Twitter Gets Real

Twestival unites online friends for charity

Twestival unites online friends for charity

Twestival is a global series of local events, happening in over 100 cities worldwide (including London and Brighton), on 12 February 2009.

Twestival bridges the gap between the off- and online worlds. It provides a chance for communities on Twitter (a web service that allows users to share their thoughts with their peers) to meet in person and to raise money for Charity:water, who provide clean water for people in developing countries.

Dharmafly spoke to Amanda Rose, the enterprising organiser who got the Twestival ball rolling, to find out more about Twestival and why Twitter is suited to this kind of crowd-sourced social action.

Rippling messages through the web

As Amanda noted, Twitter allows for a “ripple effect”, letting messages spread and surge through the web. This gives Twestival instant access to willing participants – people who pass on the message and offer to get involved.

Those who are making Twestival happen are ordinary people, choosing to help a good cause after hearing about it through their Twitter network.

Charity:water has been chosen as Twestival’s beneficiary, partly because they are active Twitter users themselves (such as the charity’s founder, Scott Harrison), using it to spread news of their work and to connect with interested parties.

Twitter steps out of the web

Twitter is sometimes characterised as another way for socially-awkward people to avoid human contact (mainly by people who’ve never used it). Twestival is further evidence that Twitterers want their interactions to make a difference beyond the web.

Twestival: a flash-function

So what exactly is a Twestival? It’s a loose idea, varying in nature from city to city. Each Twestival is a rapid-response flash-event, created almost spontaneously by volunteers.

Some Twestivals are taking the form of an “unconference” (a grassroots conference organised by the participants), some are relaxed social gatherings in cafes and pubs, and some will have entertainment and activities. All Twestivals aim to bring together local Twitter communities to benefit a good cause.

Twestival: raising money for Charity:water

At the heart of every Twestival is Charity:water, a non-profit organisation that brings clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of donations go directly to creating sustainable clean water solutions.

The directness of Charity:water’s donation system means that every penny raised by generous Twitterers will help provide clean water to the people who need it most. You can also donate directly on the Twestival page of the Charity:water website.

Twestival in Brighton: @brightwest

Brighton’s Twestival tickets go on sale at 12pm today. If you want to track its progress, follow @twestival and @brightwest on Twitter, and check for more information.

Update: Now sponsoring

Dharmafly is now happily a Twestival sponsor, and we’re giving away some gorgeous raffle prizes.

Leif Kendall is a freelance copywriter, “micro-storyteller”, proud dad and avid Twitterer.

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3 CommentsRSS Feed

  1. Well done to all the Twestival organisers. It looks like it’ll be an excellent event. What a fantastic example of harnessing the social web for good.

    I’m looking forward to meeting some of the local Twitterers who I’ve not yet met offline. Do say hi, if we’ve not spoken before. (I’m @premasagar on Twitter, by the way).

  2. Great work all who put this event on – lets see more paid for events where the money goes to charity. I’ve got my ticket, and hope to see you all there.

  3. See y’all there :)