A Lone Ranger Tweets for Blood
Some people scoff at the younger generation's seeming dependence on social media. "Who needs text messaging or Facebook or MySpace? What's wrong with picking up the phone and calling someone?" ask some old-schoolers.
And they'll further the attack with, "Who cares what Ashton Kutcher has to say about his wife, Demi Moore? He can keep his tweets to himself!"
All true enough. But it was a lone social media person who trumpeted -- and tweeted -- the call for blood from Scott & White, the central Texas hospital which treated victims of the Nov. 5 Fort Hood shooting.
The hospital's Web guru, Aaron Hughling, stayed out of the ED and the Level 1 trauma center. Instead he made his unique contribution to the crisis by tweeting the call for blood.
According to a Nov. 17 story by Lindsey Miller for Ragan.com, "...many of his tweets focused on blood donations, and that night Scott & White became a top trending topic on Twitter, with more than 400 retweets to Hughling's post about blood donation. His efforts to spread the word on Twitter and other social media helped the hospital collect more than 1,000 units of blood at the blood center and in mobile donation trucks."
In fact Miller quotes Hughling as saying, "At one point we actually had to turn people away. They turned away something like 600 people."
While we really may not care what Demi Moore is having for breakfast, we can thank Ashton Kutcher and other celebrity Twitter tweeters for attracting legions to social media. And with the bad that may accompany celebrity fixations, also comes the good: Blood donations at a time when they meant the difference between life and death.
So here's a big "Atta Boy!" to Hughling, certainly no twit, but rather a lone ranger who handled crisis with a 21st century tweet.