Saturday 17 January 2009

Twestival Fever

Things have been a little crazee this week. I've been having a fine old time getting involved with a very worthwhile project, and cause through one of my favourite web things,

If you haven't heard of Twitter before, then you won't be alone (although it was featured on BBC News at Ten last night with regard to the Hudson River story). Twitter, by its own admission,"is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?"

It's an interesting site to use, as the response to the question is limited to 140 characters, about the size of an SMS text message, and therefore makes you think quite carefully about what you're saying or responding to, and how you might want to say it.

As well as updating your status, additional features include following other people, and being followed. This might be based on your brief biography, links to your website or blog, or because you've said something relatively interesting that has resonated with fellow tweeple.

A whole new language is emerging; tweeple or tweeps(twitter people), tweetups (meet ups for tweeple), and now - the most exciting so far; twestivals (festivals for tweeple!).

I wouldn't like to hazard a guess at how many people are now using Twitter, but for those that are, it's a day in, day out part of their lives.

Earlier this week, I saw some updates about twestivals, which linked through to and told a story about "
a group of Twitterers based in London UK decided to organise an event where the local Twitter community could socialize offline; meet the faces behind the avatars, enjoy some entertainment, have a few drinks and tie this in with a food drive and fundraising effort for a local homeless charity."

Twestival was going to take this to a whole new level, by choosing a date - Thursday 12th Feb 2009, and by inviting cities all over the world to get involved in having local Twestivals, with the aim of raising as much money as possible for charity: water, a non profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations by funding sustainable clean water solutions in areas of greatest need.

Keen to get involved in this, I asked who was doing the Liverpool Twestival and got many replies saying 'yeah, I'd come' and 'yeah, I'll help' but none offering to take a lead. I thought long and hard about how much commitment this might take (considering I work full time, and have a demanding toddler and social life!) and then thought bugger it - this is the year of YES!

After replying to the volunteers, and pulling together a team, I registered Liverpool as a Twestival site! I am absolutely amazed and overwhelmed by the kind and giving nature of so many people who are offering to get involved/give time/do stuff to help and I know that this is going to be a wonderful event.

So, in about 25 days, the first ever Liverpool Twestival will be held.... Oh my word....