My career in technology

Donate Your Twitter Account?

One of the ways we have been trying to promote Launch Pad Job Club has been through social media – LinkedIn, Facebook, and, of course , Twitter.  Our Twitter account is @LaunchPadJobClu (yes, there is no “b” at the end, Twitter has a length limitation on user names, and LPJC was already taken).

As a twitter user, your followers are different (by and large) from my followers.  This statement is true for any values of “you” and “me”.  There may be some overlap, more likely a greater level of overlap if we follow each other or both follow similar people, but you and I are highly unlikely to have exactly the same followers.

Let’s say, for the sake of discussion that there is an organization whose work I believe in.  I follow that organization’s twitter account.  They tweet something that I want to share with my followers.  I click the retweet button (or I copy and paste the tweet text into a new tweet) and share it with my followers.  For people who do not follow the organization, I get to expose them to the organization’s message.  For people who do follow the organization, they get a second chance to see the tweet that they might have overlooked (tweets being the ephemeral things they are).

If lots of people retweet what the organization tweeted, their message is magnified greatly to an audience far larger than just those who follow them (and were paying attention at the moment of the tweet).

This is what Donate Your Account is all about. 

Donate Your Account (DYA) is a service that allows LPJC (and other organizations) to leverage that difference in followers and allow organizations to spread their message beyond just their own followers (for free).

DYA allows organizations to select which of their messages are important enough to get wider distribution, and allows Twitter users to retweet an organization’s tweets without having to take any action.

Obviously, this requires a level of commitment to, and trust of, the organization in question by the user.  There are built-in limitations on the system to enforce that trust and prevent abuse.  Users have to explicitly give permission to the DYA service to have access to their accounts.  Users select the level of commitment to the organization by selecting how frequently they will allow the organization to use them to help spread their message – once a day, once a week, or once a month.  This frequency limit prevents abuse.  And, at any time, the user can revoke the authorization for the application to have access to their twitter account.

Very committed users can still choose to re-tweet other tweets by the organization, over and above what the organization is sending through DYA, but they have to do it manually.

As far as Launch Pad goes, we’ve only pushed few tweets through DYA in the three months we’ve used it.  We only have three twitter followers that are using the system, too.  Those three followers, however, have a total of 470 followers, which, in comparison to the 50 followers Launch Pad has at the time of this writing, is a pretty big multiplier effect.

I hope you would be willing to help Launch Pad get its message out by signing up for our Donate Your Account campaign.

If you are involved with other worthy causes, let their communications/social media/marketing people know about Donate Your Account, to help them spread the word about their organization and its activities.

Jim Adcock is Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Check out other career-related entries.

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