I’m guessing you’ve arrived at this page, looking for more information about TweetCamp 😉
As it so happens, you’ve come to the right place.. Well almost! You see, this was the home of @TweetCamp back in 2009.. Fortunately, now, we’ve got a new home.. It’s at http://tweetcamp.org, and we’re still at @tweetcamp. So head on over there, and tweet away at us.. We look forward to seeing you, and your friends again!
So one of our sponsors, at TweetCamp, is Addlestones, makers of a Premium Cloudy Cider. It’s available both in bottles and draught, and to ensure that after a wonderful day of stimulating conversations the alcohol drinkers among us get to relax, and unwind, they’ve kindly supplied us with plenty of bottles, to make sure that we enjoy the beautiful summer weather that we’ve been blessed with lately, and the combination of the awesome location of TweetCamp, in Richmond, right along the river Thames!
Make sure that when the day ends, and you’re heading out the door that you grab your bottle of Addlestones. (If you ask nicely, we may even let you have more than one 😉 and of course, if you’re going to be driving, your welcome to take your bottles, and enjoy them responsibly once you get home! The folks over at Addlestones have just started using twitter, so if you enjoy their beverage, you may want to help them along with finding their feet on twitter @addlestones and give them pointers and suggestions on how they might use it 😉
And finally, some details about Addlestones, in their own words:
Brewed with locally-sourced bittersweet cider apples from Somerset, Addlestones is cloudy because it’s meant to be – its not filtered, which leaves live yeast and apple extracts in the liquid. Then it’s fermented twice to craft a cider with a unique effervescence and full-bodied taste. Addlestones is 5% ABV and available both on draught and in bottle in top pubs, including over 60 Youngs outlets. Elsewhere, Waitrose or your local off-licence is the best place to track it down.
If you’re coming to TweetCamp by public transport, be warned that the Tube service to Richmond, along the District Line, isn’t working from West Kensington, to Richmond.
That said, there are a number of excellent train connections, from Clapham Junction to Richmond, and also from Waterloo. If you are coming by Tube, I would suggest, if possible get the Northern Line, to Waterloo, and then get a fast train to Richmond, or take the District Line to Victoria, or Wimbledon, and then from either of those two stations, get a train to Clapham Junction, and then from there get the fast train to Richmond, or from Wimbledon, there’s also a train that goes directly to Richmond.
Seeing as I live in Wimbledon, if you go after the train to Clapham Junction, then use Platform 5, at Wimbledon, and then head across to Platform 5 at Clapham Junction. If from Wimbledon you choose to take the direct train to Richmond, make sure you have a travelcard or ticket extension that’s valid for zones 3,4,5 and 6 (as the train passes through all of them), and get that train from platform 8 at Wimbledon.
Travel time from Wimbledon is about 45 minutes either way. From Clapham Junction, the fast train will take you about 20 minutes.
Once you arrive at Richmond Train Station, as you come out of the station, you’ll see a huge red sign for McDonalds, pointing you to the left, so follow that sign. Walk along the main road, past McDonalds, until you get to the very end of the road. At one point the road forks, and there’s a Pret A Manger, on the left. Make sure you stay on the right fork, until you get to the end of the road.
At the very end, you want to stay to your left, cross over (you should see a Wagamama’s in front of you – get onto that side of the road), then walk along the road, as it goes uphill, past the All Bar One, and turn right, into a small road, with a Matches, on the opposite corner, and a black Signpost on the corner. Whittaker House, is the big white building on the right, with the Athenian Pillars in front of it, and you go to the door, right at the end of the road, and find your way into Gumtree 😉 We look forward to welcoming you to TweetCamp, once you arrive!! See you all shortly!
If you’re coming to TweetCamp by car, then plan to spend between £10 and £12 pound for parking. Less if you plan on staying less than the full event.
Having scouted out the area, the best value in parking comes from the Paradise Road, Multi-Storey Car Park.
I took a few pics, of the car park, though unfortunately at night, but it’s clearly signposted as you come into Richmond, and just head for the Town Centre.
It should be ok to park your car in there all day, from as early as 7.30am. Just make sure that you leave the Car Park before midnight, which, if you’re driving, probably shouldn’t be too much of a problem 😉
The cost of parking is £7.50 for 6 hours, £10 for upto 9 hours, and £12 for over 9 hours. It’s also just a short walk from Gumtree’s Offices, in Whittaker House, on Whittaker Avenue.
Once you’ve parked here, just come back onto the main road, and keep walking down this road, and just follow it all the way down, to the Odeon cinema, where the road will split into a T-Junction. Take the left fork, (you should be directly opposite the Wagamama’s and have Waterstones on your left, and then walk down the main road, on the left (it’s a good idea to cross over to the other side, at the traffic lights. And then on your right hand side, straight after the All Bar One, you should be on Whittaker Avenue. Turn right down here, and then walk to the end of the road, and you’ll find Gumtree’s Offices, the last ‘Office’ Building, on the right, as the square ends.
