A message to our new neighbors

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

When it was announced last October that Twitter was staying in San Francisco and that we would be moving to a historic art deco building on Market Street, there was a collective sigh of relief — we grew up in this city and would miss it far too much if we were to leave.

And as a young and growing organization, we have a lot in common with the neighborhood we’re moving into; it’s a time of transition, where new horizons are coming into view.

A message to our new neighbors

View from our new office. Photo by Marisa Williams.

A science teacher who uses Twitter for his own professional development once told me:

Twitter lends itself well to times of change.

By that he meant when groups are trying to effect change or figure out a path to the future, one of the most valuable things they can do is communicate openly to share ideas and information, and to connect with those who share their vision that can help elicit action. As a communication tool, Twitter enables this type of collaboration, and we’ve seen communities around the world find smart ways to make use of the platform.

As one step toward engaging more directly with the local community, we’ve been taking to the streets since signing our new lease to meet folks in our new neighborhood. We’ve been learning the deep history from long-time residents like Mark Ellinger (@tobiemarx), and meeting many of the incredible people who make up the organizations that have a real impact in the area. We want to understand where the brightest hopes and toughest challenges are rooted, and react to that with an approach that stems from our operating principles as an organization.

Since January, we’ve spent over 350 hours connecting with the community by serving meals, teaching coding classes to kids, leading clothing drives, offering free legal advice, and teaching seniors how to stay connected. Most recently, we filled Cutting Ball Theatre (@CuttingBall) with employees for a viewing of Tenderloin so that we can be informed by the voice of our neighbors, and to ensure we’re doing our part to build mutual respect and understanding in the community.

As we settle in and form closer ties with those around us, we want to make a positive impact as neighbors and collaborators, fostering connectivity in the world outside our doorstep.

For those friends and neighbors we have yet to meet, we are looking forward to engaging as neighbors. Use @TwitterSF and @twitterforgood to connect with us anytime and follow what we’re doing. We’d love to see what you’re up to in the community too.