Twitter: Search Engine for People and Solutions

Just now I was struggling with a customer of mine from before I was teaching that had some fancy ftp stuff going on -- the webhost had changed their ftp information and they were struggling to tell me what was on their screen. I couldn't do the windows remote because it just wouldn't work.

So, in frustration, not really looking for an answer I tweeted:

"I have never been able to make remote assistance work between my computer(s) and someone I wanted to help. Need to remote in to remote in. from TweetDeck"

Then, I get back from Ben Grey and a few others:

  1. thegreatgar @coolcatteacher I use logmein free and reliable great software ! from TweetDeck in reply to coolcatteacher

  2. Becky BlackwellBlacB @coolcatteacher I use LogMeIn. Free. Works well. Both computers require the logmein software. I use it on 4 machines. from web in reply to coolcatteacher

  3. Stephen Rahnstephenksu @coolcatteacher is my favorite way to do this. the is a very good free version. from CoTweet in reply to coolcatteacher

  4. Ben Greybengrey @coolcatteacher Use Team Viewer. It's the best. from TweetDeck in reply to coolcatteacher 

So, Ben's came in first and I went and did it.  Talked the customer through a quick log in to and it was a snap.  I logged in, saw that the directories had also changed and fixed the problem in about four minutes!

Now what astounded me is that it is Friday at 5:15 and I was going to have to get in the car, drive an hour, take four minutes to fix it, get in the car and drive directly to my son's ballgame. I'm running the first 5K in my life tomorrow and want to relax tonight before the game!  So, I was so excited and told my customer!

"You may not understand what I'm saying but Twitter just saved me a lot of time and you a lot of money.  I am so excited!"

The customer responds:

"I don't know what twitter is, but I like it if it saved me time and money."

See, the thing that makes this even more interesting is that I had already looked at the Microsoft site (page was down) and already tried to find other sites (to cumbersome) - I had even read the manual to the customer trying to fix the problem and that didn't work (the manual wasn't very good.)  I had searched all of the web and was running out of options.

My customer needed a solution and that solution was in my head.  I needed a solution and that solution was in someone else's head because I had no clue how to do this.  So, I guess in a way I outsourced my problem and four really cool tweeps, bengrey, thegreatgar, BlacB, and stephenksu (see twitter id's above) responded with an answer from their head that solved my problem so I could help my customer. 

Now, I think that businesses cannot afford to do business with someone that cannot search the minds of their network.  Surely Twitter has a certain random flavor to it like going to a cocktail party or convention - you never know who will be there or who you'll meet - but in that randomness there are answers.  This, my friends, is yet another reason to network and network well. It is not all about followers - there are way too many people on Twitter obsessed with this insane follower hoo-haa - but it is about real people helping real other people in ways that are easy for them when it is convenient.  Put enough of us together into a stream and it becomes a torrent that improves your life.

Never before have I seen or really understood anything like this.  I still don't really understand what has happened but I like it. 

It tells me that bringing my students onto Twitter is important.  They are building networks and although I've now lost the ability to tweet about my fourteen year old (he and his friends decided to follow me even though I told them to just follow my "official" class account) - Twitter still rocks the house.

Night y'all - gotta go flop before the ballgame.

Thank you Ben Grey and other tweeps who took the time on a Friday evening (or Saturday morning) to help out a frustrated teacher who was pulling out her hair.

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