Monday, August 9, 2010

Social Media 30 Day Experiment Day 7 - Twitter to the Rescue!

Sewer Backup and Social Media - how do these go together?

This is just a quick post this evening, due to I am feeling under the weather 
- more in depth discussion to continue as soon as possible.

The Story:

Social Media Background 
As I have been experimenting with adding people to follow through Twitter, Facebook and looking at all options of connecting last week, some of these were local politicians, and city personnel, and others that are responsible for our city. Just wondering if they were able to be connected with, and how they might be using Social Media. I had found some on Twitter, and others not - such as the Mayor of Kitchener. The councillors however appeared to be on Twitter, and publish email addresses, and other contact information.  

The Emergency
My daughter - M, who lives in a townhouse unit in Kitchener, at my house very distraught. Once again there had been a flood as she called it - "and it smells like sh*t!". Which of course it would, due to be actually the sewer backing up in the townhouse complex, due to a plug somewhere. This was the 3rd time in a week, that had happened. Previously it had been dealt with twice, with the city involved to assist with the plumbing and sewer pipes being cleaned. The carpets had been shampooed. And then it happened again. Cats were trapped as they hid in crawl spaces in basement, and of course howled.
Other tenants were standing on the street. Where oh where was the landlord, property manager, and maintenance people?? 

My daughter informed me that no one could get an answer at any of the emergency contact numbers they had been supplied. The landlord seemed to be MIA.

I called another number for her and did get someone that claimed it was being dealt with. I requested that he please have someone report the details to the tenants - who were outside and justifiably very upset. I was not confident he would, but was also told to try and track the landlord down again.

Twitter to the Rescue
As time progressed, and my daughter was able to locate the landlord, but he said he could not get any assistance from maintenance or city crew. It was time to use Twitter and connect to the councillor for this area of the city. I located and tweeted:
Tweet - Assistance required please.  And added details and address of complex.
Result - he responded almost immediately  with phone number to call him at, so he could assist.

Wow I was impressed! And sorta smug  with relatives standing by - told you so.

My daughter and her co-tenants in the meantime had been able to connect with the required personnel and all was being taken care of with additional attention to the plumbing and sewer system.
I was able to update the councillor via email and twitter, and thank him for his response and availabilityl

Morale of the Story

 Yes Social Media can be useful to the 'average person' - anyone with a toilet in this case would benefit or living close to the plumbing and sewer system attached. With having local politicians and others able to be found via Twitter, email address ( was a bit harder to find ), Facebook - we can immediately connect to these people outside of business hours.

Since I am the only person in my immediate and extended family that is using Twitter, I am being asked - ' hey twitter for me' - person or business that they are trying to gain assistance from quickly  - and  without staying in a queue on phone, or getting voicemail etc. 

Or information about the what is happening in the city, such as the Kitchener Blues Festival  - they rely on my connection via Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other connections online.

Or when they want to know if Herrles Country Market is still open, and what varieties of corn they are selling this week ...

Get Darleen to Twitter!  
It's a start..



  1. That is all kinds of awesome.

    I wonder if the member of council was just trying to kill time on twitter and debated whether or not to have to respond to your request. Was he trying to work the social media system to his political advantage? Or was he avoiding work through social media entertainment.

    I suppose it doesn't really matter if you were able to get some serious results. Go you!