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Dan Gordon explains Twitter’s early days in OKC

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If you keep up with Oklahoma City’s social circle on Twitter, you probably follow or at least know of Dan Gordon.

The fourth generation jeweler has more than 10,800 followers and seems to be the man with all of the answers.

If you have a question about something OKC-related, chances are he has an answer or can put you in touch with someone who does.

And when he’s not discussing social apps and city issues online, he’s running Samuel Gordon Jewelers at 5521 N Pennsylvania Avenue.

It also turns out that he was an early adapter of Twitter and has a lot of knowledge about the history of tweetup meetings in Oklahoma City.

“I’ve made friendships, relationships, customers… that might be one of the reasons people ask me about stuff is because I try every new thing that I think I’ll get personal or business satisfaction from,” Gordon said.

Gordon started working at his family’s business in 1996 with a personal goal – to offer something that other employees couldn’t.

As the Internet began to grow in popularity, he started to realize its value and how it might be useful to the company.

“I saw how you could chat. I saw how you could have an email address and send pictures. I saw how you could chat in a chat room with people,” he said. “I told myself, ‘this is going to change everything.’

“I’m going to build our business using this new tool.”

In 2004, the company celebrated its 100th anniversary and Gordon saw this as an opportunity to attract people to the company’s website with a contest.

The idea came from “The Today Show,” but the “Wedding To Remember” contest proved to be successful and allowed people to vote online about the wedding package one lucky couple would receive. It was the beginning of online interaction between the company and its customers.

Three years later, Gordon signed up for Twitter after watching a TechTV segment with Kevin Rose, co-founder for Digg,  who encouraged online enthusiasts to sign up for accounts. At first, Gordon said the platform was pretty quiet.

“I totally didn’t have anybody to talk to,” he laughed. “The people who are my closest friends, they’re not into social media much.”

As time went on, Gordon began to meet more people through friends and friends of friends. That’s when he was introduced to tweetups.

Gordon said a group of local Twitter users created an account, OKC Social Rave, and began using a hashtag by the same name to meetup at local establishments across the city.

He also helped organize the #OKCrushIT event in 2009 that generated a lot of buzz around town and ended up attracting about 800 people to the Will Rogers Theater.

Since the service has went mainstream, Gordon said he’s noticed that more people have pulled back some after connecting with so many people.

With more than 200 million active users creating more than 400 million tweets each day, it has become overwhelming at times.

“In the beginning it was exciting and new, so people acted goofy,” he said, adding that now it has taken on more of a serious tone for news outlets and users.

And compared to 2009, Gordon said he’s cut back on the time he spends online. He’ll usually only spend about an hour online each day, he said.

“People know we all have lives. I was probably the last to learn that. That was one of my deficiencies,” he said.

But despite the cutback on time, his Twitter following continues to grow.

“If you keep it interesting, that’s what keeps people coming back for more.”

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Tiffany Gibson

Tiffany Gibson has worked for The Oklahoman since August 2011 and is a member of the enterprise team and digital desk. In addition to writing and web editing, she creates interactive features for and assists with data visualization and... Read more ›