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.