Hope that helps, with finding your way here. And if you know of any cheaper parking, that you can use all day, then do let the rest of us know 😉 Otherwise, I’m guessing most folks driving in will prefer the convenience of one car park, where they can just leave their car, rather than having to leave to move it every two hours 😉 If you happen to only be coming for two hours, or want to move your car closer to the venue there is a Basement NCP car park directly opposite Whittaker House, which is open for public use. The only downside with it, is that you can only park in there for upto 2 hours at a time, until 6.30pm. After 6.30pm, it’s a fixed price, for the rest of the evening.
Hope that helps, and isn’t up here too late for you to make use of. See you soon!
So, we hope you’re all as excited about TweetCamp this Saturday (27th of June 2009) as we are.
There’s been a lot happening behind the scenes.. most of which we’ll be revealing to you on the day, but to make sure you get to join in as much as possible, we wanted to give you a checklist of things to bring, and the lowdown, of how the day’s gonna play out.
So firstly, all important items to bring with you to TweetCamp:
Yourself – most important 😉 If you bring nothing but you, you’ll do just fine 😉 We’ll make sure you have an awesome time, as long as you’re in a sociable mood 😉
Your ‘About Me’ – Tweet.. Start thinking about how you would introduce yourself in a tweet or two.
Your swap item
Any Laptops, Flips, Camcorders, Digital Cameras, Mobile Tweeting Devices, and power supplies
(we’ll have a secure wifi network that you can log onto)
Your mobile phones, set up to send SMS updates to your twitter account.
A brief outline of our day:
Saturday morning –
8.30am – 9am – Volunteers Briefing
9.30am – guests arrive, breakfast is served
10.15am – 10.30am welcome, intro’s, competitions for day
10.30am – 11.15am group facilitated discussion
11.15am – 1.15pm self-organised group discussions
1.15pm – 1.30pm group sharing
1.30pm – 2pm Lunch
2pm – 4pm self-organised group discussions
4pm – 4.15pm group sharing
4.15pm – 4.30pm snacks/tea
4.30pm – 5.30pm self-organised group discussions
5.30pm – 6pm group sharing, competitions, and wrap up.
6pm – 6.30pm – people leave – head onto somewhere local for drinks
We know many of you are all eagerly looking forward to TweetCamp, this Saturday, and some of you are wondering just what to expect?? Especially if you’re a regular BarCamper, who knows the score when it comes to traditional BarCamp type events.
So, apologies for not communicating this sooner, but just wanted to share a little bit about what to expect from TweetCamp, what to bring, and what we hope to accomplish out of it.
The aim, is to bring people together in person who know each other through Twitter, but don’t necessarily know each other well in person.
Given that, of the people coming, there is the full spectrum of people who have never been to an unconference style event before, aren’t technical, and just use twitter as a social tool. There will also be hard core geeks and techies who make social platforms that use twitter, and regularly go to unconference style events. It’ll be an interesting mix of people, with one thread in common we all use twitter 😉
Unlike previous BarCamp events, where there’s been a high level of structure to the day, and clear starting and stopping of sessions, TweetCamp won’t be so defined in the same way. Since we’re not focussing on the ‘learning and sharing’ element of BarCamp as much as building relationships with people we know, we want for people to take as little or as long as they need to have the conversations they want to have with the people they want to talk with.
Already, you might have some ideas of the types of conversations you want to have, and who you want to meet, and hang out with, and if you don’t that’s fine too 😉 There’ll be plenty of people there who will be having interesting conversations, and will warmly welcome you to join them!
As with all BarCamps, the principle of two feet rules! Which means if you decide you don’t enjoy the discussion you’re in, then vote with your feet, and walk out of one discussion, and find one that you enjoy, or start your own.
We genuinely want for people to engage, and talk about things, but we want to discourage people from presenting, and giving talks and speeches. Think more fireside chat, or interactive Q&A, only there’ll be no fires, and no panelists. Just participants, and interested listeners 😉
Gumtree’s Offices, our venue, has a great large open space where we can fit everyone into one room, and then we have some smaller spaces, with long tables, round tables, and alcoves.
On the day of TweetCamp, we wanted to start off with some general twitter based discussions, to help break the ice, get people talking, and because everyone will have something to say about that topic. Then after a bit of facilitated discussion in the main room (think conversation cafe), help people find the folks they want to talk to, and have the conversations they want to have, throughout the rest of the day.
We figured a little bit of facilitated chatter about Twitter, how people use it, what they use it for etc.. will be a good warm up conversation to get people talking, and be the easiest way of breaking the ice, and getting as many people as possible talking with each other.
