What happened at Preston Tweetup?

One of the break-off groups at Preston Tweetup

One of the break-off groups at Preston Tweetup

I really didn’t know what to expect when I floated the idea of Preston Tweetup and it just goes to show how a decent idea can really go places when people get on board. The night itself generated a fantastic response and fantastic ideas.

Now, what to do with all the great ideas that are floating around on Twitter?

1. Collate and upload onto a wiki

2. Present to Steve Parkinson the Head of Communications at PCC, then possibly to other relevant staff/councillors

3. Maybe ask specific people to expand on their ideas and develop them further?

Using twitter in the room. It was noisy! I think some people had a vision of a tweetup being very quiet, with everyone sitting around on laptops/mobiles and not speaking to one another. It was the complete opposite.

As Chris Skoyles blogged after the event, he was taken aback at just how ‘social’ the social media event was. Damn straight.

And that’s exactly how sites like Twitter should be used; putting the emphasis on the social element of social media/technology.

Yes, a bunch of people did meet up in a pub tonight to post stuff on the Internet, but isn’t that far less anti-social than staying home and doing the same?

Martin Rue added his voice about ‘why Preston Tweetup was cool’:

Reflecting on the event, it was insightful to see an event where conversation was indeed that – conversing with peers without heavy debate or argument. Perhaps it was the subject area, perhaps the people, perhaps the cool name.

And the Preston Writers Network have also done a great write-up of the event and it seems there could be a Guild related literature/writing project on the cards:

I sense a PWN Guild Project brewing – collecting stories via a creative tweet-up: memories of PGs past, and collecting your wildest imaginings for PG 2032 – what kind of Preston will we have created for ourselves by then?

From our point of view the event was a success. The conversation was flowing, but people got it – posting snippets/ideas onto twitter and these were cascading in real-time on Twitterfall (thanks to Jeremy, phpcodemonkey for hooking this up). We estimate there were around 500 tweets during the course of the evening, but some of these were coming from people who weren’t even in the room – it was definitely an inclusive event.

There were two conversations going on, one in the room and the other being played out on twitter, in real-time, in living rooms, bedrooms, trains, wherever there was wireless access, not just in Preston but anywhere that was interested in #prestontweetup.

The LEP photographer got some of us to pose for a suitable cheesey pic at the start, and to their credit the LEP were giving it some on twitter about the Tweetup and posting a couple of pictures on Tweetpic!

This event showed that there is an appetite for social media in Preston and that there’s some incredible ideas out there among the people of Preston – spanning all generations (I think the age range in the room was 16-60!).

What’s the future for Preston Tweetup? We don’t want overkill. I think once a quarter, with a different topic each time, would work really well. It’s a great chance to get people from all different backgrounds, sectors and business’ discussing one topic. As one person commented to me, they’d gone in the space of 30 minutes from chatting to someone with an arts background, to a businessman, to a student, to a teacher!

Preston Tweetup was an example of Britain 2.0, connected, constructive and creative.

Thanks to all who came and a huge thank you to Ruth and Jeremy at the New Continental for providing the venue and thank you to Emma and Colin at Stage 9 Marketing for sponsoring the event, taking part and providing everyone with a free drink to start the night with!

I’d really appreciate your comments below about the night, whether you attended physically or virtually, and your thoughts on the format and topic for the next event.


Geekup Preston @ Forum Bar

Made it along to Geekup Preston on Monday 16th February 2009 at Forum Bar in the centre of the city.

It was a good night and there was a great turnout, “the biggest ever!” enthused Gemma Cameron (ruby_gem).

The power of twitter and also a bit of a plug from Preston Blog seemed to have done the trick as Preston’s web community came together to discuss all things geeky and not so geeky.

I had a good catch-up with Leyland based web developer Les Cochrane about a project my organisation has employed him to do. UCLan’s web services team also had a few people/and ex-people there so it was good to speak to them and find out what they were up to.

Also met a Wigan based graphic designer, Kerry Sholicar, who is on the hunt for some new projects.

There was also cake, which is a huge bonus. I think there were around 40 people there over the course of the night, including two student journalists. One who had come on the hunt for me (cheers Aidan!) and another from a Geek magazine that they are setting up as part of their course. Not sure if it’ll overtake Wired at any point as the geek’s favoured read but not a bad idea for magazine.

I’m not sure if Forum is the best place to host the event, it seemed a little too big for an event of that size – and I was expecting there to be some sort of presentation or something at some point? But it’s a brilliant chance to network with a community of web professionals.

The next Preston Geekup is being held on Monday 16th March 2009 at Forum bar.

A bit of a geek? Get along to Preston Geekup

Snap from a previous Preston Geekup event

Snap from a previous Preston Geekup event

If you like your web/technology and want to meet like-minded people and talk tech then get along to Preston Geekup at Forum on Tuesday 16th February 2009.

It’s part of the Geekup web community that organises meet-ups of people who work in web development, web design or any other web/tech related industry.

There’s no charge for attending, they just ask that you buy your own beer and apparently there may be some free cake at the event. Massive win.

You can confirm your attendance via Upcoming, find out more about Geekup or fire a tweet at the organiser @ruby_gem on Twitter.