May 3, 2009

Spud Bros + Twitter + Brad Feld = Charity. Video.

People often ask me what twitter is good for. Who needs another geek technology that takes us away from real life, from the outdoors? 

Well, I too once didn’t get Twitter, I made fun of it, I looked down upon it. And then my hipster web designer pal Sam Breed introduced me to Tweetdeck, and the light dawned on my once inert Twitter account. Now Twitter is the number 5 traffic source for elephantjournal.com, a means of staying in touch with my local Boulder community, and my national green, yoga and Buddhist communities. 

What may be most remarkable about Twitter, however, is something decidedly old-fashioned: it’s an easy, free, powerful tool for local businesses. I “follow” about fifty local businesses—cafes, lunch spots, retail stores…as well as my local magazine, paper and Chamber of Commerce. Between them I probably am kept more aware of specials (say “twitter” for a free cupcake, free soup, free coffee!) and events than I’ve ever been before—and I was already about as active, and all-over the Boulder scene (via my trusty steed) as anyone.

Now I’m much more connected to my own community on a daily basis, and for that I’m grateful.

One of the twitter-savviest local businesses is Spud Bros. Before twitter became a part of my workaday, I thought of Spud Bros. only as a french fry chain that had interloped on my downtown Pearl Street scene. I’d heard it had something to do with some big agribusiness (someone told me) that Michael Pollan had written about. But mostly, I didn’t think about it at all.

I now know that it’s actually not a chain—it’s local—and it’s mmm mmmm good—a place I’d be happy to spend my hard-earned bucks. Why? Because they’re all over Twitter, tweeting about this and that, specials and whatever, and not in a tacky PRish manner. In a fun, personal way.

Spud Bros’ continuing brilliant use of twitter recently brought all of Boulder down to their shop…without Spud Bros making a phone call, filing a press release, writing a blog or starting an email chain, they managed to flood their store with 100s of first-time customers, curious to see multi-kajillionaire wonderboy and Titan of Tech Brad Feld…serving Spud Bros. french fries for an hour or so, for charity.

You can see Brad this Wednesday, along with fellow Titans Micah Baldwin, Jeffrey Kalmikoff and Gwen Bell (and Andrew Hyde, and Grace Boyle, who will help me with the introductions) at elephant’s Walk the Talk Show at the historic Boulder Theater.

Turns out Mr. Brad Feld did a lot better than the last time he tried to serve up some spuds. Video:

Watch Boulder’s own Brad Feld as he re-enters the French fry industry as a Guest Chef at Spud Bros. from April 14, 2009. Proceeds from the event went to the Community Foundation serving Boulder County.

Oh, btw, how’d I find out about the above video and think to blog his French Fries-for-Charity adventure? Twitter, of course:

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