Gini Dietrich

The Value of the TweetUp

By: Gini Dietrich | November 10, 2011 | 
82

It’s Facebook question of the week time (clap, clap, clap)!

Unfortunately, I have had zero time to scan the questions and record a video.

You may be asking yourself why I have time to type a blog post and not record a video. It’s because I’m still in my PJs…and a portion of this blog post was already in my drafts folder.

So we’re going to talk TweetUps today. And I’ll be back on schedule next week.

A few weeks ago, Joe Thornley, Martin Waxman, and I (as the hosts of Inside PR) had the pleasure of co-hosting a TweetUp with PRSA at their international conference in Orlando.

As the RSVP list began to fill, there were common questions from those deciding if they were going to attend: What do I do at a TweetUp? Do I need to bring my phone so I can tweet? Is it weird that everyone is on their phones instead of talking to one another?

The truth of the matter is, there is no tweeting at a TweetUp. Rather, you actually spend time getting to know one another face-to-face (gasp!).

It’s a weird time we live in. Ten Β years ago, if we’d talked about meeting someone online and becoming friends with them (or dating and marrying) before meeting them in person, you’d think them certifiably nuts.

Now we think nothing about meeting people online and calling some of them friends. Close friends even.

But nothing replaces the in-person meeting.

While we were at the conference, we recorded several podcasts with old friends and new. We found the chemistry and the flow was much different than the three of us sitting in our own offices, recording with the technology of Google Hangouts and our Zoom recorders.

The same goes for a TweetUp.

You get to know people through their avatar. Some people do videos so you learn a little bit more about them. But, mostly, what we know about our online friends is conceived through 140 characters and photos.

We create a mental image, based on the information given to us and our own experiences, and sometimes that image is right on and other times it’s dead wrong.

The TweetUp allows us to put aside our perceptions and really get to know a person. We can read their body language. We can see the twinkle in their eye. We can understand the sarcasm. They can actually hear us LOL and know we mean it.

Three years ago, I attended the International Franchise Association conference and we hosted their first-ever TweetUp. Twenty people showed up.

At the PRSA TweetUp, 175 people attended. Not because of Inside PR and PRSA, but because people are beginning to understand the informal gatherings at large events is the only way you’re going to be able to see everyone you want to see.

Technology allows us to make friends with people we’d otherwise never meet. It flattens out the world. It broadens our reach. And it ensures a reason for meeting people from around the world while at the same conference.

So, the next time you attend a conference, either plan or attend a TweetUp. It’s a great way to kill many birds with one stone and put bodies with their avatars.

A portion of this first appeared on Examiner.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks,Β co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She alsoΒ is the lead blogger atΒ Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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82 Comments on "The Value of the TweetUp"

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martinwaxman
martinwaxman
4 years 10 months ago

I agree that one of the best things about social media is its ability to connect online and IRL and tweetups are a great example of that. We get to know a lot about a person by how they write and what they say. And because of that, we also know the little details about them so when we meet in person the relationship is continuing, not starting fresh. I’m also amazed by how well people have been able to make their personality come to live in their written voice. They don’t teach that in business writing 101.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@martinwaxman I had a fantastic creative writing professor in college. He taught that. But you’re right…most don’t teach it in school. You know what i loved most about our PRSA trip? Our podcasts were even more fun!

martinwaxman
martinwaxman
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich They really were. I think creative writing courses should be included in business writing – so people can learn to find their voice. That takes practice. Social media sometimes reminds me of the 1800s – when people communicated by letters that were delivered throughout the day – except a tad faster-paced… And we should take IPR on the road more often!

HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

@martinwaxman@ginidietrich Martin until I meet Gini she really is just a figment of my imagination right?

Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM@martinwaxman@ginidietrich Who is this Gini of which you speak?

BethKSchmitz
4 years 10 months ago

@martinwaxman@ginidietrich Twitter is the epitome of creative writing. I’m thinking of the opening scene of “A River Runs Through It” when the Presbyterian preacher father, teaching his son to write, hands back the essay to the son saying: half again. This was the natural progression of Tweets following @HowieSPM smoke signals!

litbel
litbel
4 years 10 months ago

Nice post Gini,

4 years after Scott Monty coined the phrase tweetup (http://www.scottmonty.com/2007/03/be-ball-danny.html), its awesome that it’s still going strong and getting stronger!

