A Reason to Tweetup

“You mean, there’s a face-to-face side of this whole Twitter thing?” a colleague asked me recently.

Yes. If you like.

So why bother attending a Tweetup? Many moons ago (back in ’96 or so) I used to hop along to different new media meetups. In fact, at one point I even  found myself coordinating a few for artists wanting to learn more about new media. People swapped ideas and business cards while they discovered new ways to turn multimedia projects into something remarkable.

These days, Tweetups are another good way to swap ideas and business cards. But this time, you get to meet people you have already met…through Twitter. People from all walks of life. Business connections. Personal connections. And a chance to talk about social media and the things you would like to learn from/do business using/create art with new technologies.

These days I don’t get along to as many events as I used to. And while social networking helps to fill the gap between working part time, caring for my family and pursuing my passions, I still enjoy meeting and hearing what people have to say at these tweetups.

So, as someone who doesn’t make it along to every social media shindig, I was thankful for the number of people who supported a fundraising party for Epic Change at Tweetsgiving in Melbourne last November. Stacey Monk dreamed it up and Avi Kaplan coordinated events globally. Regular monthly evening tweetup TweetupMellers offered to host the event (hat tip Sam Mutimer), and weekly city tweetup Social Melbourne promoted it on their Facebook page (hat tip Kate Kendall).  Even Brent Masters from Change The World came along and took some videos of gratitude on the night, featuring @sammutimer, @drwarwick, @digitalkulcha, @howard61, @georgiawatson, @mattimck, @geehall1 and some girl who rants and rambles on a bit at the end.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn-8_xSHQnI]

After meeting so many locals using social media to make a difference, it only seems right to continue the conversation (and to swap more ideas, and more business cards.) Announcing…<drumroll>…. a Melbourne Netsquared local group for those of you wanting to talk about using social media for social good.  At this stage we are looking at a venue in the east as many interested parties find it difficult to get into the city. The first meetup/tweetup is planned for Tuesday April 13th and we already have a number of RSVPs.

You can join and read more about the Melbourne NetSquared meetup group. We will only be meeting every quarter, but to keep the momentum going you can attend a weekly eastern Tweetup #mescm at the same place and time which Patricia Dodd and David Warwick are starting up. Once we can find a suitable venue for coffee and breakfast around Blackburn-ish, with wifi that is.

There are Net Tuesday events all around the worldincluding Canberra and Sydney, thanks to Amy Sample Ward at NetSquared. Thanks Amy for making it so simple to get one started over here! I think it’s a great reason, with a purpose, to Tweetup.

While you might not be able to make every tweetup, you might discover some interesting people if you hop along to SocialMelb (Friday mornings, City) or TweetupMellers (monthly Thursday nights, Windsor) or #mescm (Tuesday mornings, eastern burbs TBD).

There are plenty of tweetups to choose around Australia and the world. You never know what creative projects you might dream up or join in as a result. Personally, meeting people from Twitter has helped me to raise funds for different nonprofits, given me speaking engagement opportunities and introduced me to some wonderful creative do-gooders and resources. It is “social” networking after all :)

What’s your experience? Have Tweetups been useful for you?