Tweet to Beat: Let Me Up the Ante (Plus: Vietnam School Video and Pics)


The smiles that greeted us at the preschools you helped build in Vietnam. (Photo: Matt)

Thus far, the Tweet to Beat experiment has increased Twitter count from 22,500 to 29,276, which means $20,328 to U.S. public school students via Donorschoose (6,776 new followers x $3 each).

This is good by any reasonable standard, but I’m not reasonable. So here’s what we’re going to do:

1. Every Twitter follower of mine — new and old — will receive a coupon at the end of the campaign for the following:

-6 months of RescueTime’s Pro time tracking tools for free (Normal price: $48). Just install it with no data entry and know exactly how you spend your time. Set thresholds, alarms, or use it for an entire business team. Full disclosure: I am now an investor in RescueTime, as I think they’re the best out there.

-6 months of DropBox’s Pro 50GB account for free. (Normal price: $60) This is a reader favorite. Sync your files automatically to your computers and the web; sign in and access your files from any browser or mobile device. It’s the world’s easiest back-up and syncing service.

-6 months of PhoneTag Alpha, the latest voicemail transcription service, for free (Normal price: $60). This is closed to the public and an exclusive for Tim Ferriss followers (!). Read voicemail on your mobile phone, portable device and/or e-mail. Forget about phone interruptions and suffering through long-winded voicemails.

Total value: $168 to each follower.

2. I’m extending the Tweet to Beat campaign and promo competition another week, until 3/30 at 3:30pm PST.

I will still ante up and pay out the $3 per new follower using 22,500 as the start number. This means you have more time to spread the word and potentially win the round-trip anywhere in the world, the fully-loaded MacBook, and perhaps more.

3. Tomorrow, Tuesday 3/24, at 12pm noon PT (3pm ET), I’m going to send $3 to every Twitter follower I have, not just new followers.

If you aren’t following me on Twitter yet, you can do so here.

This means roughly 30,000 followers x $3 = $90,000. Each $3 will be a unique Donorschoose coupon code, which you can donate to the classroom project of your choice

I want you to donate the $3 yourself, feel the immense gratification, and do just one thing: please make update your Facebook status during the checkout process to show this donation. This twist has been planned all along, and it should be a force multiplier.

Note the following – very important:

This requires that you visited Facebook in the last ~30 days and chose the “remember me” option. If not, please log out of Facebook and log back in to tick the “remember me” box. It will not work if you just have Facebook open in another tab or window.

Once you get the $3 coupon through Twitter, here are the steps you’ll follow to redeem it:

Sign out of Facebook and sign back in to check the “remember me” box

Pick a classroom project on the Tweet to Beat project page

Check this box

Click “publish” at the end and you’ve done a great deed!


Life-Changing Proof That Small Actions Matter – Vietnam Pictures and Videos

“Tweet to Beat” is a follow-up experiment to LitLiberation, which was a campaign by bloggers and their readers, and CEOs and their employees, to spread the power of literacy worldwide. It was a new fundraising model based on competition and social media scalability, and it funded not only US public school projects (20,000+ students) but also libraries and schools in developing countries.

I visited two LitLiberation schools in Vietnam two weeks ago with three other donors: Matt Mullenweg, Jose Castro, and Andrew Rosca. It was my first trip to a site we’d constructed, and all of us were absolutely blown away.

More than 500 students per year will be attending these two schools, and both of them cost just $17,000 total. There are many more schools coming, including this school in Nepal, that the readers of this blog helped to build.

Enjoy the footage and pics, and thank you all :)

The best welcoming committee I’ve ever met. (Photo: Matt)

Matt Mullenweg with the 4th graders, who lost all shyness as soon as he started showing them pictures on his viewfinder. (Photo: Matt Mullenweg)

(Photo: Matt Mullenweg)

Donor and blog reader Jose Castro. Thanks, Jose! (Photo: Matt Mullenweg)

(Photo: Matt Mullenweg)

Blog reader Andrew Rosca. Thanks, Andrew! (Photo: Matt Mullenweg)

Posted on: March 23, 2009.

Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.

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84 comments on “Tweet to Beat: Let Me Up the Ante (Plus: Vietnam School Video and Pics)

  1. This is pretty cool, I gotta say, it’s been long time since I saw so many happy children at once!

    I am going to take action and spread the word even more right away!

    Keep it up TIM,

    Luis M.


  2. Very impressive and noble Tim. Been a long time follower, but I will have to try and add a few friends and readers to your list.
    What are your thoughts on Donorschoose Vs Kiva? Obviously there is a place for both, empowering entrepreneurs is just as important as ensuring the entrepreneurs of the future get an education today.


  3. Great creative way to help out. The children are lucky to have a supporter willing to think outside of the box to help out. I guess I have to dust off my FaceBook page. Best of luck. Will RT on Twitter.


  4. Don’t forget, those of you who still work for a company, to see if your company will match the donation. Every little bit counts!

    Great job, all! (Why is Jose always drinking? ;))


  5. Tim
    Great job again. Mission accomplished on your latest project will be around the corner. How did you get all those emails to match each blog follower of yours?



    • Hi All,

      Thanks for the kind words and great suggestions! A few things:

      1) As Marcie said, see if your employer will match donations to DonorsChoose, even the $3 coupon. This can make a big difference, and it made a HUGE difference with LitLiberation.

      2) To Bill and all, I think is great, but I’m tackling one issue at a time. For me, education is the focus right now and will be for some time, but micro-finance is a close second. Read “Banker to the Poor” by Muhammad Yunus if you haven’t.

      3) To Pete at Mashable – no sweat, big fella. Both will benefit a lot of people, so all is fair. I’ll sell you the .com extensions for the name for $50,000 to DonorsChoose :)

      All the best,