficult time, you are pouring your love out for the world through twitter and your blog! What a gift of giving you have! I, too, have found Twitter to be an amazing experience daily, a wonderful connection to people I never would have met otherwise and hopefully, an opportunity to help others in the process.
You are a treasure.
Thank you, Bless you,
Amy (@Abeeliever)

Marie said...

@Stephen I totally understand making wise choices. I've come across several tweeters that I've wondered what in the world they were thinking with some of their posts. Even today, one person made me feel like they were just looking for girls. Thank you for stopping by!

@Amy Encourgement is something that everyone can do. In person I always try to leave people I meet feeling better after having known me. I simply use those same practices on twitter and blogs. It will get better, but boy we do wish it would hurry when we are discouraged don't we?

Carolyn said...

What a great blog. I found you on Darren's website 31 days to a better blog. I couldn't agree with you more. I get so much out of following people. I love what all of them have to say, and the variety of the commentary.

Marie said...


Thanks! I'm so glad you found me through Problogger! I love that he is so helpful!

The variety is what draws me to twitter! I love all the various people and there outlook on things.

Thanks for stopping by.

Michelle said...

I just love it and you are so correct with what you miss out on when you are not really on Twitter.

I know I lose followers because some believe I Tweet too much. But if you look at my Tweets most of them are "real" conversations I am having with people as I share my love of Excel and little QuickBooks tid-bits! How else would we have connected if it had not been with the jelly beans?

Keep up the good work & I look forward to reading more of your posts!

Michelle the Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly lover!

Marie said...

@Michelle - I think it is great the we connected through Jelly Bellys - especially Butter Popcorn - everyone should try at least one - just to see that it taste exactly like butterd popcorn.

I enjoy the excel and quickbook tidbits - keep them coming!

Rufus said...

@Marie I like your take on this issue much better. I hope to become one of those folks you talk about in your post, those that make a difference for people around them. If that doesn't happen, I'd settle for an appearance on Oprah :-)

Thanks for joining the walk!

Marie said...

@Rufus - thank you for the kind words! When you encourage, inspire and acknowledge - you make a HUGE difference. That is why those with the loudest voices, should do it more often and none of those things cost money, so everyone of us can participate!

I'm so glad to have you around!

Randy J Bradley said...

Big is an unmeasured value. Meaning big can be a small "hello" to someone who thinks no one cares.
Keep up the good work. Don't under estimate the "bigness" of your work. Please know what you are doing is more than big to some.

Marie said...

@Randy - Thank you! Your comments remind me of what my heart already knows - but still needs to hear. (often unfortunately) I know beyond a doubt that it is truly the little things that make life BIG! And I do as many of those things as possible.

I guess my heart just wishes that I had the voice, financial backing and such as many celebrities - so that I could continue to do more for spreading joy!

Thank you for your encouragement and for stopping by! I pray you'll always find encouragement and motivation here as well as on twitter!

Marie (@spreadingjoy)

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