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The W - CRZ's World - @CRZ: USING TWITTER TO MAKE CHANGE
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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.82
Yeah, this is a long one. Just skip down to the interview with Dana if you're running short on time (she's cooler than me) and come back when you have more time to read the whole thing.

First, let me introduce those of you who are just joining our story now that there's this charitable concern called TwitChange (twitchange.com) (Twitter: @TwitChange) based around auctions where you could bid on a mention in a celebrity's tweet OR be followed by that celebrity OR be retweeted by that celebrity OR all three.

So where *I* originally joined this story was back around the time of the FIRST TwitChange, back in September. Alyssa Milano was going for over three grand at the time, Dana White for something close to that, and I couldn't just ask myself "hey, how much could *I* go for?" and LEAVE it at that, so I took things to logical extreme by starting my OWN auction. I told you about it back then as well. (The W) I also failed to attract a single bid. Figuring that my problem was that I had made the auction impossible to find, I decided to risk the attention (and potential wrath) of the TwitChange folks by relisting AND including "TwitChange" in the auction title so that I would show up in eBay searches for that keyword. Luckily, the pastor who came up with TwitChange didn't sue me, and in fact one of his parishioners told me they got a kick out of it because I was just funny enough to be seen - rightfully - as a parody, and a sign that they had really made it....because being featured all over the Internet is NOTHING compared to some yahoo in Minneapolis creating a parody of you. But I digress.

The results of the first TwitChange were reported as roughly half a million dollars raised for aHomeInHaiti.org and the first (second) #CRZChange raised $5.50 (less PayPal fee, so...$5.04, really) for CRZ, as the second try was the charm and I did get some folks bidding on me. Sadly, the guy who actually won the auction NEVER got back to me about what action I needed to take, so not only did I never get to write a post like this for him, we were all left with an unresolved issue.

So, fast forward to a couple weeks ago - a whole mess of celebrities once again volunteered their vast "influence" with another series of auctions. Dubbed TwitChange 2.0 and led by Troy Polamalu (@tpolamalu), proceeds from THIS go round were raised for Operation Once in a Lifetime (operationonceinalifetime.com). This time, there were a lot more celebrities...and a whole lot more "celebrities," as it didn't appear as if they were saying no to anybody - and who would WANT to play quality control when it came to celebrities? In retrospect, I should have volunteered myself and seen if they would have taken me. (I may do this next time - why not? At least if they say no I can use it when I inevitably start my own auction...ah, getting ahead of myself...)

It didn't work out as well for them, as the total THIS go round was something like $134,000 and change. I think this can not only be attributed to the diluted pool of talent but a whole lot less coverage on the Internet. I guess because this wasn't the "first" one, it was a lot harder for it to achieve any critical mass of the viral nature - I kept checking the blogs but there sure wasn't much TwitChange talk. Perhaps also the "controversy" of celebrities hawking themselves on Twitter had been all discussed out back in September - not that that normally stops anyone from coming along with their "and another thing" blog comments. So maybe the whole shebang just jumped the shark and they shouldn't have tried going to that well again. Of course, they still raised six digits so it ain't chump change. Let's move on.

As those of you who have known me know, I too have no problem going to the well once too many times, so I started another auction for ME - and listed it on eBay (cgi.ebay.com). The strategy behind my listing was I would start bidding at 1¢ - with all the TwitChange auctions starting at a buck, I would leapfrog to the top of the list when people sorted by "cheapest to priciest." This worked up until my third or fourth bid, which put me ABOVE a dollar and buried me several pages deep into the results because some of these auctions stayed bidless at $1. Like I said, it was enough to make one wonder about just how big a celebrity some of these "celebrities" were.

Interestingly though, somehow my auction became the "Best Match" if you searched on "TwitChange" on eBay. I think it's because (1) I unwittingly used the word "TwitChange" too many times in my list - almost always in repeated attempts to assure the world that I was totally not affiliated with them and/or (2) all their auctions looked like they came from a boring template and mine was lovingly crafted as only I could (which means...well, it had a whole lotta WORDS in it).

Anyway, things moved along and I continued to amass bids - much to my horror, my brother attempted to scuttle the whole thing by having the high bid for a while, causing a panicked tweet from me begging anyone to outbid him - mostly because, since I ALREADY followed him AND he never tweets, I could only imagine what kind of mischief he intended on causing by having me follow and/or retweet....I don't know, Roger Ebert or somebody.

