Have you heard of these names recently, Isaiah Tuckett and Austin Buysse? If you haven’t then you are not on social media very much or watch television. These two guys have blown up the internet and are having their time in the spotlight worldwide. Their faces, names and story have traveled around the world thanks to social media, TV, print media and websites. For those of us that know them it has been so much fun to watch. Austin and Isaiah are having the times of their life right now and enjoying all the attention they are getting. The power of social media is amazing.
Let’s start with Isaiah’s story. Boyd Huppert of KARE 11 television in the Twin Cities came out to Madison to interview Isaiah about his cupcake business and to tell the story of how Isaiah paid for his whole family to go to Disney World in Florida using the profits from his cupcake business. It is a great story and Boyd Huppert in my opinion is the best storyteller ever! He did such a great job telling Isaiah’s story and it aired on a Sunday night during Boyd’s “Land of 10,000 Stories” segment. Little did the Tucketts know what was about to happen to them after it aired on KARE 11 that Sunday evening.
Cheri said since it aired the phone hasn’t stop ringing wanting interviews with Isaiah. Other NBC television affiliates across the country picked up the story. Then it went national on Fox News Channel. Cheri and Isaiah drove to the cities for a 5am live interview on Fox. After that they have done so many interviews, Cheri said it was hard to keep track of all of them. She remembers NPR, People’s Magazine, Fox, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, CNN, FOX5NY and the list goes on and on. Of course you can add KLQP radio to that list.
Isaiah started receiving letters, even a letter from South Korea. Gifts began to arrive at their house, a large cupcake company sent him baking supplies. His Facebook page, “Isaiah’s Tasty Treats” exploded with people liking his page. On one website, his story reached 1.5 million views! His story exploded across the country and even across the world, Argentina, Germany, Spain and Italy even carried his story. So much fun watching this happen to someone you know well.
Now let’s talk about my friend Austin Buysse from Minneota. I remember Austin quarterbacking the Minneota Vikings football team and watching him on the basketball court and baseball field for the Vikings. After graduation Austin helped me broadcast Minneota Viking sports. Last week he attend the College Baseball World Series in Omaha with a couple of friends, Zach Nuy and Tyson Sonnenburg. They were sitting in left field enjoying the company of people around them and having a beer. A Texas Tech batter hit a home run and Austin caught the ball with his bare hand while holding a beer in the other. Amazing catch and then he chugged the beer and slammed the cup to the ground to the roar of the crowd. Meanwhile all of this was caught on ESPN. The rest is history.
It was like the internet blew up! As I am writing this, ESPN’s Sport Center Twitter page has over 10 million views!! 10 million! Comments on the page have reached over 15,ooo and 37,000 people have shared the video! Those are some big numbers and it’s still growing. I think Austin is going to go down as a legend when it comes to social media videos. He has done newspaper interviews and I did a radio interview with him. I think I have watched the video over a hundred times! Can’t get enough of it.
On a smaller scale, this past week I interviewed Stephanie Weber who is a chaperone with the Agape singing group from Dawson. The Agapes are a great group of kids and every year they go on a trip to minister. This year they went out west. Each year I interview them on the bus to get a report as to how the trip is going. The interview went great with Stephanie and as usual I ask the kids to sing a song to end the interview. They have a Twitter account I follow and later that evening I watched the video of them singing to me on the radio. I shed a few tears watching them gather around Stephanie who was holding her cell phone in the air. I love that song and the video. I posted the interview on our podcast site and it had over 400 people listen to it.
Social media is a powerful tool. It can be used to tell amazing stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.