back to article Twitter breaks Jam Festival record

Writing about Twitter is the journalistic equivalent of eating the fluff from your navel. The posh papers love it. Menopausal middle-aged hacks love it. The BBC is obsessed with it. Instead of telling us something we didn't know before, Twitter makes churnalism so easy, it practically automates the entire job. The rest of the …


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  1. James Green

    Really 68%?

    Maybe I'm being dumb (wouldn't be the first time, won't be the last) but are they really suggesting that 4,180.50 is 68% of 20,000? Or is there another way I'm meant to be reading that.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite handy for alerting though

    Or, at least, it was before they removed the SMS functionality.

  3. Mike


    I think it means that the %age of that 'pledge' amount that has been paid.

  4. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Really 68%?

    It's Web 2.0 economics. That's how they meet their revenue targets.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    Is this article implying the whole Twitfest isnt going to do anything because it didn't raise much money? I got the impression that this one site was one part of a larger thing, and that was their contribution. Whose target is $1m in a month? Not obviously as the picture shows. So you're dooming the whole thing based on one poor result on one site. Lacklustre reporting. Were you looking at your navel when you wrote this?

    @James Green: There is indeed.

  6. David Mantripp

    I am writing a comment on El Reg

    Hahaha - who needs BOFH anyway. Half way through the first paragraph I didn't even need to check the byline. And that's a compliment, Andrew.

  7. Fred

    James - you're being dumb :)

    I believe what they are saying is out of the $4,180.50 pledged. 68%, some $2842.74, has actually been paid. Hence the "68% PAID" all being the same grey colour.


  8. Mike Crawshaw

    @ James

    "Maybe I'm being dumb (wouldn't be the first time, won't be the last) but are they really suggesting that 4,180.50 is 68% of 20,000? Or is there another way I'm meant to be reading that."

    It took me a moment, but it means that 68% of the $4,180.50 has been paid - $2,842.74. Or 14.2% of the target $20k. Lots of charities do this - when you see Comic Relief saying they've reached £15 bazillion, very little of that is "paid" at the time, most of it is "pledged", so they count it, but haven't got the money in the bank. The cheque's in the post, as it were...

  9. Michael

    The information cascade

    will hopefully lead to a failure cascade, and then we can go back to people putting money into companies that actually have business plans.

  10. SteveC
    Paris Hilton

    Title Here

    No - but it could still be read two ways.

    Their goal is 20K

    They have received pledges of 4180.50 of which 68% have been paid (i.e. they actually have 2842.74).


    They have received 4180.50 which is 68% of their total pledges (er.. 6147.79 maybe?)

    Perhaps Paris is better at figures...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    i would imagine that 68% paid refers to the number of people who have pledged money and already paid it.

    Also it would be great if all news was like The Day Today, can we please have interviews with Reg staffers abusing unsuspecting I.T professionals.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Twitter is doomed

    "Twitter is a bit of a charity-case itself: both technically and financially, it's a lost cause. That's plain to everybody, it seems, except the journalists who use it and who can't stop Twittering about Twitter."

    Normally I think Andrew Orlowski is a troll.

    But on this occasion I couldn't agree with him more.

    Twitter is intrusive and pointless.

  13. Adrian Jones

    "The rest of the world, however, completely ignores it."

    Including RegHardware? Oh, no, they've just launched a twitter feed.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    BBC twits.

    I nearly threw my own TV through the window the other day, when the BBC presenters on Breakfast News started gushing about how they had joined the 'twitter' phenomenon.

  15. Dark Ian

    That's a pathetic amount of money!

    You could raise more money auctioning dogs!

  16. Andrew Woodvine

    Re: Twitter is doomed

    I like Twitter. I've got back in touch with people that I'd lost contact with because of Twitter and have also met some interesting people though it as well.

    I also went to a Twestival last night, it was in a pub I'd never been to before, and it was one of the best pubs I've been in for a long time. I even bumped into a few people in the pub that I'd not seen in years. I'm going back there for some more real ale tonight :-)

    So it's not intrusive or pointless for me. I wonder how many of the anti-Twitter crowd have actually tried using it?

  17. Richard

    Wrong Chris Morris analogy

    Why am I thinking of baby elephants?

    Perfect example on The Daily Gush, erm Wired today:

    "The nerds hate it, because they don't get it. It's out of their control," explained Howard Lindzon, of StockTwits, which won the best finance Twitter award. "If you can't say it in 140 characters, you probably don't have much to say. Those are the people who don't like it."