Once we finish with the introductory conversations, there’ll be some more ‘hosted’/facilitated discussions on the subject of twitter, and some creative twitter conversations, such as tweeting poems, for people that want them, in the larger room. But we figure that there’ll be tons of non-twitter conversations happening as well, and that’s where we hope the community really becomes very distinct and unique in the many different things people talk about, and in doing so, help people to get to know each other better in person, and have more than just 140 character exchanges of tweets.
We’ll have a physical wall, with all the locations written on, and we’ll have post-it’s for people to post the twitter ID’s of people that are chatting where. Ideally we can co-ordinate everything through twitter, but just in case twitter fails, (not that that’s ever happened before ;)), we thought it best to have a paper version of twitter happening, to track peoples locations/interests and movements.
We’ll encourage people to use twitter to keep their current status upto-date, when they settle into a conversation they like, so that others can find and join them, as the day progresses. To that end, it’ll be a good idea, to set your twitter up, with your mobile phone, so you can at least send an SMS update from your mobile to twitter, about where you are, or what you’re talking about.
Of course if you have laptops, or devices that can use the local WiFi, we will have a wifi network running, that you’ll all have access to, so feel free to bring your devices with you, if you really want them. There will be a few machines, and laptops that will be available for public use, but if you want to live stream your conversations, a laptop and webcam, would probably help, unless you plan on live Qik’ing instead 😉
This is an ‘experiment’ with the BarCamp model, the unconference model, the conversation cafe model, and just our desire to know our fellow tweeple better. So we can’t exactly predict how it will turn out, what will work, and what won’t. But if you’re game for an adventure, and willing to contribute both with actively listening to others, and sharing your own wisdom, then we hope just the right mix will come together to make something altogether a little different, and a little bit special.
Of course, if having read this, you decide that you’re just not ready to experiment, and help co-create the first tweetcamp, then by all means, let us know so we can re-allocate your ticket to someone from the waiting list. We won’t take it personally 😉 Promise 😉 Equally, if you weren’t planning on coming, and suddenly are inspired with the vision of what we want to accomplish, get yourself onto the waiting list, by emailing jon[dot]bishop[at]gumtree[dot]com and we’ll see if we can squeeze you in 😉
The only thing we can guarantee with TweetCamp is what time it will start, that we’ll feed you breakfast and lunch, with some drinks and snacks, and that we’ll provide the wifi, and skeleton of a conversation to get you started. The rest is all down to who turns up, and who joins in 😉 But then life would be ever so dull, if ‘everything’ was so predictable don’t you think?
So, we’ve been busy, beavering away in the background, putting the word out, and speaking with people, about sponsoring TweetCamp, and we’re excited to announce, Sun Startup Essentials have come on board, and will be sponsoring TweetCamp!
Stewart Townsend, a familiar face in London’s Tech Startup Community, and Manager of Sun’s Startup Essentials for the EMEA Region, is someone who you should most definitely follow on Twitter, if you’re not already following him (@stewarttownsend).
He often hosts events for various groups within the Tech Community, at Sun Microsystems Customer Briefing Centre, near Monument, including the Facebook Developers Garage, the Twitter Developer Nest, BarCamp Bank, Bootstrap Camp, and not forgetting their very own Startup Essentials Meetup to name but a few 😉
So aside from Stewart making sure that Sun are thoroughly supporting excellent events in and around London, Sun actually offer some great tools, support, information, and help in terms of Tech infrastructure, training, networking, and exposure for startups in the tech sector, that might need some solid infrastructure, and support, at those early developmental stages.
In their own words here’s a little more specific information about the program:
Gain these benefits now –
>> Aggressively discounted hardware, storage and MySQL licenses
>> Discounted Hosting offers
>> Global PR and outreach
>> Startups Ask Sun – Free technical support services
>> Free Training
>> Networking, community collaboration – Connect with investors
>> Discounted Event Tickets
>> Listed in the Startup Directory – Exposure on Sun.com
Join Sun startup Essentials today at uk.sun.com/startup
If you’re a tech startup, and need a solid infrastructure to support you in those early, delicate stages, then you may find Sun to be the perfect partner for you. It’s definitely worth taking a look! Once again, thanks to Sun for being a sponsor for TweetCamp!
We’ve already got over 150 people signed up to attend TweetCamp, and if you’d like to discuss sponsoring TweetCamp, and putting yourself in front of this amazing diverse community of people who through Twitter are tweeting up a storm, then do get in touch with us, either by tweeting us @tweetcamp, or by emailing Jon at (jon.bishop [at] gumtree [dot] com ).
