(See 01/05/15 update at end)
As I meant to say in my opening Off Message post, while this blog will mainly be about matters media, I’ve given myself permission to break every so often with this self-imposed tradition.
This is one such digression.
A couple of years ago I wrote a piece for the now-defunct World Irish website on tweetups. As the post is no longer available and I’m organising one again for the first time in about a year, I figured I might post something here, not only about this upcoming one, but also as a general reference for those coming across the term for the first time.
So first, what’s a tweet up? Simples, it’s a social get-together – a meet up, if you will – arranged over Twitter.
Anyone can organise one and for any reason – business or pleasure. All you need is somewhere to hold it and a reason for people to turn up; how you sort the rest of the detail is up to you.
I’ve run a number of them in Dublin over the years. There was never a specific reason, no hidden agenda, no hard sell, just a few bevies, some nibbles and hopefully the odd half-decent conversation – in fact, sometimes the odder the better.
And it’s not exactly hard work…or rocket science.
I usually start by throwing out a few tweets and DMs (direct messages, not visible in public) to see when might suit the hardy regulars.
Then I find a venue, ideally one willing to provide some free finger food and do a deal on drinks for the pleasure of our company – you’d be surprised how many will if you ask.
Not of course that your tweetup has to be in a public hostelry; where you chose to hold it is entirely your call.
After that it’s just a matter of posting a handful of tweets with details that people will hopefully retweet to their followers, letting as many people know as possible.
For good measure I stick it up on Facebook too…share and share alike, innit?
So why organise one? I know people who’d rather gouge their eyes out than spend an evening in a room full of noisy strangers trying to make small talk. But I like the mix of both fresh and familiar folk they tend to attract. I’ve always met new interesting people at the ones I’ve been to and have put faces to avatars of Twitter accounts I’ve interacted with online but never met in real life.
Plus, they get me out of the house for the night.
And while some folk who arrange them insist on RSVPs, I never have; whoever turns up, turns up.
I like to live dangerously.
So if you’re on Twitter at the moment keep an eye out for the #Dubtweetup1107 hashtag.
The easiest way to find out what it’s all about, of course, is to click the tag and have a look at the various conversations around it but let me save you the bother.
A couple of weeks back I asked a few friends on Twitter about sorting a tweetup on one of the World Cup rest days.
#Dubtweetup1107 was born.
If you had enough of the ubiquitous soccerball over the past fortnight or just need a final respite before the last two games of the tournament then stick #Dubtweetup1107 in your diary.
It’s on Friday July 11th from about 7.30pm at Alfie Byrne’s in the Conrad Hotel on Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2.
You can if you want yabber all night about the beautiful game and how Brazil 2014 has been a fantastic tournament. Or you can take it as an opportunity to ignore and avoid all talk of cooling breaks, penalty shoot outs and passing percentages.
Either way the television screens will be footie-free for the night.
To tempt you further, there’ll be free finger food and discounted Irish craft beer.
So tell your friends, whether via Twitter, Facebook, text or, perish the thought, face to face…the more, the merrier.
You don’t have to be on Twitter to attend, but it’s no harm to know what it is.
For updates keep an eye on my Twitter account @patomahony1 and watch out for the #Dubtweetup1107 hashtag.
In the meantime, any questions, holler…it’s what the comments section below was invented for.