Wednesday, May 27, 2009

NHLTweetUp FollowUP with @dani3boyz

For years they warned us that computers would take away our humanity. Even Pete Townsend, in 1970, wrote The Lifehouse Chronicles, an entire movie score that was never produced about a post apocalyptic world where people were confined to their homes and all their needs were fulfilled by computers from a main grid. Uh... Okay, Pete was ahead of his time. It's not that bad yet. But for the brave souls on Twitter, the Social Media community that grows in leaps and bounds every second, face to face socialization is not a problem.

Such was the idea behind the "TweetUp." To get people with a common bond talking to each other to develop relationships that can and DO transcend into the material world. This is a grass roots initiative that is growing exponentially.
Today the mastermind behind the NHLTweetUp had a little gathering in her own neck of the woods. There were about 30 Twitter respondents getting together to watch the Red Wings take on the Blackhawks at Croxley's Ale House in Farmingdale.

Please take note, with no NY team in the playoffs, there were still 30 fans from all walks of life ready and willing to get together and talk hockey and watch two western conference teams play. Yeah, tell me again that hockey is dead on Long Island.

I arrived early so I could talk to Dani for a few minutes. She rushed in, Blackberry in one hand, coffee in the other, bag of goodies and laptop slung over her shoulder. She immediately directed the wait staff and made herself at home in a booth. The Blackberry never stopped buzzing.

I'm actually surprised it still works, although she said it "freezes" a lot now. Ever since HockeyBuzz told everyone to follow her and new followers came crawling out of the web.

"You know I kept my follower numbers under 1,000 because I always felt intimidated looking at others who had more than 1,000 followers. I didn't want to be like that. But after that 'Eklund episode' I couldn't stop it."
Dani is well versed in all Twitter apps and tried (yet again) to explain TweetDeck to me. This is how she manages her followers and those she follows. She categorizes them in neat columns that scroll across the screen. This must be because she is the mother of three. A place for everything and everything in its place, even on Twitter. I stood amazed.

I asked her how the Montreal NHLDraftTweetUp was coming along. "I feel a little like a Travel Agent right now. We're working with hotels to come up with group rates right now."
@Amandafortier, one of her Twitter friends, put a list together of things to do in the area for those attending.
The NHL has even stepped up in their support effort of the Montreal TweetUp and supplied 50 General Admission tickets to the Draft for both Friday and Saturday.

You have to agree, the NHL is the most forward thinking league in sports. They understand what social media and the Internet mean to the expansion of their fan base. They 'get it.'

Many of those who will be travelling to Montreal for this are women. Some of whom were afraid to travel alone, but through the power of Twitter have found travel companions to make the trip. "No one is ever going to be alone." Dani will be taking an 11 hour train ride with one of her Twitter buddies because airfare is too expensive and there's that sticky passport thing now.

"We get there at 7:30 Thursday night so I don't miss ANY of Friday. From what I understand, the train pulls 2 blocks away from where we need to be. We'll be in the middle of it all and everything will be within walking distance. And so many of the locals are making themselves available to us. A lot more of the locals in Montreal will be our male contingent. But a lot of the travelers are female." (We're just more social and more adventurous!)

"This is going to be the ultimate getting to know one another. This is Big Brother for the NHL."

Dani almost hit a financial snag as she found out this being the catalyst of a social media movement is not cheap. But once again, her Twitter friends came to the rescue. When she told @goaliegirl her concerns, the net diva immediately set up a chip-in site and asked for some help from her followers.

"In a matter of four hours, there was over $300. I cried all day. Every time my Blackberry buzzed and told me there was another donation, the water works started. Perfect strangers giving there money to me, because they want ME to go to Montreal. It's overwhelming."

What's overwhelming is how this little idea of Dani's has grown. More Twitterers were filing in as I was leaving. They ate, they chatted, they tweeted. They watched the Red Wings beat the Blackhawks on the big screen. They made friends, in real time, in the real world.

Don't be afraid of new technology.


SandiHockeyMom said...

SOOOO awesome! Cannot wait to be nearer to one! Bring hockey to the OBSESSED MIDWEST! Oh yeah baby! Great things happen to great people and Dani is a great person!! ~warms my heart!!!!

Sandi Lincoln @sandihockeymom

Ozzy said...

VERY good write-up, and I'm glad to hear that you got to talk to Dani again.
Looks like everyone had a blast!

Katrina Doell - Blog administrator said...

I have been to all three tweetups in the area for the Stanley Cup playoffs. It has been a great expereince. I look forward to more!