#sfbatkid & The Power of Social Media
Yesterday, a really amazing thing happened - and not just in San Francisco.
By this point, most everyone has heard the story about Miles, aka the SF bat kid. It started as a dream, realized by the Bay Area chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As she does for hundreds of children through the year, executive director Patricia Wilson planned an amazing day, counting on the support of local San Francisco donors. Plans grew and so too did the awareness of the wish. What she didn’t see coming though was a worldwide event, followed by people across the globe.
I’ve always said that I believe in the power of social media. Yesterday was the perfect example.
Despite growing up in Northern California, I didn’t hear about the story until late Wednesday night. My girlfriend, based in Austin, TX, had come across the story online. She shared it with me. I shared it with a few family members, and I planned on following the action on twitter Friday.
The story first hit news feeds back on October 30. Below is an excerpt from the people at Make-A-Wish:
After rescuing a damsel in distress from the cable car tracks in Nob Hill, and capturing the Riddler in the act of robbing a downtown vault, Batman will eat his lunch at the Burger Bar in San Francisco - directly above Union Square. While at Burger Bar, he will get a call on his batphone to go to the window - where he will look down and see a huge group of volunteers jumping up and down asking for Batman’s help. Why?
Because the Penguin will be kidnapping a famous Gotham City mascot! The getaway car will be visible on Union Square (a convertible so that everyone can see what is happening), and the chase will be on!
After catching the Penguin, Batman will make his final stop at City Hall, where the Mayor and the Police Chief of Gotham City will thank him and give him the key to the city. We plan on having hundreds of volunteers and donors collected to cheer and thank our Batman!
As the days drew closer leading up to the event, more and more stories began popping up across various social media outlets. Hundreds of volunteers quickly turned into thousands as over 10,000 people pledged to participate on the Make-A-Wish website. Looking at the pictures and videos yesterday, it seemed like the entire city showed up.
As yesterday developed, a few more stories showed up on my facebook and twitter timelines. A couple UCLA friends posting here. A few sports writers there. By the time the rescue of Lou Seal unfolded, my sports-centric news feed was packed with action shots of Miles saving the day.
And that’s when I realized…this is social media at it’s finest.
All it takes is one retweet or one posting to reach thousands of viewers. According to TOPSY, #sfbatkid reached over 608 MILLION potential impressions by 1:45 pm. It became a worldwide news item - and what a tremendous event & organization for that to happen to.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation saw their servers crash yesterday from the amount of traffic.
Earlier this year, the Arizona Diamondbacks also were part of a wish in conjunction with ESPN’s My Wish series. While different than yesterday’s, it too reach a major audience - by way of television and social media.
Often twitter and facebook can feel like news overload. We stay up to date on all of our friends’ lives, keep tabs on every breaking story. But moments and events like yesterday’s benefit the most from social media. The countless donations that came in based on just one tweet or just one post is pretty cool to think about.
Job well done by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and job well done by everyone who propelled the story.
where i’m at.
when i first got on tumblr, back what feels like years ago, i made a post outling where i was in life. it reads as follows:
I’m making a blog and it’s finals week. I am the world’s best (or worst?) procrastinator. But you know what, life is amazing. I have thee coolest family. My parents are my role models and my brother and sister are still huge parts of my life. I’ve got a great core of friends back home and I’ve met so many cool people down here at school. My dream school. UCLA. I feel on top of the world here and it’s an incredible feeling. I love Southern California, but there’s days I miss my home back in Nor Cal. Who knows where I’ll end up ten years from now, matter of fact, i don’t even know what i’ll be doing in five years. But I’m sure I’ll be happy. I have an amazing girlfriend of almost three years now, and I am lucky enough to have her down here at school with me. I am a music addict. I am a sports enthusiast. I have a very limited vocabulary and I’m impressed that I just used the word “enthusiast”. I am creative. I’m artsy. I’m trying to learn to skate and I hope to one day be able to play the guitar. I like cheese. I like cats. And Mountain Dew too. This is me.
I’m Petah the Pirate.
Sitting here four years later, a lot has changed, but a lot remains the same. i still feel on top of the world - this time working in a Major League Baseball front office. I still have the amazing support of family and friends. I’m still in love, over 6.5 years with my amazing girlfriend. I’m now a UCLA grad, class of 2012. I’ve recently lived in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, had extended stays in Austin, Texas and am now set up here in Phoenix, Arizona.
I’ve been very blessed - combining good fortune w/ hard work - to get to where I am. I have an amazing job, one that keeps me on my toes, and gets me excited to get out of bed every morning.
I drink a little more whiskey now than I used. Listen to a little more country music. And think about baseball a
littlebit more. I still love cooking. I still love driving around. I may not be blessed w/ as much spare time as I used to be, but I still love scouring the internet for new music.
And that’s exactly why I make this return back to my blog. Life is good & feel compelled to share it.
I’m Pete the Intern.
it’s been a while…
Oct 2011 - my last post.
a lot has changed over the past nearly two years. but here i am.
My roommate Tripp made an impromptu trip to Vegas today. Perfect opportunity to lay down a 4-team parlay, amiright?
- DENVER (PK) over Miami
- PITTSBURGH (-4) over Arizona
- GREEN BAY (-10) over Minnesota
- BALTIMORE (-8.5) over Jacksonville
I feel like my three favorites (Pitt, GB and Baltimore) are three of the best teams in football & have no problem taking them for big ones over three of the worst teams in football. And then that Denver game… just ugly, but Tebow is gonna win big & blow up the twitter world in the process. Gimme my money.