Fortunately, Aaron's $7.77 bid WAS beaten out by the 13th bid of $7.88. (That's $7.35 after PayPal's cut, I have learned.) Before I could tell you I had a winner, she tweeted it herself!
    Originally posted by @DanaPsalms139
    I won @tinasloan TwitChange auction to raise money for the troops. Won @CRZ (not a celebrity) "MEGA" NON TwitChange Auction, well, just bcuz
Now, if you're like me, the immediate question is: Who the heck is Tina Sloan? Well, according to her Twitter bio, she "Played Lillian Raines on Guiding Light." So there you go. Dana was looking for a "mega" package to bid on, liking the idea of making a donation to OOIAL by winning a TwitChange auction, and ended up dropping $26.25 for the Tina Sloan package. So... I can take solace in being a "30% Tina Sloan."


Actually, I feel like I can feel pretty good about how things turned out. As you can see, a large number of (let's use the air quotes again) "celebrities" didn't fare quite as well as I did:

"Celebrity" TwitChange auctions which settled for $10 and under, OR: who the heck ARE these people?
Wes ByrumRetweet   $5.50 
Gary OwenRetweet $5.50
Geno AtkinsRetweet $5.50
Kristi LeskinenRetweet $5.50
CaseFollow $5.50
Dee 1Retweet $5.50
Brue FeldmanRetweet $5.50
Jonathan GoodwinRetweet $5.50
Billy MillerRetweet $5.50
Arash MarkasiRetweet $6.00
Brad WolffRetweet $6.00
Mike HillRetweet $6.50
Danny GrangerRetweet $6.50
Raheem BrockRetweet $6.50
Chamique HoldsclawRetweet $7.16
Travis KvapilRetweet $7.34
Adé Chiké TorbertRetweet $7.50
SimonnaRetweet $7.50
(although her MEGA went for $810.50)
CRZMEGA $7.88
Jamal JonesRetweet $8.09
Krisily KennedyRetweet $8.50
Green River OrdinanceRetweet $8.50
John HeffronRetweet $8.50
Jonathan GoodwinMention $8.50
Dana JacobsonRetweet $9.51
Jay CrawfordRetweet $9.75
Brad WollfFollow $10
Michael SilverRetweet $10
Tina SloanRetweet $10
Cheapest MEGA auction was Dee 1 at $20.50

To get a true sense of what I'm worth, consider the list of celebrities who DID pull in the big bucks...

Most expensive auctions - $1000 and up
Troy Polamalu4 Super Bowl XLV tickets$15128.88
Troy PolamaluMEGA $7301
Alyssa MilanoMEGA $3050
Eli RothMEGA $2600
Eva LongoriaMEGA $2550
Seth GreenMEGA $2175.75
Zachary LeviMEGA $2125
Ryan KellyMEGA $2075
Tom FeltonMEGA $2025
Troy's HairRetweet $1899
(MEGA was a "bargain" at $560)
Sara BareillesMEGA $1750
Kris AllenMEGA $1725
Kris AllenFollow $1525
Erin AndrewsMEGA $1525
Kim KardashianMEGA $1325
Channing Tatum  MEGA $1136
Alyssa MilanoFollow $1136
Rachel RoyMEGA $1047
Eliza DushkuMEGA $1026
Most expensive mention won was from Zachary Levi ($770)

Again...I'm not sure who some of those folks are.

Wait a minute... Troy's Hair?!


The really exciting thing about this auction for me, though, was I had a buyer who actually provided instructions for the follow!

Dana hails from Tennessee and definitely likes a certain kind of music. Not only did she win the auction, but she was also the person behind my first bid of $0.01, so she unwittingly went full circle there. She's also one of the best things about the Internet - you never know when you're going to meet someone you probably would NEVER have met in real life due to geography, not-quite-intersecting enough interests, constantly running in different circles, whatever you want to call it - the point is I know her now and she'll be regretting knowing ME any day now.

So why "Psalms 139?" (biblegateway.com)

"I don't have a cool story about the Psalms 139... My real name was taken when I signed up for Twitter and we had just studied that psalm in class and I found it comforting."

Despite describing herself as "painfully shy," I managed to coax an interview out of her, and I have to tell you that you'll soon come around to my point of view that she's a pretty awesome lady.

Hello, Dana! Introduce yourself to the world.

Hello World! My name is Dana, the woman brave (or perhaps foolish) enough to bid on @CRZ's NOT TwitChange auction.

What brought you to Twitter, and what's kept you on Twitter?

