Saturday, January 21, 2012

420 Tweeple: Friends or Foes?

This was a humbling week. Not only because it was annual appraisal time (indeed humbling), but more because my Twitter account got hacked. It all happened so fast and I was still recovering from jetlag so in a semi conscious state when I saw all the icons on my BB light up. Between 8:37pm and 9pm I got over 30 forms of notifications from colleagues, Twitter followers, LinkedIn groupies letting me know they received a strange email from my account and to verify it if was really me. I was dumbstruck. Horrified. Frozen..and of course, violated.

Earlier that day, I had innocently clicked on a link in a message from a legitimate tweeter whom I had been following for a while. The link was identical to the Twitter login page so when it asked me to reenter my password, I didn't think about it. After all, it came from a person I trusted and sometimes sites need to be absolutely sure its you, so you have to reenter your password.

What I didn't realize was that someone phished my ID and password and had started sending messages from my Twitter handle. I immediately called a few SOS numbers - my social media program manager, my agency lead, all those people who coaxed me into getting onboard with Twitter until I finally succumbed! And of course, I couldn't reach anyone. Sometimes it just works out like that.

So guess who came to my rescue? My Tweeple!

I immediately got messages from several people who coached me real time on how to rescue my account, change my password, delete unwanted apps etc. Several of them were even responding to others on my behalf letting them know that I had been hacked and was sorting out the issue.

What's amazing is that these are people I have never met, probably never will, but we share a few common interests and enjoy spending a few minutes a day sharing our thoughts. And yet, when my digital reputation was at risk, it was my social network that came to the rescue. Not the agency of record, or employees on payroll.

So you would think this experience would have me shy away from social media, especially Twitter, but I gave me some refreshing insight about how REAL social networks can be. It's different for sure. It's a parallel universe. But there is an understanding, a support network, a comradarie that is unmatched in the real world. Perhaps it is because social media is actually an equalizer, a connector. I could be a CMO, someone else could be entrepreneur, a writer, a homemaker, older, younger...whatever. In this parallel world, we are connected and therefore we take care of each other. I like that...a lot.

So, to my Twitter Rescue Squad. THANK YOU! See you on the timeline.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see you on twitter Virginia, and glad things got sorted out. I'm going to push your follower count up to 421 :-) !
    Cheers, Senthil