The recent Tweetcamp event was organised by Farhan Rehman (@farhan), Dees Chinniah (@cyberdees), and Jon Bishop (@jonin60seconds), I just ran around with a microphone on the day, and chatted with Farhan before hand! It was far from being another BarCamp. While many familiar faces from the social media space came along, it also reached people who hadn’t been to any sort of unconference before.
The idea that a community can get together and self-organise an event is still a refreshing one, but when Farhan first suggested the idea of Tweetcamp I knew it was going to be something a bit different, pushing at the boundaries between the on-line and off-line world. What was it about? I’ll let Farhan explain:
TweetCamp is about bringing communities together, in real life. It’s about accelerating the conversations that happen on Twitter, in real life. It’s about creating richer, more personal connections… …It’s all about bringing the people together who you know from and through Twitter, into a physical space, and then having some of those great conversations and interactions you would have online, but in real life.
You can get a feel for the day by watching the video I put together:
The process of on-line to off-line bridging is something I pursue in the corporate space. On-line platforms work best with people who have met off-line and interacted face-to-face. Similarly, on-line tools let people sustain relationships when time and distance – from remote working or hectic schedules – would otherwise curtail them. Tweetcamp was an opportunity to experiment with different ways of stimulating discussion and self-organising a very large group (about 150 people or so).
Amy Sample Ward has challenged the team to build on this start at bridging on-line and off-line communities in her thoughtful post. The conversations and activities were very varied. I met someone I knew by swapping a toilet seat for a wonderful water spray – you had to be there. You’ll also hear Ray mentioned in the video. He is a poet and ran a poetry workshop. Inevitably he was ‘dragged’ on to Twitter, where you can now find him as @TheEducatedfool. He was there as part of the BBC poetry initiative, which came up with an innovative live idea for the event, linking Tweetcamp to Glastonbury via Twitter. People tweeted short poems from the event, which were displayed live over there. I told you it wasn’t your usual barcamp!
As well as a wonderful lunch, and Muesli, from sponsors Mymuesli, Addlestones provided a wonderful end to the day with their cider. A big thank you to all of the sponsors. The day wasn’t about the food though, it was about the conversations, which covered topics as diverse as children’s use of the Internet to internal business communications, and a range of other topics between.