Using Twitter to Change Your Oil

It's been more than a year since I installed a program called TweetDeck on my iPhone.  Back than, I still didn't really get the whole "Twitter" thing (Oh My, What Have I Done?), and to this day I'm not sure if I still do.  That said, I've dedicated myself to using Twitter to help promote the SolidWorks User Group Network this year – we'll see how it goes.

I now find myself using TweetDeck to check in on the folks I follow throughout the day, even on the weekends.  This Saturday I followed an interesting conversation between three members of the SolidWorks Community – let's call them "Fred", "Stevie", and "Chuck".  Seems "Fred" had never changed his own oil…ever…and decided to reach out via Twitter to get some help and advice.

It all started a week ago with "Fred's" bold proclamation "I will now attempt to change my own oil".  There were a couple of immediate suggestions – "Chuck" suggested buying some Rhino ramps, "Stevie" recommended a shop class (lol).  The conversation dwindled until Saturday when the real fun began.

On Saturday, "Fred" decided to take the plunge. New tools/ramps/filter and oil in hand, he set off to complete the task. Using a combination of "Tweets" and "yfrog" pictures to chronicle his adventure, "Fred" was joined by "Stevie" and "Chuck" for the 2 – 3 hour process. A steady stream of helpful "tweets" got him through this harrowing ordeal ("lying under a car is terrifying", "the wind really took that stream", "where's my drain plug?") and I'm pleased to report that "Fred" now has new oil and oil filter installed.  It was fun watching the drama unfold in real time, and even more fun to know that it was SolidWorks Community members that helped him out.

So there you have it – a new reason to use Twitter.  Social media is a lot of things, but I never expected to be able to "watch" a live help stream between SolidWorks users and a rookie mechanic.  I guess you never know.

By the way "Fred", Jiffy Lube charges about twenty bucks to change your oil, and you can get five bucks off during the Wednesday "Early Bird" hours.  Just sayin'.

You can follow me on Twitter if you like – @SWUGN.  I don't change my own oil, but I've got a yard project coming up and maybe you can help.

Richard Doyle
My official title is Senior User Advocacy & SolidWorks User Groups - but most people just call me "The User Group Guy". I've been a SolidWorks user since 1997, and was one of the founding members of the SWUGN Committee. Since starting the Central Texas SolidWorks User Group in 1999, my career path has led me to DS SolidWorks and a dream job supporting the SolidWorks User Group Network worldwide.
Richard Doyle
Richard Doyle