  18. Chris King
    Paris Hilton

    @AC "Quite handy for alerting though"

    I just don't get the financial model of Twitter - no advertising, no subscriptions and no sponsorship. It's like they're rolling around naked on piles of VC cash before shovelling it into a furnace, giggling insanely as more money goes up in smoke.

    I can just imagine the folks at Twitter trying to negotiate for cheaper SMS....

    Twitter: ...and we believe that we add value to your network, so we would like lots and lots of free text messages please.

    Network: Door's that way, make sure it doesn't hit your arse on the way out !

    [Sound of Twitter execs running down the corridor, chased by starving attack dogs]

    Paris, because even she has a better grasp of real-world economics than most Web 2.0 outfits.

  19. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Is that a real interview?

    Is that a real interview? Just wondering, I don't live in UK so I don't know if The Day Today is for real or not. Man that was pretty rough, but I must say hilarious. The icing on the cake is at the end where he's just like "....... Thank you." and gets ready for the next story.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I fucking love The Day Today.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Really 68%?

    No, they mean that 68% of the £4,180.50 has been paid.

    £2842.74 has been paid

    £1337.76 has been pledged (or paid and not yet cleared)

    Total = £4180.50

  22. Colin Campbell
    Thumb Down


    Your hatchet job on twitter is a little unfair. There are many people who use and enjoy twitter who do not fit into your category of unfortunates who are "addicted" to twitter. As a Twestival organiser, I would say that a lot of good work went into this and who cares how much money was raised. It was a worthwhile and different event.

    Now get back to your terminal.

  23. Paul M.

    @Colin the organiser

    "who cares how much money was raised"

    We're laughing at you - not with you.

    Utterly pathetic.

  24. Aren Grimshaw


    As one of the Twestival organisers I have been disappointed to read this latest post on the Twestivals. I believe it to be both badly researched and provocative for no real reason.

    Whatever your view on Twitter as a social media platform, or its potential to create an adequate revenue model to sustain its place in the world, the Twestivals in themselves were an innocent and inspired event seeking to raise funds for a good cause.

    Sparked by one message over the Twitter network it saw take up in over 175 locations with local volunteers on the ground doing all the organisation and acquiring guests, entertainment and sponsorship for their respective events. In each case ALL money raised was DIRECT to the supported charity - Charity:Water.

    The global target for the event was $1m coming from a variety of different streams, The Twestival Events, Tip Joy Donations, Ticket Bookings etc etc. Already the amounts coming in FAR exceed the amounts mentioned in this story which were obviously picked to try and back up a rather weak and hopeless story that read like an old man's grumpy moan rather than decent blogging, reporting or commentary.

    In my own case I worked with a team of volunteers to put on one of the smaller events (in terms of worldwide) in Cornwall. We saw approx. 50 guests, we had sponsorship from a number of businesses in the area and we provided a night of entertainment, networking etc for our guests.

    Our guests were not just geeks or techs wondering around glued to their mobile's Twittering - they represented a diverse group of business people, students, media people, politicians, artists, designers and so on.

    Whatever you thoughts - I believe the volunteers across the globe worked tirelessly over a period just 4 weeks to run charity events in aid of one charity without seeking to market Twitter, obtain personal glory or to line their own pockets. In itself that represents an achievement and I am more than happy that we were a part of this innovative and interesting event.

    Aren (Cornwall Twestival Organiser)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    just because Stephen Fry mentioned it

    four grand? is that is? and it's in dollars and not real money, that makes it about three grand if that! A bunch of mates and I have been shaking buckets on street corners on and off for a few years and we've raised 8 grand since christmas and over a quarter of a million since we started keeping count ( )

    Methinks this is all about 'social media' types slapping themselves on the back while drinking branded vodka and congratulating themselves for being so f*cking with it

  26. alphaxion


    I think they have raised more than that considering the Leeds one raised £800 that I know of.

    Still, referring to it as "Live Aid of the tech world" is pushing it a bit...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "Writing about Twitter is the journalistic equivalent of eating the fluff from your navel."

    Yet you feel the need to keep on doing it...

  28. Paul Walsh


    And you're now writing about Twitter because...? Do share as I'm interested to learn why you've decided to eat naval fluff. It wouldn't be for the link love (hate) from the Twitter community of influencers would it.

