Last night I was watching the Academy Awards along with 40 million other people and who knows how many Twitterers. In the midst of critiquing the dresses and hairstyles of the actresses (yes, that is what women do – I couldn’t decide if I liked Sandra Bullock’s long,  straight hair) I realized I needed an eye-popping 125 X 125 animated GIF for an ad to appear on Mashable’s home page. And I had less than an hour until the midnight Sunday deadline for the beginning of Mashable’s one-week ad runs.

The ad badge points to the just published Updated Edition of The Corporate Blogging Book in Amazon’s Kindle store. I had sent over a couple of placeholder GIFs to Mashable. But they were only passable; could be much improved. So, what to do.

Aha. Put out a request on Twitter. Here’s what I tweeted:

SEEKING WEB DESIGNER who can tweak/improve a 125X125 rotating GIF ad badge in next 24 hrs. Recs? Pls retweet.

Within minutes, a fellow phoned me from Australia via Skype (I’m not normally up at 11 PM but he must have figured I was awake). A Michigan designer found my email address on my site and sent me a message. And about six other designers immediately responded publicly via Twitter. A handful of kind folks also retweeted my message (including the illustrious @JessicaKnows).  I repeat: within MINUTES.

After a bit of back and forth via email with the guy in Sydney as well as the small firm in Michigan (who had taken the initiative to email me), we were on our way to designing two new terrifically improved versions of the ad badge – one static and one rotating.

Amazing, huh?!

The point of this blog post is for me to publicly thank Rob of Just Web (for the static image) and Marilyn Trent of Trent Design, a small Web and branding agency (for the rotating one). And to point out that Twitter is an amazing channel if you use it at the right moment and in the right spirit. Millions of us were online and happily engaging in a collective, informal conversation. Both of these talented designers worked gratis. Or perhaps for the exposure. Or maybe just to be nice. And I can’t thank them enough.

Note that this was a tweaking project and not a start-from-scratch. It was doable. Also, I was short on time so I chose the first two who responded. 

So does Twitter have business value? You tell me.

To see the ad badges live (March 7 – 13, 2010) visit Mashable and scroll down on the right-hand side.


Posted via email  from Debbie Weil’s Posterous.