Twitterers Worldwide Gather for Twestival
In addition to collecting contributions online, Twestival events are using various methods to raise money for charity: water. Some are selling tickets, while others will have free admission and raffle off donated items. Ms. Rose also set up a streaming music site, called Twestival.fm to generate additional donations. Music fans can leave a donation in exchange for listening to songs donated by musicians like the experimental pop chanteuse Imogen Heap, the indie rockers Bloc Party and a Brazilian electro-outfit, Bonde do Role.
Real-world gatherings for online communities are nothing new: Diggnation, the popular weekly Web cast hosted by Digg’s founder, Kevin Rose, hosts live versions of his show that are a favorite among fans, and readers of an upstart blog for women, Jezebel.com, and even the raunchy-humored Fark.com have organized offline meetings.
Ms. Rose said that the Twitter community is particularly adept at mobilizing Internet activity into real-world action because the undercurrent of social currency is strong within the service’s ever-expanding community.
“You have a bit more of an audience when you Twitter something,” she said. If you do participate in Twestival — whether to donate using TipJoy, volunteer time or contribute ideas, “it doesn’t go unnoticed.”
She just hopes that Twitter, which was known for its frequent downtimes early in the Web site’s lifespan, stays up during Thursday’s event. “I checked this morning, and Twitter was down,” she laughed. “So I guess it goes to show you can’t be too reliant on technology.”