Taylor Hicks and the Power of Twitter

Friday was a crazy travel day, including waking up at 4:45 a.m., flying to Evansville, Indiana, driving to a small town in Western Kentucky, shooting outdoors in unseasonabley cold temperatures and non-stop wind, driving back to Evansville and setting the alarm clock for another 6 am flight today.

But this isn't a post about that.

It's about what happened on the first leg of the trip, from Birmingham to Atlanta. Our flight departed Birmingham about 20 minutes behind schedule, so my colleague and I found ourselves once again walking quickly to get from one terminal to the next to make a tight connection.

"Did you see Taylor Hicks on the flight?" she asked. Having had zero caffeine and being absorbed in a memoir, I hadn't. But, sure enough, he walked up next to us and we had a brief chat. (She had once worked with him.) He told us that he was on his way to NYC to perform on a TV show that night. (I thought it was Jimmy Kimmel, but I quickly learned it was Jimmy Fallon. I can't stay up for late night TV -- see: 4:45 wakeup calls.)

He was nice, but we were running to separate flights so the conversation was brief as we all moved quickly.

I Tweeted that I spotted him, and received a number of responses, many from people who promptly corrected me about what show he'd be appearing on. (He has some serious fans!)

But this is the cool part --  he wrote back:


Now given, that was the extent of our conversation. But what's interesting about it is that it illustrates the power of Twitter in that it provides a channel for instant communication and conversation.

I appreciated that Taylor (@TaylorRHicks) took a moment to say hi. (And as far as I can tell, that is actually him writing.) Not because I'm a crazed fan (though I certainly cheered him on during Idol and sure appreciate a talented Alabama boy achieve success). But because it just shows how this platform levels the playing field of communication.

This is just a fun little example. Of course, what's really meaningful are the ongoing conversations that I'm privileged to share with many of my Twitter friends -- both in Birmingham and around the world -- each day. But all of them have one thing in common:

They start with a single Tweet.

Now, I'd sure love to chat some more with Taylor -- especially to talk about the amazing things happening in our city right now (now that I know he's a social media guy I think he'd dig hearing about  ALSOCME over a few beers).

But even if that's our only conversation, it still shows how Twitter provides a mechanism to connect. How those conversations unfold are up to its users.

Oh, and this is what Taylor was rushing to NY to do. Friday indeed ...



Related Links:

Taylor Hicks To Perform During Closing Night of 2011 Panoply 

Wade On Birmingham: Taylor Hicks

Jeff Goldstein: The Remarkable Power of Twitter (Huffington Post)