Last week I was trying to teach myself how to use Pivot Tables in Microsoft Excel. I have a large Excel worksheet and I’m trying to sort and analyze the data to prepare my numbers for my 2008 tax return.
I posted a plea on Twitter and before I knew it I had a great resource from someone in my network – Tracey Lawton, the Office Organization Queen, who I know from the New Coach Connection, sent me a Microsoft Tutorial. Thank you, Tracey!!
But I saw the real magic of Twitter a little later, when computer consultant Debra Dalgleish contacted me. Now, not only did Debra write a book that was specifically designed to teach novice users about Pivot Tables in Excel 2007, she also happens to live in a neighboring city to Toronto.
But I’m quite sure that without Twitter, I never would have heard of her.
How did Debra know I was looking for this information? She used Twitter Search. First, she entered search terms related to her area of expertise. Then she set up an RSS feed for those results to be delivered directly to her Google Reader. Once or twice a week she scans through them and responds to and/or posts about some of them on her blog.
Notice how Debra was using several of the strategies I mentioned in the Networking basics post I published the other day. By reaching out and making contact with a stranger in need, she helped me out and educated the Twitter network about what she does. And when I replied to Debra to say thank you, I introduced her to my network as a helpful, positive presence on Twitter.
Way to go, Debra! Nice to meet you, and thanks again for the help!