Ripples in my Pond: Twitter and My Donors Choose Project

Right now I am completely in awe of the power of social networking. I recently submitted a project to Donors Choose to purchase a classroom set of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Donors Choose is a place where teachers can post projects and donors can donate as much or as little as they choose. I heard of it through comments on this post by The Bloggess (who is really very sweet, in spite of all her declarations that she is not).

I looked at the website and immediately thought, “Oh, this will never happen. I don’t know enough people.” Then I started thinking of my social media network. I follow some of the most amazing, generous, funny people. I decided right then and there that I was going to do this thing. After all, you never get anything unless you try, right?

So, I spent a couple of days filling out the proposal, stressing over every word. When I submitted it, it came back approved. *YAY* The next step was getting the word out.

Last night I turned into to a human spambot. No… a spamhuman. (Oh great, now I am hearing Monty Python in my head. Lovely day, innit?) I have never been very good at self-promotion. Asking for help makes me feel all funny inside. Asking people for help with MONEY makes me feel like … well, I don’t want to put a disturbing image in your mind. Let me just say that it is incredibly uncomfortable.

My followers were very kind and didn’t jump ship when I started asking everyone I knew to retweet my project.

My twitter friends Amy (@lucysfootball) and @patrixmyth assured me that I wasn’t a spambot. It was good because I was beginning to wonder. Lisa (@lgalaviz), another generous person though she tries to deny it, decided not to retweet it just once, but a million times. If you don’t follow them on twitter, go, do. If you aren’t on twitter at all, sign up, then follow them. It is easier that way.

My heart swelled when pnut from my favorite-band-of-all-time-forever-and-always 311. If you’ve never checked them out, you need to. They are an amazing group of guys and their music is the rockin’est.

Then Neil Gaiman HIMSELF retweeted it. Not only that, but he replied to my request for a retweet! I think my hubby thought I blew a gasket. I was jumping up and down from the joy of the response. I thought I was too cool to react like that. I guess I am a geek at heart. I am embracing that part of me.

All of this ties into the novel itself and the unit that I am going to be teaching. Every action has meaning. If I had read that comment and not done anything about it, I would still be sitting here, trying to figure out how to get a great book for my students to read. I made the choice. The velocity of that choice allowed me to experience this awe-inspiring moment. Because I took this step, my project was funded in less… than… eight… hours!!

To all the donors and those who helped me: Thanks for being the ripples in my pond.

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10 thoughts on “Ripples in my Pond: Twitter and My Donors Choose Project

  1. To be fair, I said you MIGHT be a very very very very brilliant bot. I pitched in a VERY small contribution, killing off a gift card, intending to pitch in more, and it was funded fully by the time I woke up again. Very crafty getting the author involved. Congratulations.

    • Thank you so much. It touched my heart to know that you were willing to contribute, even if it was “VERY small” as you say. It doesn’t matter. It’s the thought.

      Neil Gaiman was the second person I started following on twitter. The first was Amanda Palmer. I know that they are both very generous souls, so it was a given that I would ask them. 😀

  2. Congratulations, you brilliant non-spambot, you! I was going to donate from work this morning, too! I’m so proud of you, and so happy for your students! How lucky they are to have you for a teacher! So glad I could help, even in such a tiny way!

    • Thank you for the encouragement. I hope they’re glad. They are going to be a little scared of the book because it is longer than they are used to reading, but once we get into it, they are going to love it. I have five classes of non-readers because the joy of it has been beaten out of them (figuratively, not literally).

  3. All I did was ask if the book for your project was on a banned book list and if so, could we burn it. I am absolutely thrilled that you perceived this as helpful.

    I am also very happy your project is fully funded, and in so short a time! That is amazing. Enjoy working with your kids. It’s going to be a great project.

    Also, thanks for a new great book to read.

    • I hope you love it as much as I do. Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors. I have never read a single thing by him that I’ve not loved. American Gods is completely irreverent and lovely. If you need any book suggestions, I am a book freak. I read pretty much anything and every level.

      Thank you.

    • I have an educational psychology book and a fire pit in our desert back yard. We can burn it and roast marshmallows at the same time! I know it hasn’t been officially banned, but I have banned it from my home. Does that count??

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