People brought me to Twitter. I find it fascinating to be able to create an online "magazine" filled with "articles" from people I find interesting, encouraging, or just plain amusing. Whenever I need a break, I just pull up Twitter and I have content totally customized to fit my interests. Perfect time killer..... (as if I need another one.) @BradPaisley is one of my favorite tweeters because he has such a great sense of humor. @MandisaOfficial is another favorite because she is just so 'real' in her tweets. @AnitaRenfroe is another fave because she is so funny and loves Nutella as much as I do. Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) is one of very few that I have unfollowed (tweets a little too raunchy but love his music!) and @subversivexs Julie Jackson is my guilty pleasure (very naughty cross stitch patterns.)

Are you big into the social media? Do you have any other "hangouts" on the Internet?

The last couple of years I haven't been as active in social media as I once was. I dabble a bit with Facebook, mainly to keep up with my church family, causes, and businesses that I enjoy. I do moderate several forums as part of my work, but don't post much personally any more. I have gone to a few conventions and even a cruise with people I had previously talked to only online. We were able to pick up conversations just were we had left off online and felt like family. That's a magical experience for an introvert like me who hates small talk! :)

What do you like to do when you're not on the Internet?

I volunteer for hospice and find that very fulfilling. I sit with hospice patients to give family and friends a break, bake and decorate birthday and anniversary cakes for patients, do office work, run errands... basically anything the hospice employees just don't have time to do, but the patients would enjoy or benefit from. I enjoy crafts of all kinds and will try anything once. I am a big Kindle fan. I'm into country music and went to several concerts in 2010: Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban's "All for the Hall" fundraiser, Tim McGraw's "Nashville Rising" fundraiser, and 5 of Garth Brooks' 9 concerts in December. Just saw Brian Regan perform in January, will see Brad Paisley in a couple of weeks, and will see Anita Renfroe and Mandisa in March and Cirque Du Soleil in June. I was also at the Opry the first night it reopened after flood repairs and saw Blake Shelton inducted into the Grand Ole Opry via Twitter. I also enjoy our community playhouse productions.

I think you may have started following me after you kicked off my bidding with the penny bid. Having subjected yourself to a week of CRZ tweets in your timeline, how do you think that has gone for you? Are you ready to unfollow me yet? (Be honest - my feelings won't be hurt!)

To be honest, I have had an incredibly busy week, so I haven't examined your tweets as closely as you've examined mine, but have noticed you have quite a fascination with yogurt. I will try to get to the 'bottom' of that when I have a bit more time.... pun intended, sadly. LOL I loved the humor displayed in your eBay auction description and hope to see more of that in your tweets! This has been an enjoyable experience thus far and I hope that your next auction draws so many bids that you will have TONS of $$$ left over to give to whatever charity TwitChange is supporting and your ego will be *properly* inflated. :D

As part of my extensive research for this project, I went through your tweets. It looks like you prefer retweeting what others are saying rather than tweeting yourself. What do you generally like to retweet?

I retweet things I wish I had said myself or things that have touched my heart. Usually motivational tweets that are uplifting, funny, or encourage me to be a better person. I'm not always so noble in my retweeting... I do RT contests and Groupon and Living Social offers that I have purchased.

It didn't take me too much reading to get the sense that your faith plays a very important role in your life. Could you talk a bit more about that? Would you like to witness to the Internet right now?

Wow... don't get this opportunity often! :D I have attended church since I was in kindergarten because another family cared enough to take me. Once I hit 16, I drove myself, and continued to grow in my faith. Somewhere along the way I developed a true relationship with Jesus versus just trying to avoid "hellfire and brimstone." My faith has been a great source of comfort and enlightenment over the years. In 2008 I lived every parents worst nightmare. I had to report my 19- year-old son missing. Policemen and a chaplain rang my doorbell at 6am the next morning to inform me that my son's Jeep had been found at the bottom of a ravine and that he did not survive. My faith has sustained me through this previously unimaginable pain and I couldn't bear facing this and other difficulties without God. I am so glad that I had a relationship with Christ BEFORE crisis hit so that I had a soft place to fall. It is my sincere hope that everyone finds this source of strength and hope so that they also have a soft place to fall when the inevitable crises in life hit hard.

Obviously, in winning a REAL TwitChange auction, you find OOIAL a worthy cause. What other charities would you like to see the Internet raise some money for/who do you like to support?

One month before my son died, Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman lost their beloved adopted daughter, Maria, in an accident at their home. They have a website, www.ShowHope.org, that raises adoption awareness. They help families gather the funds needed to provide homes for children in need of a forever family. Donations also fund Maria's Big House of Hope in China (showhope.org) which cares for children with physical problems that would be difficult to care for in a normal orphanage and MBHOH also provides tender end of life care for terminally ill children.

