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Tweeting for the coasts

February 06 2012 | Communications, DIY Activism,

This past Saturday night, at our annual Wavemaker Awards, I found myself talking with the photographer. He shared with me how he was finding his work.

He loves sunsets. He told me that he routinely goes down to Dana Point harbor and takes sunset pictures, tags them #DanaPoint and tweets them. Others in Dana Point were following those hashtags and found his photos. What happened next was like an instant audition, people viewed his pictures, they passed the quality theshold... and he was hired for a few non-related photography projects. He was stoked enough to share all this with a stranger.

He went on to say that he was taking photos (pro bono) for us that night and found us via that same process. Surfrider pushed out the need via a tweet for a local photographer. He has a coastal conservation orientation and was following us. He saw the fit and jumped on it. Another connection made. The important element here is that his interest area... his on ramp... his connection to our mission, is photography. We probably wouldn't have made the connection with him without leveraging tools like Twitter.

A day or so later I pushed out the simple tweet "work for @surfrider, manage florida" with a link to the job classification. It was immediately retweeted by like-minded people and groups.

A critique of communication vehicles like Twitter is that they speak to "already converted" people. There is an element of truth to this; there isn't much of a reason to follow a person or a cause unless you want to hear their messages.

The flip side of that critique is that we can talk to those that are close to us and share similar interests. We can ask things of those that share similar priorities and vice versa. It doesn't matter if we've met face-to-face, in a pre-Twitter world we wouldn't have met face-to-face either, we're talking about connecting with people we perhaps would never, ever have met.

I really like how a weakness can become a strength, especially when it comes to moving our mission forward.

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