I am a strong beli

KristenDaukas
KristenDaukas
4 years 10 months ago
And that is how the Broads Who Tweet came to be! We all had such rich on-line relationships that we wanted to move it to an “in person” relationship, too. As you well know, we’re packing up today to head to the hills for our 2nd weekend retreat where we will spend huge amounts of time on-line learning from each other but the true “fun” happens when we put down our laptops, iPads and smart phones and just hang out. It’s these opportunities to connect in real life that make our on-line life even more rewarding. We are all a… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@KristenDaukas And you’ve also figured out how to bring in other broads who tweet via technology. I can’t wait!

rustyspeidel
rustyspeidel
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich@KristenDaukas Broads. Such a classic word. Love it.

litbel
litbel
4 years 10 months ago
Nice post Gini, 4 years after Scott Monty coined the phrase tweetup (http://www.scottmonty.com/2007/03/be-ball-danny.html), its awesome that it’s still going and getting stronger! I am a strong believer of IRL in particular the online to offline to online connection process. First establish a soft relationship online then strengthen the relationship offline then continue the relationship going online. This is particularly effective when connecting with people in niches. I look forward to learning more about your future experiences with tweetups! Tweetups vary from city to city but fortunately in Boston there are at least 2 / week sometime more! Thanks @AnneWeiskopf for… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@litbel So funny – i learn something new every day! I didn’t know it was Scott who coined the term. Thanks for that tidbit!

HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich@litbel last time I mentioned Scott in a comment I realized I needed to re-read what I wrote before hitting Post Comment LOL

But seriously the term goes back to it’s Latin Roots Tweetae Surpe which then reach the great plains of Asia and Ghengis Khan using smoke signals (early Twitter) Shortened to Tweeta Uppa. And then one day Scott was reading an ancient tome and he realized he could shorten it to Tweet Up.

Shonali
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM Only you could come up with that. @ginidietrich @litbel

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@belllindsay LOL! It’s going to happen. Soon. Sometime after the first of the year.

jasonkonopinski
jasonkonopinski
4 years 10 months ago

@belllindsay I keep threatening @ginidietrich that I’m just going to show up in Chicago one day. I hear there’s some tweetup in December. πŸ™‚

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 10 months ago

@jasonkonopinski @ginidietrich Well, if I can find a job I’m SO there! Never been to Chicago…! πŸ™‚

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@kristendaukas And I get to talk to you tomorrow!

HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

I prefer Twitter Rave Parties myself. But still haven’t found any. And sadly bassnectar stantonwarriors theglitchmob and _rd are now full on rockstars living in swank digs shunning those underground parties so many Tweeters hang out at. Unless of course you go to Burningman but that event is so last decade.

But @ginidietrich I promise one day when we plan to hang out instead of sending SMS Texts like @Shonali and I did we can do it on the Twitter so as we don’t break any rules here.

Shonali
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM Have you met @ginidietrich IRL yet?

HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

@Shonali@ginidietrich no I have not. I am scared to meet her. I heard she can be wicked mean in person.

TheJackB
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM@Shonali@ginidietrich Anyone who plays Horse Hockey has got to be…

adamtoporek
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM@Shonali@ginidietrich@TheJackB Howie, scared is a good strategy. When bdorman264 and I met Gini, she opened her jacket and showed us the blogger scalps she keeps sown in the lining as trophies. Other than that, she was an absolute dream. πŸ™‚

TheJackB
4 years 10 months ago

@adamtoporek@HowieSPM@Shonali@ginidietrichbdorman264 Wait, am I to understand that Gini is a flasher?

Shonali
4 years 10 months ago

@TheJackB@HowieSPM And @ginidietrich also has a magic wand which she waves NOT in your direction, if you’re not careful.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@TheJackB@adamtoporek That totally sounds like I’m a flasher.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@Shonali@TheJackB@HowieSPM Um, Shonali? That was supposed to be our secret.

Shonali
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich I’m not talking about *that* wand. I’m talking about the OTHER wand. And let’s not forget… well, that we definitely have to keep secret. @TheJackB @HowieSPM

rustyspeidel
rustyspeidel
4 years 10 months ago

I totally, completely agree. In person is MUCH better. πŸ˜‰

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@rustyspeidel Especially when I’m there!

annaosgoodby
annaosgoodby
4 years 10 months ago

Love tweet-ups! RT @jenniferwindrum The Value of the TweetUp http://t.co/HD8utXba via @ginidietrich

KenMueller
4 years 10 months ago

we seriously need a Spin Sucks community TweetUp

Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago

@KenMueller Hell yes!

Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago

@KenMueller In Gini’s kitchen!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@Sean McGinnis@KenMueller My kitchen is too small. We’d have to rent a kitchen.

Shonali
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich@Sean McGinnis@KenMueller Soup kitchen.

Erin F.
4 years 10 months ago

@KenMueller I like that idea.

Lisa Gerber
4 years 10 months ago

@Erin F. @KenMueller @seanmcginnis I can’t wait to start having Tweetups!

KenMueller
4 years 10 months ago

@Lisa Gerber@Erin@SeanMcGinnis Where? in Idaho? how many people in Idaho are on Twitter??

Erin F.
4 years 10 months ago

@KenMueller@Lisa Gerber@SeanMcGinnis Well, we can’t have it in El Paso. It’s a Twitter dead zone. What’s halfway between Texas and Pennsylvania? Maybe Missouri?

TheJackB
4 years 10 months ago

@Erin F.@KenMueller@Lisa Gerber@SeanMcGinnis Wrong direction. LA is the place. People are good and weather is great.

Erin F.
4 years 10 months ago

@TheJackB@KenMueller@Lisa Gerber@SeanMcGinnis I’m much closer to LA than some of these other folks. It’s a possible location.

danielnewmanUV
danielnewmanUV
4 years 10 months ago

Great post Gini – can we call them something other than a Tweet up though? Sounds so dorky. If we have a Spin Sucks Community Meet up I will attend. If it is a tweet up I’ll probably just laugh at it ;-D

Maranda
4 years 10 months ago

@danielnewmanUV We can call it a “Suck Up!” hahahaha.

Lisa Gerber
4 years 10 months ago

@Maranda @danielnewmanUV awesome!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@danielnewmanUV I dare you to tell Scott Monty what you think of the name.

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[…] Question of the Week.” Well, Gini has been on the road a lot, and as a result, today’s Facebook Question did not feature a video. If you haven’t checked out her videos, go and subscribe to the […]

kanemackay
kanemackay
4 years 10 months ago

Thanks for posting! I added it our #bvilletweets FB page for our upcoming TweetUp.

kanemackay
kanemackay
4 years 10 months ago

Thanks for posting! I added it to our #bvilletweets FB page for our upcoming TweetUp

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@kanemackay Cool – thanks!

SamiAri
SamiAri
4 years 10 months ago

I <3 TweetUps almost as much as I <3 Twitter. You already said it above so don’t really have much to add. It’s so wonderful to meet people and not be constrained with 140 characters and get to know them even more.

And they say that online crowds are antisocial. RUBBISH!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@SamiAri Hiiiiii! Are you coming to our TweetUp on December 5??

SamiAri
SamiAri
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich Hiiiiii!!! I can’t because I’ll be at a Japanese dinner I’m hosting πŸ™ . But but but I do have a tweetup a week before if you’re free!

TheJackB
4 years 10 months ago

Wow, I feel like I have already seen Facebook question of the week today. Must be my imagination. Anyhoo, I am a big fan of Tweetups. I have had quite a good time meeting some of my cyber friends in real life.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@TheJackB You did…on @KenMueller blog.

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg
4 years 10 months ago

I’ve never been to a tweetup. I think I would quite like it. I really need to get out of my tiny bunker here in this tiny Iowa town.

Lisa Gerber
4 years 10 months ago

@ExtremelyAvg I’m up on a mountainside and I haven’t made myself fit for human consumption in about a week. I don’t even know if I should admit this.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@ExtremelyAvg Yes, you do! Chicago is a nice little drive. You should come for our TweetUp on December 5.

WendyKier
WendyKier
4 years 10 months ago

I’ve been ruining the Brighton UK Business Tweetup for the last year and I love it πŸ™‚

WendyKier
WendyKier
4 years 10 months ago

LOL ….. running….

