Posts Tagged ‘Twestival


Sydney Twestival 2011

I was one of the volunteer organisers of the Sydney Twestival last year. Twestival 2011 was a couple of nights ago, and while I didn’t volunteer this year I did buy a ticket and go along to the Sydney event.

It was a great event. There were obviously folks with much more PR experience involved this time around: the place was packed. It was held in the courtyard at the Beresford Hotel in Surry Hills, and the buzz was genuine. It was difficult to move without bumping into folks, there were several raffles and auctions, and they raised what appeared to be lots of money for kids’ cancer charity Redkite.

Well done, folks. The night was further proof that social media is one more excellent way to get folks together to help out a worthy cause.

I even met some cool new folks, and managed to get into a gig later in the night.


Twestival Global 2010 In Liberia

Earlier this year I volunteered for the Sydney contribution to Twestival, the global Twitter effort to help raise money and awareness for the education programs of charity Concern Worldwide.

That effort has not gone to waste. Here are some of the things that Concern has done with that money since then, plus a video.

Liberia, Senyah Town: School Construction
Thanks to Twestival 2010 funding, approximately 3,000 families in Senyah Town will benefit directly from a brand new school. Construction of a safe six-classroom school is underway, and will include new latrines and a hand-pump well for safe water, as well as a staff room and principal’s office. Twestival funding will also provide the classrooms with desks, chairs, and blackboards.

Burundi, Cibitoke Province: Improving Access and Quality for Extremely Poor and Marginalized Primary School Children
The project, funded with donations from Twestival 2010, will train 56 teachers in 56 schools in Citiboke, one of the poorest rural areas of Burundi. The project will also repair and rehabilitate 2 primary schools, benefiting 1,941 children who would otherwise have no access to education.

Haiti, Port-au-Prince: Child Friendly Spaces
Twestival funds will allow Concern to train 200 new teachers and give 14,600 displaced, earthquake-affected children access to education as well as psychosocial support and a safe place to play in camps in Port-au-Prince.

Malawi, Nsanje District: Education for Girls and Vulnerable Children
In one of the most impoverished districts of Malawi, Concern will use Twestival funds to bring education to 18,736 out-of-school girls and vulnerable children. The project will also provide training to 197 teachers and 500 School Management Committees and PTA members, and will work to establish community support for education through mother’s groups and child protection committees.

Vodpod videos no longer available. Twestival Global 2010 In Liberia, posted with vodpod


This will only mean something to Canadians

At the Twestival the other night I met a very nice Australian woman who helped out as a volunteer. Her name was Casey Finigan.



I haven’t blogged in the last week because most of my spare moments have been spent preparing for the Sydney Twestival (I blogged about this back in February). I was helping with media, but like all volunteer efforts, you need to pitch in with whatever on the night. I’m glad that there were other volunteers a whole lot more resourceful and dedicated than I was, too.

The night was a whole lot of fun. I would have liked more people there, but as the media and PR person I can only point at myself. Still, we raised as much money as last year, and Twestival globally has collected more money than last year. That’s a good thing, because the charity we Twitter folk were raising for – Concern Worldwide – does really good work.

If you want to know more about Twestival, which is now an annual global Twitter event, and how to join – or start! – a Twestival near you, click here.

To read about Concern and their education programs in developing countries, click here.

To read the blog (most of which has my hand in it) about the Sydney event, read backwards from here.

To see what we were tweeting on the night in Sydney, click here.


Across Australia

I was on a whirlwind tour of new Australian cities in the previous two days, for work.

On Thursday morning I flew (about 4.5 hours) to Perth, getting there at mid-day, having meetings and dinner, and then flying out at about 11pm.

It took about 3.5 hours to get back to Sydney, but with the time change it was just after 6am local time on Friday when I got back. I had no time to go home, though. After a shower and a change and some breakfast I was airborne again, this time for Canberra. It’s only an hour flight to the capital; I’d normally drive it, but I knew I’d be knackered after the redeye from Perth.

I spent only a handful of hours in Canberra, and then it was back to Sydney by 5pm. Even then I couldn’t go home: I went directly to a Twestival planning meeting and then a gig.

I slept well when I finally did go home after that, though.

No rest today, though: it was sunny so we hit the road to see Palm Beach and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.


Sydney Bloggers Meetup

Last night I attended my second Sydney Bloggers Meetup. Like the first one, it was at The Arthouse Hotel. Also, like the first one, it…wasn’t over-attended.

But there were new faces, included someone whose stuff I’ve read at ScienceBlogs: Tim Lambert at Deltoid. That was very cool, as I’d seen Tim’s ongoing battle with the climate denialism of newpaper The Australian. I spoke to him briefly on the recent increase in denialism due to the media throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

The lovely Catherine from Domestic Joy was there again, too. My London blogging experience with food bloggers was that I sometimes got to ride their coattails to foodie events. I’ll be sticking close!

I was also asked to speak to the gathered few about my experiences with Twitter, and about the upcoming Sydney Twestival [web page | facebook | twitter].

The only downside to the evening was that – due to an overzealous doorman’s dress-code application at the admittedly swish Arthouse – I had to sneak my shorts-wearing self up the back stairs. He gave me a dirty look when he saw me leave, but TOO LATE, SUCKER!

I definitely plan to keep up with the Sydney Bloggers. The conversations are always good, and there’s certainly room to grow it.


Sydney Twestival

On March 25th, cities around the world will hold Twitter Festivals (Twestivals) to show that social media can have social impact. We’ll be gathering to raise awareness and funds for Concern Worldwide, a charity that does lots of good work around the world. The focus of this fundraising will be on their education programs.

I’m helping out with the Sydney Twestival. The venue, entertainment, and fun will be set soon. For now, you should follow Sydney Twestival and Concern on Twitter, and become a Sydney Twestival fan on Facebook.

Much more to come!



Last night’s London event for Twestival was really cool. I had a blast chatting with people I know well, a couple I’d only spoken to once or twice before, and some brand new folks.

We raised a bunch of cash for children’s helpline ChildLine. We saw a bunch of live bands at the cavernous complex that is Vinopolis. And we showed that Twitterers are a pretty sociable bunch. Technology seems to be as a driver as any other for getting socially conscious people together.

I’m glad to see Twestivals are catching on all over.

London Twestival DJ room. Photo from Adam Tinworth via Creative Commons license

London Twestival DJ room. Photo from Adam Tinworth via Creative Commons license


Twestival Local London in aid of ChildLine

Remember when I attended the last London Twestival? It was an example of how Twitter folks can gather together for fun and do so with a social conscience.

There’s another Twestival on Thursday. This time it’s in aid of ChildLine (the free 24-hour counselling service for UK kids). I have my ticket and plan to have some fun.

From the Twestival page:

Every single penny of the money you spend on tickets to Twestival Local London goes directly to funding ChildLine’s work answering calls from distressed children in London.

Come and enjoy…

  • Entertainment from The Hours (fresh from their tour with U2), joined by OneTaste (London’s renowned music and spoken word collective) and The Parks Dept, plus three great DJs

Twestival: first well drilled in Ethiopia

Remember Twestival, the water charity event I attended in February? Result: in Ethiopia they’ve drilled the first well funded by that event.


Vodpod videos no longer available.