A Heartfelt Thank You and Why I Love Twitter

In amongst the hubbub of Apple’s media event last week — which I’ve shared my thoughts on — Twitter also celebrated their tenth birthday. I joined the social network in January of 2007 when it was just ten months old. I first heard about it on episode 23 of MacBreak Weekly when Justine Ezarik cited Twitter as the reason she had been receiving so many text messages during the show.

I immediately fell in love with the SMS-centric service. It let me follow the lives of my favorite internet celebrities which often meant I knew about their upcoming projects before they were available. Twitter has also given me the opportunity to meet some incredible people, many of whom I hope to be friends with for years to come. But something happened last Wednesday that reminded me of just how special the service truly is.

My fiancée, Becky, and I picked the song that we plan on dancing to at our wedding — an acoustic version of Invincible by Tonight Alive, from the album All Shapes & Disguises. The problem is, the album is very difficult to get your hands on. To my knowledge, it’s never been released in the US.

Of course, if you know where to look, you can find copies of the album. But I haven’t been able to find it at an acceptable sample rate. Becky and I really had our hearts set on that song, though. It’s from one of our favorite bands and the lyrics are just perfect for us.

Last week, I took a chance and tweeted at the lead singer of the band — Jenna McDougall — asking if there was a source I had overlooked. To my surprise, she replied. Jenna mentioned her band’s manager, Peter Hill, asking if there was anything they could do to help me out.

Peter tweeted me his email address asking me to get in touch. And after sending him a short message, he replied with a high quality AAC copy of the track.

Honestly, I was shocked. I know Tonight Alive isn’t the biggest band in the world, but they keep their tour schedule pretty busy and Jenna has around 175,000 followers. I was amazed that they were willing to help us out and that the entire exchange took place within only a few hours.

The idea that I was able to communicate, in real time, with the lead singer from one of my favorite bands is absolutely astounding. And I don’t know if any of this would have been possible without Twitter. It helps facilitate these types of interactions because of its lightweight nature. Popular users like Jenna can receive hundreds of mentions each day and are still able to find and reply to messages from people like me. This is why I love Twitter.

And now, because of the generosity of Jenna McDougall and Peter Hill, Becky and I have a neat story that we can tell for the rest of our lives and a high quality version of a rad song to dance to at our wedding. Thanks to both of you, this means more to us than you’ll ever know.