Tag Archives: twitter

Some things are worth sticking around for!

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Those of you who have been reading my blog since day dot will have been through all my life drama with me, all the James stuff, all the Kenya excitement and even my little mini breakdown around Easter….how many of you remember my post about a new craze running through Twitter? You know that hash tag….what was it? Oh yea….#rugbyunited. Back then it seemed like a phase that would eventually fade away.

It didn’t!

In fact it has now been going strong and steadily gaining influence over my entire twitter feed for the past 27 weeks!

Now, in my last post about #rugbyunited I spoke about how the idea was flawed. The ethos was I’ll follow you and you have to follow me back or I’ll get cross with you. This didn’t wash with me. I do not use twitter to follow people I don’t engage with. I use it for news, work and more recently to raise awareness of my charity stuff. you can read my views on the whole thing in THIS post)

I have to say however that what started off as a bit of a fad has blossomed into something truly great. Not only had it gained me some great friends some of which have offered better advice than anyone else I know.  I am naming no names here, they know who they are.  I have watched as #rugbyqa has developed, a predictions game has started (#rugbyrekon), and now, the first ever rugby united charity fixture has been arranged!  They even have staff in Ireland and South Africa!!

Rugby united has come a long way from the days of being too easily comparable to #teamfollowback and that is through the tireless work of Trevor Large and his team, of which I am now officially a part and will be heading up the first ever #RugbyUnited game on the North West.  (Dates to be confirmed as soon as the venue is definite, Caldy is looking likely so please, if you know someone there put us in touch!!!)

Not only has Trev managed to unite fans across the world who share a common interest in an awesome sport, he has managed to get players engaging even more with their fans. The q&a sessions have had everyone from Glaws fave @Eliota_Sapolu to one of my childhood heroes Will Carling, and a current love Mark Cueto.  I know that Lisa Wadey has even more famous names up her sleeve and will be bringing them to the Q&A session soon.

I would like to thank Trev for everything he has done for the world of rugby, and for me personally. You have, possibly without knowing, introduced me to some amazing people all of whom have had a massive impact on the way my life over the past 6 months has panned out!  Now, can you please start making some serious cash from RU and give me a job?

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Clarification

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This week I have had a bit of backlash over my trip.  So much so that I am writing this entry with tears running down my face. So I am sorry if this is poorly written.

Tonight, I have been told that what I am doing is a huge waste of money and that I obviously just want a free trip to Kenya paid for by other people.  This all came out of an innocent tweet to the guys of  the #rugbyunited community wondering if anyone could donate prizes to the raffle.

I am happy to take on board people’s opinions and yes, there are people to help closer to home and yes it is costing a reasonable amount of money to get out there.  But what is it to them how I spend my own money and if people want to donate, (a number of people do and have, for which I am very, very thankful. full on thank you post coming soon) then great!

You all know that this whole trip has come from a belief in God and a word I received back near Easter.  This isn’t a ‘oooooooooooh I fancy going to Africa, how can I get people to pay for me to go’ kind of thing.  No, this is something I have had on my heart for a while and want to do something about.  If I had no ties in the UK I would quit my job and go out there for an extended period to help as much as I can, even establish my own charity or look into ways of aiding others.  These are both things I want to do in the future and yes, this trip may indeed help that but my primary reason for going is to fulfil something God placed on my heart.

It’s strange because just this evening I was discussing with my Church the idea of being judged and persecuted for your faith.  Now, I don’t mean persecution in the ways of old where you are fed to the lions.  I mean suffering for your faith in a modern way.  Being bullied at school or work for being a Christian, not getting a job because you refuse to work Sunday’s, being left out by your friends because they are doing something you don’t agree with through faith.  During the discussion I could honestly say that I hadn’t found this so  far on my faith journey.  Today I fear that changed.  I feel like anything I say to this person is going to be shot down, I have been told that my Christian attitude is terrible and all I am doing is ‘helping my own soul’.  I have never ever been judged in the way this person judged me today.  To be told they hope I do not need the NHS any time soon is just disgusting, almost hinting at meaning the opposite of what he stated.  I haven’t publicised what has happened in my private life recently but what I will say is I have never been more thankful for the work of the NHS and other emergency services.

So, to clarify and put to rest any doubts that any of you may have… I am not going to Kenya to swan around and maybe do a day in an orphanage to make me feel better.  I am also not doing this to “cleanse my soul” so to speak or even at the detriment of a UK-based charity.  In fact, the only reason I have gone public with this whole trip isn’t to say ‘look at me look how amazing I am’  goodness knows I wouldn’t do that! (why would I need to, I am awesome enough already 😉 ) I wet public to see if I could raise some funds to help me get out there to make a difference to these kids lives.  I do it at home for Kids Church, why not for others?!  I am loving the support that I have got so far.  People are amazing.  Your kind contributions will not only be making an immediate difference to me getting there, they will also help provide much-needed equipment for the kids and care workers alike!

Trending Topic? Not quite yet

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There is a new trend sweeping thorough my feed on Twitter and until today I was pretty happy about it.

The #RugbyUnited feed is one that is really interesting.  Full of genuine rugby fans sharing banter, their passion for their teams and their passion for the game as a whole.  The idea is that you tweet about your team, add the #rugbyunited hastag and watch your followers grow.  In return you follow these new followers back.

Now….here is where I do not QUITE agree.  To me, Twitter is not about ‘how many followers do I have?’   It is a site where I vent, have a bit of a giggle with people I may or may not know and I also catch up on news…for example the Danny Care issue today, or the Stephen Lawrence verdict (I was sick in bed & didn’t want to move to turn on TV). 

If I followed all of my new followers, I would most certainly miss something I want to read whilst my twitter feed is full of #glawsfam or some other random hashtag I don’t really care about (I am all about #warriornation).  Yes, it is about social interaction, but should that not be with people you find interesting and not just those who follow you?!  Before anyone comments, I am the first to admit that my tweets can be exceptionally BORING, but as I said, I sometimes use twitter to simply vent! 

I am not saying I do not like the #rugbyunited concept.  In fact I love it, the banter is hilarious, the people I have met through it have (mostly) been great, funny, full of good rugby knowledge (and occasionally hot – you know who you are!)   I am learning a lot more about the game I love and meeting people who share my passion for it, even those who support different teams.  That is what it is all about after all, inclusivity.

Today, I felt a little less love for the idea.  I apparently upset a grown man (or 2) because I didn’t follow them back!!! You don’t know me, I don’t know you, I obviously did not find your tweets interesting enough for me to want to fill my feed with them.  As a fellow tweeter, naming no names, said “you have to earn a follow”

So, I have come the conclusion that although I love the people I have met through #rugbyunited I don’t think it is as inclusive as its fantastic creator @trevorlarge intended. 

Remove the need to ‘follow back’ (which in itself is a 12 year old girls concept – see #teamfollowback) and have the community become one where you CHOOSE who you follow based on matches in interest (isn’t that the idea of twitter anyway) and you will have an even bigger hit than you already do!