Phillip Smith

Twestival Buenos Aires: Social meets social conscience.

Twestival Beunos Aires banner

Cross-posted from Two bulls in a china shop.

It's hard to believe that it's been a week and a day since Melanie and I fixed our resolve, swallowed our timidity, and jumped right in to Twestival Buenos Aires. Our joint objective: To not embarrass ourselves or our respective nations at this international solidarity event.

Twestival, if this is the first you've heard of it, is a grassroots, locally organized, globally-simultaneous event. Along the lines of self-organized knowledge gatherings like BarCamp, the Twestival organizers simply established the framework and let the Internet do the rest. And following in the footsteps of more recent events like #HoHoTo in Toronto, the event was equal parts social and social conscience: all proceeds from Twestival were donated to a charity working to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

Globally, Twestival raised a stunning $250,000 USD, which (according to the Twestival site) pays for 55 water projects in places like Ethiopia, Uganda and India -- clean water for just over 17,000 people.

So who were these people? Basically, people just like Melanie and me (okay, well, maybe more like me, in the sense that they were a little bit on the nerdier end of the spectrum). Twestival -- the Twitter festival -- brings together folks who engage in the micro-blogging phenomenon using the service called Twitter.

Like I said before, we were there to have a good time, fraternize with the locals, donate to a great cause, and -- most importantly -- to not embarrass ourselves. Unfortunately, moments after we arrived, not knowing anyone, and speaking barely a word of Castellano, we got caught on video -- oh god!

You can catch our cameo here or in the player below (we're about 1 minute and 20 seconds into the clip)


So what's the moral of this story? Well, I would say it's something like this... you too can:

  • Move to a new country (continent even!),
  • take five language classes (two hours each),
  • and, within eleven days, feel comfortable enough to crash a geek party and not make an ass of yourself (well, um, just don't get caught on camera!).



Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.


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