When my ho-hum tweet went viral

Let me clarify from the start what I mean by “viral” in this blog post. After all, it’s a bit of a subjective term. I’m not talking selfie-at-the-Oscars viral. I simply mean to say that this particular tweet of mine has garnered more retweets and favorites than anything I’ve ever tweeted from any account I’ve managed.

It so happens that this tweet was sent from my personal account, and it was in response to the news that the TV show Agents of Shield had been picked up for another season. Kathy and I both really like the show, so I tweeted a simple acknowledgement to the announcement.

It’s a rather measured response, really. It’s not like I used 42 praise hand emojis and 30 exclamation marks.

You’ll note that I mentioned the official Agents of Shield Twitter account in my tweet. Well, whoever manages that account saw my tweet and decided to retweet it to their followers. All 585,000 of them.

And then my phone exploded. I have it set to alert me when someone retweets or favorites one of my tweets, which usually isn’t too often. As I write this post my tweet has been favorited 266 times and retweeted 68 times, most of which occurred in the first two hours after I first posted it. My Twitter ads dashboard tells me that this tweet has had 50,546 “impressions” (meaning it’s been seen that many times by other users) and 679 “engagements” (indicating how often someone interacted with that tweet in some way).

In the eight years I’ve been using Twitter none of my clever quips, my self-promotional links, or my endorsements of others ever boomed like this, including the ones I spent considerable time crafting until they were just right. It serves as a reminder to me that no matter how much strategy and planning you put into a social media presence sometimes it’s just dumb luck that leads to a moment of success.

Turning 31

Yesterday my coworkers in the Collegiate office surprised me with a little birthday celebration, held a day early since we all are off work today for Good Friday. As we ate our cupcakes (mine gluten-free) I was asked two questions: What were some highlights from the past year, and what were some of my goals for this coming year?

Back when I turned 30 Kathy and I had only been living in Colorado for a couple months. I was still trying to figure out my new job and Kathy was still searching for one. Neither one of us really knew anyone in the state. The townhouse we just leased didn’t quite feel like home yet. And if I was feeling bold and turned off Google Maps I had a tendency to get lost just driving around town.

The whole “we live in Colorado now” thing was still surreal and, at times, stressful and lonely. We knew this would be the case when we decided to move, but it didn’t make it any easier.

Continue reading »

Mostly Armless

For two weeks now I’ve had my right arm in a cast. I suffered a wrist injury back in March that hasn’t wanted to heal on its own. Wearing a splint for roughly 6 weeks produced little improvement. Originally my doctor thought about giving me a cast that would go past my elbow, but instead he opted to immobilize my thumb. So I guess things could be worse, but I don’t always see it that way…

I'm a Monster!

The injury occurred while I was first moving into my new home in Colorado Springs. It turns out that when something you buy has the words “Team Lift” printed on the box you should probably heed the warning.

When I did finally have some x-rays taken I found out that I had done some damage to the ligaments in my wrist. An MRI showed that the damage wasn’t too serious, but bad enough to warrant immobilization for four weeks.

I’ve never had to have a cast for any injury before now. Having one on my right arm is especially aggravating considering my work calls for so much typing. I’ve been using the voice dictation feature built into my Mac and iPhone quite a bit for things like email and blogging, but it’s not much use when I need to write code for a website. With my thumb immobilized I can’t hold a pen either. You should see what my signature looks like right now.

It’s certainly been a humbling injury. At first I tried to keep doing most everything on my own, but soon learned that I was going to need to get better at saying “no” and “help” this month. I’m starting to get used to the limitations, but I still can’t wait to get this thing off!

Turning 30

It seems appropriate that I’m turning thirty this year. I have to smirk as I write that, as if I had a say in the matter. What I mean is since my last birthday I’ve found myself in the midst of one major life event after another. Since turning 29 a year ago Kathy and I got married, we moved from Florida to Colorado, I started a new full-time job with The Navigators, and somewhere in there I launched my own small business. Going from one decade to the next? Yeah, that seems par for the course right now.

With all those recent changes you would think watching the odometer turn over wouldn’t feel all that momentous. Not so. In fact, I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around this new number. It’s like each January when you have to start writing the new year on everything. It just looks funny at first.

Usually in my annual birthday essay I try to reflect thoughtfully on the big themes of my life from the previous year, but this time I’ve decided to reflect on my twenties as a whole.

Continue reading »