  29. Cambon La Pelouse

    I was just wondering

    Hello! I was just wondering how much money The Register and its witty readers have raised for charity this week?

  30. Joshua Davidson

    Give twove a chance

    Sorry Andrew but Twestival London was a great event and to lambast Twitter in this way shows a complete ignorance of the platforms potential. Twitter exploits the power of digital text in a way unseen in social networks so far to the point that if Twitter didn't exist, we would have to invent it. Which in fact is exactly what has been done when it has gone down. (Which is still too often.)

    The fact that it doesn't have a business model is frightening but doesn't damn the premise or the point. The Internet needs services like twitter to glue its amazing facilities for hyperlinks and RSS together with personal human communication.

    This enables effective mass p2p learning, cultivates collaboration and renders what is a growing behemoth of information, a social playground for learning.

    Although there was a little bit of 'how many followers do you have?' at the event, that shouldn't distract from the positives.


  31. Kirsten Campbell
    Thumb Down

    Shoddy journalism

    I was one of the organisers of the Edinburgh event. We raised over £3,500 on the night. Your badly researched and unnecessarily hostile article does a disservice to the good will of all the many people who gave their time and money to make Twestival a success. A retraction and an apology would not go amiss.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    @ Cambon

    So you can be a complete self-absorbed Twunt - as long as you raise a few pennies for charity?

    Er, r-r-r-right.

  33. Seán

    @Kirstin Campbell

    Woo £3,500 really great work and once the deductions have been made to "pay" the charity organisers I'm sure there'll be enough for a few bottles of Thunderbird and some cardboard boxes.

    Those people may have given their time and money but that doesn't make your twitfest a success.

    *NEWFLASH* Monday morning $4,541.00 so that's a whopping additional £360.50 over the entire weekend.

  34. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Kirstin Campbell

    That was, part of the bigger "Twestival" which I have no doubt has raised a lot more money.

    It's funny how few Twitter users read the article - I guess the superior intellect of the Hive Mind does the thinking.

  35. atonewell
    Dead Vulture

    Don't distort a good story with facts!

    It would appear that you haven't allowed the facts to interfere with a good story.

    Early indications are that the event was extremely successful.

    Reading tweets by the organiser, @amanda, London alone "smashed its goal and raised £10k! Enough to fund 3.5 wells for 2500+ people for 20 years."

    I would assume that worldwide figures are still being calculated, but you may end up looking a bit silly.

  36. Jen
    Thumb Down


    Your comments on Twestival are totally misleading! is a tiny part of the overall event - to use this as an example of how much was raised ignores the events themselves and what they have raised.

  37. Katie Moffat

    don't let the story get in the way of a pile of toss

    I was the organiser of Manchester Twestival - we raised £4,000 at our city event. But you know, actually it doesn't really matter, what is just pathetic is the fact that you would even slag off people trying to raise money for a brilliant cause. I just don't get it. You think Twitter is a waste of time, an echo chamber, blah blah, fine but get a life - you know you're going to come out of this smelling like dirt don't you?

  38. Paul M.
    Thumb Up

    Here come the Twitter idiots

    @Jen: "Your comments on Twestival are totally misleading! is a tiny part of the overall event "

    Ha ha. Is this whole story a prank to show how Twitter users are morons? If so it seems to be working.

    Jen, why didn't you read the article or even any of the comments? Are you on Twitter because you can't read at all?

    Twunts deserve all the abuse they get.

  39. Duncan Harper
    Thumb Up

    @Joshua Davidson

    That really made me laugh, thank you. Feeling a bit tired after some late night work but your inane comment made me realise that there's at least one more person far worse off than I am.

    I'm sure you pulled that second to last paragraph from a random buzz word generator. A killer.

    I just hope you weren't being serious. Now that would be really worrying.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Japanese Twitter has advertisements?

    According to Wikipedia, Japanese Twitter includes advertising. Does anyone know if this is the case and if it makes money?

  41. James

    @Joshua Davidson

    I'm sorry Joshua. I enjoy using Twitter, it is good fun, but "...enables effective mass p2p learning, cultivates collaboration and renders what is a growing behemoth of information, a social playground for learning" is meaningless, 'web 2.0' new-media bollocks.

    Mass peer-to-peer learning? Do me a favour.

