Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The world loses a tweeter (@ashPEAmama)

I am a strong believer that anything bad can bring at least some good. While it doesnt make the bad any easier, at least we can be happy for something good.

This morning the Twitter community lost @ashPEAmama to a vehicle accident. I never got the chance to follow Ashley but I saw many of the people that I followed mention her name in a lot of thoughtful tweets. There obviously was more to her than "just another person". I wish that I would have had a chance to get to know her more but I'm sure she made her impact in the world where she was meant to.

I still constantly hear people question the purpose of Twitter. People don't understand it and they really dont seem to want to understand it but, to me, Twitter is a strong community that pulls together in many different scenarios. Just last month we saw the birth of The Frozen Pea Fund which is a cause to raise money for breast cancer. The reference of this came from one of the most beloved tweeters in the D.C. area, @susanreynolds.

Aside from these drastic stories that (rightfully) take the spotlight, the Twitter community is a source of encouragement for everyone's day to day life. There is constant joking around with friends (some that we know personally and some that we only know on Twitter) and mixed in with that joking is the serious conversations about politics, the world, technology, the weather..... and how everyone is feeling. Just a couple weeks ago my good friend @linuxchic's song had broken his nose. She received many tweets asking if he was ok. And appreciation rarely goes unnoticed. She has another good example of the twitter community on her blog about video games.

If you think all of this isn't enough, there is the ever popular storey of @LAFD Los Angeles Fire Department who used Twitter to communicate information about the Wildfires and has continued using the technology for crisis management.

My heart truly does go out to the family of @ashPEAmama and to those who became close with her on Twitter. There is always a reason that things happen and there are ways that we can honor Ashley and there are things that her life and death will be used as a testimony to others. I am, again, amazed at how the Twitter community genuinely cares about their followers.

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
Thanks for sharing this with everyone.
Bob, Thank you for posting this piece. Ash was a Twitter friend of mine, and I'm going to miss her..she was a good and loving person who's love of her family was clear for all to see, and she frequently made us laugh, with her simple, honest, down to earth humanity..

Twitter is not just a community, it is a symbiosis of simultaneously coexisting communities, a microcosm of the world at large..that is very much it's strength. What goes on in one little Twitter community byewater, frequently ripples out into another, and, then, often, beyond, into the wider Twitterverse..

It's a simple concept, Twitter, disarmingly simple. Like a lot of simple ideas, however, it's effect on the world is often felt beyond it's apparent significance. I recently told a bemused friend that I considered Twitter a life changing experience. Well, the last twenty four hours made me realise just how true that is.

Ashley changed my view of a number of things..though she was probably never aware of it..and, somehow, she brought out the Grandad in me, something I've been resisting for years!

Thank you for drawing the world's attention to Ashley's passing..We are sad, those of us who knew her, but she gave us 'Sproglet', Lucy, and 'H', her husband; the world's a better place for her having been here, and we are better people for having known her and her family..

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