Twitter and an Illustration of Immediate Altruism

I've had my first "Aha!" moment on Twitter.  Sure, it's cool to be a voyeur and watch what people post, and sure, it's cool to tweet back and forth with friends old and new, but until yesterday it didn't quite gel for me.

Yesterday, I saw this tweet go by:
@blues_soldier Trying to set up D&D Encounters at Bagram AFB in Afghanistan--need WotC email contact--please help!!    
It was a retweet from @gamefiend, so I retweeted it to my followers.  And then I thought about it for a minute and took a look at my list of connected tweeple.  I recently had an interaction with @CharlesMRyan (yes, =that= Charles M. Ryan, the guy who edited Unearthed Arcana in 2004 for Wizards among a pile of other things), and he was really responsive to my tweets.  Also, if you haven't read Martin's Monday Medieval Madness, I recommend you do so. Go ahead, I'll wait.

So I forwarded the link on to Mr. Ryan with a mention.  And in less than 90 minutes, he'd made contact with Wizards and promised email contact from the Mother Ship in the next day or two.  I'm sure I'm not the only person to do something similar, but it feels really good to be able to make a connection and help out a stranger.  And it took me about 90 seconds total.

So here we are, 24 hours later, and here's the latest.  If you're a game publisher or dice manufacturer and can spare a little something to send to our forces in Afghanistan, or if you have any industry contacts and want to pass it on, please follow the link to find out how to get games and dice into the hands of soldiers who can use a little distraction.

Taking an extra minute to figure out if there's a connection to be made really paid off in good karma.  And the glory of Twitter is in the immediacy of action.  It's nothing that we can't do via existing communication methods, but the transition from idea to implementation has shrunk down to minutes in scale.

Between this and the openness, positivity, acceptance, and downright coolness of the gaming tweeps I've met over the past few weeks (most notably @ryvencedrylle for the out-of-the-blue offer of a Skype session of Godlike to test the One Roll Engine), I feel a great sense of hope in the ability for the gaming community to make worldwide changes happen in the days ahead.

I'm awed at the speed and power of connecting via Twitter, and I'm thankful I could help out in a tiny way that will make a huge difference to everyone over at Bagram AFB in Afghanistan.

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