Other charities that I personally support are: The Compassionate Friends (compassionatefriends.org) (support for bereaved parents/siblings), World Vision (worldvision.org), hospice, Project Graduation (en.wikipedia.org), 5 Loaves For Kids (5loaves4kids.org) which provides food that is placed in the backpacks of children in our school system that might not have food over the weekend, St. Jude (stjude.org), and our church... we provide food, financial assistance, and school supplies to those in need.

Would also love to see serious research dollars go toward Pancreatic Cancer Research.... we've lost 3 family members to this horrible disease. { Dana didn't offer a recommendation, but we'd recommend either The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org) or The Lustgarten Foundation (lustgarten.org) - Ed. }

In a previous life, I was most famous for talking about televised pro wrestling shows. What are your thoughts/opinions on professional wrestling?

Honestly I'm not really a fan. I have fond childhood memories of watching televised wrestling with my dad, but other than that.... just not my cup of tea. :) I do love listening to great radio announcer voices.... does that count? LOL

You've been a great sport...I'm sure you never bargained on this being part of the package. ;-) Any parting thoughts?

I wish you all the best with your next auction and your other online pursuits. Happy Tweeting!
See? When am I ever going to interact with anybody like that except here on The Internet?

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I hope you liked it too!



(edited by CRZ on 9.2.11 1218)

(edited by CRZ on 9.2.11 1545)

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BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.00

    Originally posted by @DanaPsalms139
    I won @tinasloan TwitChange auction to raise money for the troops. Won @CRZ (not a celebrity) "MEGA" NON TwitChange Auction, well, just bcuz


@DanaPsalms139 goes to a "Sorry, that page does not exist" page. Does she just have her privacy settings up really high?

I had never heard of any of this before. It's kind of a cool thing, but I never tweet I just lurk ... a lot of you probably wish that was the case here.

What are you doing with the $7.35?

CRZ
Big Brother
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Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.82
    Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco

      Originally posted by @DanaPsalms139
      I won @tinasloan TwitChange auction to raise money for the troops. Won @CRZ (not a celebrity) "MEGA" NON TwitChange Auction, well, just bcuz
    @DanaPsalms139 goes to a "Sorry, that page does not exist" page. Does she just have her privacy settings up really high?
No, I somehow introduced a space character into the URL. It's fixed now.

    What are you doing with the $7.35?
I was going to buy a Super Bowl edition of the Green-Bay Press Gazette ($4), but they didn't offer me the option of using PayPal. I had threatened to donate it to OOIAL, but THEY don't take PayPal EITHER, which I just find unbelievable. So it'll probably sit there for a while.

(edited by CRZ on 9.2.11 1553)


Mr. Boffo
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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 262 days
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#4 Posted on
    Originally posted by CRZ
    I was going to buy a Super Bowl edition of the Green-Bay Press Gazette ($4), but they didn't offer me the option of using PayPal. I had threatened to donate it to OOIAL, but THEY don't take PayPal EITHER, which I just find unbelievable. So it'll probably sit there for a while.


The special Super Bowl edition, or the regular day-after Super Bowl edition? The special one is like 6 pages long and costs a dollar. We have them at our store, I'd be willing to send you a copy assuming I can figure out the cheapest way to mail it.
CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.82
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
      Originally posted by CRZ
      I was going to buy a Super Bowl edition of the Green-Bay Press Gazette ($4), but they didn't offer me the option of using PayPal. I had threatened to donate it to OOIAL, but THEY don't take PayPal EITHER, which I just find unbelievable. So it'll probably sit there for a while.


    The special Super Bowl edition, or the regular day-after Super Bowl edition? The special one is like 6 pages long and costs a dollar. We have them at our store, I'd be willing to send you a copy assuming I can figure out the cheapest way to mail it.
Don't worry, I already bought one of each. :)

http://greenbaypressgazette.myshopify.com/collections/packers







Peter The Hegemon
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Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03
Of those "who the heck are these people" listings, Chamiqua Holdsclaw is a pretty big name in women's basketball, and I know John Heffron from Last Comic Standing. Those are the only names that rate anything beyond a very vague sense of familiarity from me.
spf
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
Raheem Brock plays for the Seahawks.

Dana Jacobson was (is?) on ESPN and was famous for getting loaded at an ESPN roast and telling vulgar jokes about Notre Dame.

Arash Markasi is the guy who wrote the article about LeBron partying in Vegas that for some reason ESPN pulled and claimed it never meant to publish in the first place.




2007 and 2008 W-League Fantasy Football champion!
pieman
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Since: 11.12.01
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


Okay, I read the whole thing and I was quite impressed by both of you in that interview, Chris. Well done!






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