NZ-Twitter-Secret-Santa

Twitter Secret Santa started in 2010 after I had a conversation with someone on Twitter about office place secret Santas.

And I thought……. wouldn’t it be cool to do one via Twitter.

So I made it happen

So the idea was born and I informed everyone about it even though I had no idea what I was doing. Over 200 people signed up for the first one, with even more wanting to join in after the media heard about it, so I did two waves of it in the first year.

It was a lot of work, and a lot of messaging people and answering questions, sometimes into early the next year.

The following year I built a website for it and managed to cobble together a conference registration plugin to help manage the sign up process and the data I needed to use. All this was combined with the very useful spreadsheet I had been sent from another Twitter user to help match people up.

I also got approached by a radio station for them wanting to run it, I put that out to the Twitter users, and the overwhelming response was NO. We don’t want them having the data, we much prefer you, the hairy giant pumpkin grower from Hamilton doing it.

The third year was much of the same, with over 800 people taking part, lots more late nights answering questions.

Media Interest

Every year there was a decent amount of media interest, here are some of the stories that were run while I was running it:

Secret Santa surprises – National – NZ Herald News
NZ Post to play Twitter Secret Santa | NZNews | 3 News
Secret Santa spreads the joy | WOPULAR

It was time for a change

After that one was out of the way, I had the feeling that it was on the brink of out growing myself, and I wanted to have more time to spend with pumpkin related activities.

I put the call out to Twitter and I had no real idea of who would want to do this, who it would fit with, or how it would work.

This is where NZ Post came in, and they are awesome. It is run by a small team, with great technology and resources while still keeping the same feel of when I was running it.

If you are on Twitter, make sure to keep an eye out for it, and check out www.nzsecretsanta.co.nz

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