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 -Twestival.fm, 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)