This is not about the "Plane Down on the Hudson" or the "China Earthquake" kind of "moment," but, nevertheless, this is an example of how Twitter helped us solve a problem we had run into in Mexico almost as quickly as it came up.
Recently, I attended an evening Meetup with Robert Scoble. While listening to Robert talk about the wonders of Twitter, Friendfeed, etc., I saw a note from @jpablos, the fellow working on our company website. He had come up with the right CSS to make the site mobile-phone-friendly (Good). He could test it on an iPhone, but had no access to Android or Blackberry phones (Bad).
For a moment I thought that I would deal with it "tomorrow." I was thinking of chasing people down to borrow these phones, etc. Instead, I got on Twitter and posted the following message,
There’s a pretty good size community of Tweeples in Hermosillo, Mexico, where Nearsoft’s office is located, so I was hoping that somebody might be online at the time.
Within a minute or two, I got these responses,
Problem Solved! (Kinda)
OK, so they didn’t have access to the phones, but they pointed me to someone who did. A few minutes later, @juliorr posted a response letting me know that he had a Blackberry. A few messages later, @carloslaso responded saying that he had an Android phone (it turned out he has a Blackberry as well).
So, What’s It Good For?
Obviously, this would not have been possible without the microblogging community unless I 1) knew exactly who owned what devices and 2) knew their email addresses or maybe phone numbers. I would have sent out a few emails and eventually I would have gotten a few responses.
Thanks to Twitter (OK, and email, too), my little microblogging community was able to make my "problem" go away in minutes and without leaving my seat at an event.
Funny thing that just as I was doing this, the audience was asking Robert multiple versions of "but, what is it good for?"