We’ve already seen that Twitter is turning into a source of breaking news. But it’s also clearly turning into a way of organising social movements extremely quickly. “Tweetup” (as in a meetup facilitated by Twitter) has passed into common parlance amongst regular users but now the concept has spawned a global event for charity which will involve nearly 50 U.S. cities among over 100 worldwide, including Beijing, Tel Aviv and Beirut. Twestival, on Thursday 12 February, will happen over a 24 hour period in a kind of tweetathon – except it is Twitter-organised meetups that people will be hitting, not phone lines. And the whole thing came together over Twitter inside 24 hours.
Lead organiser Amanda Rose told me that because of Twitter’s viral nature it took only 24 hrs to get the the main 40 cities organised, and the rest followed shortly after. There are now over 100 Twestival cities, including London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Sydney, Melbourne, and Lima. The London event sold out tickets in 24 hours. The events will be raising money to support Charity:Water, a not-for-profit organisation bringing safe drinking water to people in developing countries.
Twestival started out as a one-off event in London last September. It’s come a long way.
It may not be Live Eight but Twestival is just the latest “tweetup with a cause”. One December has already lead to an initiative to clothe homeless people through Winter in Vancouver, and there are certain to be many more, less publicised, events in the future.