  42. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    I can't take sides on this one

    On one hand, you have a pointless, restrictive and downright shite piece of web 2.0 bollocks.

    On the other, you have a journalist who's too up his own arse to admit that his article can easily be interpreted wrongly.

    It strongly suggests that $4k has been raised for a $1m target. There's no two interpretations.

    Andrew, just bite the bullet and put a footnote on, making clear the difference between and twestival. (or was that twatival? I can't remember)

    And then please run a poll deciding on the best way to describe twitter users: Twatters or Twidiots.

  43. Anonymous Coward


    Regville scout troop raised £100 from a jumble sale tor Comic Relief. .. hahaha Comic Relief is doomed to fail because £100 is a lame amount. and thats why the scouts suck.

    (was that less than 140 chars?)

    like alcohol, or the IT Crowd, some get it, some dont. However i do have to laugh now Reghardware is on Twitter.

    I twitter not because its a media circus but because its like an easy version of IRC that the whole family understand...

    And believe it or not I do fear that Twitter is doomed to Fail it appears to have no revenue generation ability most posts are through 3rd party apps without advertising capability, and once adverts appear instream like spam people will leave/move on.

    anon twitterer..

  44. Lionel Baden

    is this a sport

    Can we now have twitter baitin recognised as a official IT Sport ....

    Apart from the "organisers" Nobody has defended twesival or twitter either really.

    i think 2 3 people said common dont be nasty

    But then again some think its cruel to bait bears !

  45. Anonymous Coward

    @AC 10:25

    re Twitter fail

    If Reg Hardware and others are Paying (per follower maybe) then there is a good revenue model!

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Writing about Twitter is...

    .. the journalistic equivalent of eating the fluff from your navel.

    Was it tasty Andrew?

  47. Anonymous Coward


    What hell is this twitter nonsense anyway? No, I don't want an answer, I'm not interested, obviously something like what "blogging" used to be, just a buzzword for something very ordinary. Oh, you've written a web page and updated it daily, well fucking done. So I'm imagining Twitter is some kind of mass chatroom? Lovely. I've never really understood what Web 2.0 is but I'm starting to understand now I think. It's all just bullshit isn't it?

    The Day Today though, splendid :o)

  48. Stephen Hunt
    Black Helicopters


    Well, I read it as being the total raised (see follow-up article) and I don't use twitter.

    But to be honest, I only read this article because of the follow up - as twitter is a bit of a waste of time - and I tend to skip the article / change channel when there is any mention of twitnet.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Yawn

    It's me again (AC), I decided to see what the font of all knowledge had to say and yeah, it's a chatroom type thing, or shoutbox I guess (not that I'm telling anyone that, I just didn't know what it was). Anyhoo, the funniest part of reading (more like glancing) about it was the wiki tag...

    "This article is written like an advertisement. Please help rewrite this article from a neutral point of view. For blatant advertising that would require a fundamental rewrite to become encyclopedic, use {{db-spam}} to mark for speedy deletion. (February 2009)"


  50. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    What's The Day Today?

    So was that a real interview? Did he bring a real person (not an actress) to tears? It was funny, but damn. Not familiar with The Day Today. If it isn't a real news show, why would real people go on it to be interviewed/lambasted?

  51. Dark Ian
    Paris Hilton


    The 'FAIL' image in the article said target 20,000, not 1m. You can't be any clearer than that.

    Enough times people see what they want to see and disregard the rest, i.e. confirmation bias. Whilst it could be argued that the author presented the situation in a way that reflected his own opinion of Twitter, there's no denying that lots of people have similarly chosen to only extract from the story those facts and figures which reinforce their countering arguments.

    In short, this article has made a mockery of those people, because anybody with half a brain can see the point the story is trying to make, whether they agree with it or not.

  52. Ben Mathews

    4 grand?

    I'm thinking that if all the people who spent time organising the events had have donated a tenner to charity instead they'd have raised more money...

    I'm all in favour of charitable work but fair to see why people are getting so defensive when it's clear that the time an effort but in haven't justified the end result.

    In fact, I think this is call for a challenge... can the reg whip up more money than managed? I'll pledge £20 to get the ball rolling!

  53. CTG

    @Kirsten Campbell

    Yes, well, you've always been good at organizing affairs...

  54. weirdcult
    Thumb Up


    Paul Carr is a bit annoyed isn't he. Do you think he is covering for his embarrassment at not being able to read or understand plain engilish?

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