Social media didn’t buy anything, although it makes for a catchy headline. No, people who caredÂ helped me out of a jam. They did this for a number of reasons, but mostly because they have a relationship with me and they simply wanted to help. Social media is the tool that was used to accomplish this.
Nothing spreads the word faster nowadays than social media: blogs, Twitter, and other services. It was by using social media tools that I was able to rapidly communicate with everyone in my personal network (that I have spent many, many hours growing, nurturing, and helping) about my situation and get some help.
You see, last Monday, I was driving to work in terrible weather and I slid off the highway after hitting a patch of ice. I am lucky to be alive and unhurt (I walked away), but my Jeep was totaled. I only carried liability insurance, so I had to quickly figure out how I was supposed to get a car.
I thought about it for a while, envisioning various methods by which I could raise some fast cash. Only a few day earlier, a friend had asked for donations to help a woman in trouble, and I had donated. That gave me an idea, but I didn’t just want to hold out my hat without offering anything in exchange.
So I came up with the idea of holding a live internet seminar on how to blog. Anyone could attend for free, but a donation in any amount was appreciated. People amazed me with their responses. I went from being the luckiest man alive simply because I wasÂ alive to being the luckiest man in the world because my friends came through for me in such a strong way that it is nearly unbelievable. I had over a thousand dollars in sudden expenses that needed to be paid immediately, and my friends came through.
Thanks to people who care, I was able to make a down payment on a new car and get studded winter tires for it (kind of a necessity here in Vermont).
What did I get? I got a 1998 Saab 900S. It’s got about 140k miles on it and it’s in decent shape: a solid, modest used car. Studded snow tires help a lot, and it even has a winter traction control feature. I’ve only been able to drive it a few times since I got it (and have to learn all the alien Saab controls), but so far it looks like it’s going to be a great car.
I have been so overwhelmed with kindness and well-wishes that I feel like I just can’t possibly thank enough everyone who donated, but will say it again and I will keep on saying it as often as I need to: