Tweetcamp’s Blog

Bringing Twitter Users Closer Together

How d’you Like them Apples??

walktheplankSo 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:

Addlestones Cider
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.


June 27, 2009 Posted by | Sponsors | , | Leave a comment

Coming to TweetCamp By Public Transport

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!

June 27, 2009 Posted by | Travelling | , , , | Leave a comment

Driving to TweetCamp

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.

ParadiseHaving 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!

June 27, 2009 Posted by | Travelling | , | Leave a comment

What to Bring, When to Come!

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

June 26, 2009 Posted by | General Information | , | 3 Comments

The Fun stuff happening at Tweetcamp

So Farhan explained in detail what the meat of Tweetcamp will be all about in his previous post. We’ll soon also send out a schedule of times and sessions etc which will help understand the format of the day.

I would like to point out some of the fun stuff that we’ve managed to pull together to keep things interesting on the day.

Big up to Farhan for insisting we have fun food! I was of the opinion that we get a whack of sarnies and Bob’s your uncle but Farhan convinced me we need to be more creative with our food. So we’ve lined up some:

•    Indian
•    Sushi
•    Sarnies
•    Muesli – thanks to Mymuesli
•    Snack platters
•    And of course hot drinks, cold drinks and some smoothies hopefully.

Free Cider
And while we’re talking about Cider, Addlestones have kindly sponsored some ciders and glassware schwag for us to enjoy on beautiful Richmond riverside (fingers crossed for sun!) after Tweetcamp!

Swap up
What could cause a lot of fun and interaction on the day is the Swap Up competition! All will be revealed at the event but all you need to know is that you must bring an item to swap at the event. It’ll link into a Twitter based competition that I have been working hard on to add more fun to the event.

Paypal competition
Paypal will be giving 50 quid to 10 attendees simply for Tweeting one Tweet! Easiest competition ever! I’ll give more details about this at the event as well.

We’ve got some of our world famous Goo for the Schwag bags! Anyone that was at Aperitweat will tell you just how much fun it is. Check out pictures of Goo creations here. You could add your creations as well if you like.

Poetry tweets
We’re teaming up with BBC poetry to create Twitter length poems on the day. There is more exciting detail to this story which I will tell you more about on Friday.

No self respecting event happens without a Schwag bag! We’ll have one for each of you and hope you will like the stuff inside.

Just writing this post makes me really excited about Saturday now!

Jon – @jonin60seconds

June 23, 2009 Posted by | General Information, TweetCamp | , , | 2 Comments

What to Expect at TweetCamp?

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?

June 23, 2009 Posted by | General Information, Organising, TweetCamp | , | 4 Comments