Monday, April 11, 2011

Tweetup 101

Have you seen the word “Tweetup” and ever wondered what it really meant? Basically, a tweetup (or Twitter meet-up) is an informal gathering of Twitter users with no agenda at all, well, except to socialize. Most of the time, the people who attend tweetups have already built an online friendship with other tweeps (Twitter peeps) and have found common interest amongst themselves.

From online sharing to personal meeting, a tweetup is a great venue to talk and get to know people from different walks of life. Whether it is catching up with old friends, learning interesting things, sharing ideas or simply just having fun, a tweetup can be your best source of networking. You’ll never know who you will bump into the room – a local government official, your future employer or your favorite celebrity. The networking part is what makes a tweetup very exciting.

If you decide to attend a tweetup, all you need to bring is yourself and an open mind. Prepare to be showered with tons of stories and creative juices, but don’t forget to also speak out and impart interesting ideas to others. Make sure that your brain functions well, so you can remember everyone’s Twitter ID; else, bring your electronic device so you can follow or list them down at once. If you have a business or personal card, it would not hurt if you bring them as well.

Although forming a tweetup can be all about the joys of meeting people and having fun, some choose to add something more by making it a charitable event. An example would be the recently concluded TwestivalMNL (Twitter Festival Manila) last March, where, in a short span of time, several tweeps volunteered to join a global event by organizing a local tweetup for a cause. With the entrance fee of Php250 and help from few advocates, all proceeds went to their chosen charity, JeepneED Inc. By doing this, they did not only make themselves happy from all the socializing and raffle prizes, but also the charity’s kids who will soon experience the wealth of education.

Tweetup is the new eyeball. Surely, we have heard of bloody stories that happened to people who met up with people they knew from online. As such, there is still the fear of danger in the lives of people who aren’t smart enough to distinguish who are good and bad people. Remember, crimes may possibly happen out of a tweetup even in modern times. For instance, the person you meet tries to win your heart with his wit and humor. When he does, he might try to make his intentions sound good even if it is not. The culprit’s succeeding action, as we say, is history. Let us practice vigilance even if this is a group gathering. It’s always better to keep yourself safe than sorry.

In a nutshell, Tweetups are fun and educational in one way or another. It is all about putting a face behind the Twitter ID and the 140 character status updates, turning online connections into physical and emotional connections, building relationships that go beyond the shapes of electronic devices.
Have you joined one or planning to? There’s a tweetup happening soon in Mercato Centrale (April 16), Bonifacio Global City. Follow me @GlennOng for updates on future tweetups.

This article is my eleventh contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on April 11, 2011 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here.


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