Lisa Gerber
4 years 10 months ago

@WendyKier HAHA, I thought you were just being self-deprecating! LOL.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@WendyKier LOL! Ruining. That’s funny!!

mdbarber
4 years 10 months ago
This is so true Gini. Meeting people I’ve been tweeting with for years at conferences like PRSA is incredibly important. In fact, many of us have been talking about how it’s even MORE important to have in-person time today than it was before Twitter. I feel like I have a bond with many of my tweeps but once I meet them in person it’s exponentially stronger. And, I’ve found the tweet-ups where there is a lot of tweeting are not nearly as valuable as those like the one at PRSA where there was no tweeting, unless it was pictures of… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@mdbarber The thing about social media is we’re meeting far more people now than we did without it. So, I agree, combining it with the in-person meeting is critical.

tweetupgirls
tweetupgirls
4 years 10 months ago

@ryanthompson Hope you can fit us in tonight! πŸ˜‰

bdorman264
4 years 10 months ago
Ha, 175 people showed up because there was free food and drink. If you needed more I could have brought that many with me from Lakeland and they wouldn’t have even known what a tweet was…. Actually, I attended a tweet up in my early social media days so knew what to expect. In most cases it’s an industry specific after hours cocktail party. Yes, real talking does occur…. You’ll notice when you guys tried to lose me out by the pool area I actually made it to the party first. I was going to say I know a thing… Read more »
adamtoporek
4 years 10 months ago

@bdorman264 The twinkle you saw in my eye was Bill’s reflection. πŸ™‚

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@bdorman264@adamtoporek WHAT?! I thought it was because we were there!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@bdorman264 I reached into my back pocket yesterday and pulled out six drink tickets. None of us used the free drinks that night.

FranchiseKing
FranchiseKing
4 years 10 months ago

@sos_jr Thanks for the RT. I’ll just bet you know my friend, Jim Evans πŸ™‚

Faryna
4 years 10 months ago
I still remember my first meet with online friends. That was back in 1989. Sadly, I don’t remember their names, but I remember them. 1. A seeming demure librarian that did sex shows (performance art) and fanned Derrida 2. A VP from a telecom that performed naked as a heavy metal vocalist on the weekends 3. A millionaire transvestite that was the son of a major Bollywood director 4. A housewife married to a GM executive that could recite Shakespeare and poetry from the American poet Anthony Hecht I was the only boring guy there. Just a college student that… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@Faryna That doesn’t sound so boring to me! What a great story. And, my, how things have changed!

Faryna
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich And wow have they changed!

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[…] Cross, Amber-Lee Dibble, Marcus Baker, Janet Callaway, Bonnie Squires, Gini Dietrich, J.M. Bell, Yomar Lopez, Nisha Varghese, Carolyn Nicander Mohr, Marianne Worley, Jayme Soulati, […]

MatthewRideout
MatthewRideout
4 years 10 months ago

I’d love to go to a TweetUp, but I live so far away from everyone interesting that I follow. Maybe they should all take a vaction to Maine to meet me :-p

Actually I have met one of the people I follow on twitter, but I actually didn’t add her on twitter until after we met.

Erin F.
4 years 10 months ago

@MatthewRideout …or take a vacation in Texas! I live far away from most of the people I follow on Twitter, too.

BethKSchmitz
4 years 10 months ago

@Erin F.@MatthewRideout I like the ‘Texas’ idea! What’s half-way b’tween el paso & austin?

Erin F.
4 years 10 months ago

@BethKSchmitz@MatthewRideout Maybe Abilene? I’d prefer Abilene to Midland/Odessa. If we have a tweetup in Abilene, I can go harass the professors at HSU. πŸ˜€ I wouldn’t mind getting back to Austin, though…

patmrhoads
patmrhoads
4 years 10 months ago

@mediatip Thanks for the RT!

Tinu
4 years 10 months ago
One of the best things about social media is how we can use it to become acquainted online before we become friends in person. There’s so much at issue with this word “friend” isn’t there? In English we have a special differentiation for the stage before friendship – but it’s so awkward to refer to that online, and there’s no shorthand for the terminology of getting acquainted with someone. And yet it’s funny that in other cultures, there’s no marker for this stage of friendship – either you’re friends, close friends or not friends. There’s no replacement for in-person contact,… Read more »
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[…] The Value of the Tweet Up […]

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[…] The Value of the TweetUp originally appeared on Spin Sucks on November 10, 2011. […]

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