So, we finally secured our first sponsor, who has gladly given us use of their offices, thank you Gumtree!! Huge thanks to @cyberdees and @jonin60seconds, who have both managed to twist Gumtree managements arm into letting us hold our first ever TweetCamp in their offices 😉 They’ve also now joined the “organising committe”, which at present consists of me
So, we’ve got Gumtree’s Offices in Richmond as our Venue (Right near the River, in Whittaker House, and only 10 minutes walk from the Richmond Train and Tube Station).
The date is 27th June 2009. TweetCamp will be running from 10am till 6pm, and then we’ll probably be heading off someplace for drinks afterwards.
Now all we need is some lovely sponsors, to make sure we can feed everyone, and keep everyone well stocked with snacks, and food throughout the day 😉 We’ve already got our first food sponsor on board, MyMuesli, who provide custom muesli cereal combinations delivered to your door, and now, we’re on the prowl for more money. Or to be more exact, more money to buy you all food 😉 We figure it’s not going to be a proper BarCamp without Lunch put on by us, and so we’re putting the word out for sponsors. If you know anyone that has a company that would like to get profiled, by associating themselves with TweetCamp, then do get in touch. Ideally you can tweet us, or you can drop Jon an email at (jon.bishop [at] gumtree [dot] com ) 😉
We decided to keep TweetCamp to a one day event, seeing as it’s the first time we’re running it, but after this, if there’s the interest in running more of them, then there will definitely be more great events like this to look forward to 😉
As well as sponsors for food, if you have prizes, or gifts that you’d like to contribute, we know that the schwag bags will definitely be that much more exciting with some wonderful goodies thrown in from a few more sponsors. And we’re planning on having competitions and games throughout TweetCamp, so if there’s any donors or sponsors out there that would like to donate a few prizes they’ll all be gratefully accepted for the event too.
Now the only bits we need to make this event a thriving success, is you as participants, and a few volunteers to help make sure everything runs smoothly, upto, during, and after the event 😉 The first batch of tickets has already gone out, with all 50 that were released being taken up with a matter of hours. Which is pretty impressive, given that we didn’t actually announce them too far in advance. The next 50 tickets, will all be released next week, only this time we’re going to be spreading them out to 10 tickets per day, at different times of the day. The hope is that it means more people will get a chance to get hold of a ticket, and it gives everyone a fair chance to grab a ticket. (Your best bet is to keep an eye out for announcements on @tweetcamp, since we’ll always announce the tickets before releasing them on http://tweetcamp.eventbrite.com)
In the meantime, keep an eye out for more news from us via the twittersphere, this blog, or the wiki, where we’ll try to co-ordinate all the participants, and start coming up with some interesting ways of stimulating discussions, on the day 😉
But please remember, that a BarCamp, is a co-creative event. Everyone that comes is both a participant, as well as a presenter. And with that in mind, we really want you to think about what you want to take away from the event, and what you want to contribute to the event yourself. It’s not just about what you take away, it’s also about what you give 😉
So, there’s been some interesting discussions, that I’ve been having with BarCampers, around TweetCamp. Some have been talking about how they already know all the people they follow on twitter, and don’t need to meet them in person, others that there isn’t necessarily a need to organise an entire BarCamp, and that we should have an even more informal, unstructured, get together in a park and just talk.
In response to those ideas and suggestions, and feedback, I just want to say thank you. It’s all very useful, and helps make clearer what TweetCamp isn’t and why it probably isn’t going to be the same as a BarCamp.
Just to clarify, for people that might be new to all this, “Camp” stuff – BarCamp has been defined as:
“an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from participants who are the main actors of the event.”
which in essence is what we’re trying to accomplish. However, whilst the spirit of BarCamp is this open, self-organising nature of an event, the reality of the experience of BarCamps in London, has been that it primarily draws together people working with technology, or deeply interested in technology, and so you have a large proportion of geeks, hackers, hard core techies, and very few “regular” people, who aren’t interested in becoming one of those..
In contrast to the mainstream BarCamp community, TweetCamp is all about conversations, debates and discussions. And when I say that, I don’t mean like Social Media Camp, which focuses on discussions around Social Media, and the use of Social Media, and related technologies. No, I’m talking about sitting around and just having a good old fashioned barney, a natter, a chinwag. It’s about finding things that you have in common with people that you already know, loosely, through twitter, but perhaps never had the chance to spend a few hours hanging out with and chatting to, without getting drunk, and partying in the process. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, we enjoy it as much as the next person 😉 We just want to be able to have time for more conversations in person, whilst we’re sober too 😉
TweetCamp is a bit of an experiment, in that we don’t believe anything like this has ever happened before. A point that was raised during the excellent Media140 event organised by Ande (known as @dailytwitter) was how tools like twitter really work best, when re-inforced with in person meetings with the people you’re talking virtually with. So seizing on the opportunity to bring approx 150 people together, who may or may not know each other through twitter, let’s see what happens when we bring together a group of people loosely connected by nothing more than the conversations they have in common.