Are you thankful?

Sometime around day 2 of my “Twitzkrieg” blast, I wanted to give up.

What is a “Twitzkrieg”?

The idea for a “Twitzkrieg” came from an idea that Sean Ogle had on his blog, Location 180. The idea was that he was going to thank each and every single person he followed on Twitter. He was going to thank them for the things that he’d learned from them, and also for their relationship and influence in his life. I thought this was a great idea, so I decided to capitalize on it. Thus came the Twitzkrieg.

I chose that word by combining the two words Twitter + Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg of course being the German word meaning “lightning war”. In WWII the German army would move upon their enemies via a blitzkrieg. There was a large amount of action in a short amount of time. I knew that if I was going to do this mass-thank-you, I didn’t want to take a month to do it. So I decided to “Twitzkrieg” it. I used the hashtag #TK to identify every tweet that was unique to this blast of thank yous, to distinguish from my normal Twitter communication.


With roughly 250 individual #TK tweets in just a week and a half, I felt overwhelmed at times. Although it’s only 140ish characters at a time, I wanted each one to be unique to the person who I was sending it to, not some “hey thanks for being such a great person”. To write a personal note like that takes time. Here’s what I did:

  1. If the person was someone I follow and comment on regularly, it was quite easy, because they knew this was coming already.
  2. If it was somebody who is influential, but really doesn’t know who I am, it was still kind of easy, because I still pay a great deal of attention to what they are saying online.
  3. If it was somebody who had influenced me at one point, but we hadn’t talked in a while, that’s where the real work came in.
  4. And if it was somebody who I ended up following a while ago, but neither of us really interacted at all, they got the boot (not because I’m not thankful, but because they were a large entity who didn’t usually respond to anyone. I wanted this to be personal, which means there had to be potential for the conversation to go both ways).

How being a stalker and a detective helped me rekindle old relationships

Let me pause for a moment to enjoy how epic that paragraph title is. <pause> Wow…ok back to the topic at hand…

So back to the third bullet point above for a minute. The real work I’m referring to is the process of getting into their world, a.k.a. opening up the door to their digital home and welcoming myself in for a bit.

If they had a blog, I went through and read some of the popular and recent posts.

I went back a week or so and saw who they were tweeting and what they were tweeting about.

If there was a Facebook Fan page, I went there too.

Bottom line – I did my homework on these “old” friends of mine. That way, when it came time to #TK them, I had something valuable to say. The interesting thing is that I actually learned more from these people when I went back and did my “stalker” homework on them, and for that I am even more grateful.

What I learned from overloading Twitter’s servers for a week

There are quite a few things I learned, and these are in no particular order:

  • Tweetdeck, and the ability to schedule tweets, is incredible. This program saved me oodles of time, allowing me to batch the majority of my “thank yous” and send them out throughout the day.
  • The Customer Love challenge issued by LaVonne Ellis and David Crandall, and the idea to thank every person that I follow on Twitter given by Sean Ogle, was a great idea! No…it wasn’t just a great idea, it was a great FRIGGIN’ idea!
  • People like seeing and hearing their own name. I should’ve caught on to this one sooner, but calling somebody by their name that there mama and papa gave ’em means a LOT!

However…maybe the most important thing I learned through all of this, was hustle.

There were quite a few times that I wanted to give up and just stop typing all this madness. (I know the people who get mobile updates of my tweets would’ve greatly appreciated this!) Every time this feeling came along, there’s one thing that kept me going.

Being thankful.

Remembering all that I’ve learned from these great people over the last year and a half kept me going. Would I get noticed by them and have them @ mention me? Maybe. Would I get increased traffic to my blog? Yeah, probably. Would I make any money off of this? Not likely.


It’s still worth it! A gift is something that’s given without expecting anything in return, otherwise it’s really not a gift (which is why the way we celebrate Christmas in America drives me nuts. They’re not really “gifts”, they’re just packaged stuff that we exchange). The #TK tweets were my gift to the people I’ve learned from, and I will continue to give these gifts, not just during the #customerlove challenge, but throughout the rest of the year.

You never really know who needs some encouragement.


Header image: vernhart

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