Posts Tagged ‘Twestival’

Can social media organise real life events?

May 8, 2009
I was watching The Gadget Show on Channel 5 the other day. One of the features on this particular episode was pitting site du jour Twitter up against long standing fave Facebook, and sought to answer which was the best tool to use to organise an event.
On a personal level, I use Twitter to keep up to date with journalists and other PRs I respect, as well as finding out daily news as and when it happens. I use Facebook for staying in touch with my friends and family who I don’t get to see very often.
Bradbury rallies the troops...

Bradbury rallies the troops...

But is it realistic to use social media to organise real life, actual events? I’d like to tentatively suggest no – for the following reasons:

  1. Lack of RSVPs – if you’re a hardcore party planner such as myself, you want to know exact numbers. Although Facebook says when friend have “confirmed to be attending”, and sites likes Twtvite are popping up on Twitter, there’s just not the same effort involved as actually replying to an RVSP.
  2. Lack of commitment – sure, you say you’re coming, but if you actually turn up or not is a whole different kettle of fish.
  3. Reliability – things can go wrong on sites – the wrong date or time can be posted and go unmissed, thus ruining the entire event! I’ve been there, done that but didn’t even get the T-shirt.

Of course there have been very successful events via social networks – this year’s Twestival is just one example. And we can hardly forget about the ‘the biggest water fight’ organised by Facebook in Leeds last year – which was promptly shut down by police.

Speaking to my friend Mike (@litmanlive), he had this to say about the Gadget Show event:

What fascinated me about this was over 200 people attended on the Twitter side vs a small handful in support of Facebook. 200+ people who read one of @jasonbradbury’s tweets online and made a pledge to attend an event offline during their lunch hour for which they knew very little about. The on and offline worlds transcended into one and it was actually quite exciting to be a part of. Do I think social media can be used for greater good? Without a doubt. Meaningful, thought provoking and engaging communications ala this, twestival, the digital red nose online recently for comic relief or any of the whole host of meetups, tweetups, or anything it seems that ends in -ups = WIN. 

So there we have it. A self confessed geek (his words, not mine) who thinks social media can organise real life events. And as for me – I think it’s a good starting point, but I’ll need a little more convincing.


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