On April 30, 2009 I attended my first Tweetup, #TriangleTweetup 2.0 to be exact. I met some great people and had a good discussion with @raleighgrande @thorstenkessler and @WayneSutton as the Tweetup came to a close about Raleigh companies using social media and how that isn’t getting the pub it deserves, and also about the next Tweetup. I had a great time and the good folks behind the scene (and in front) at Triangle Tweetup have some great resources to make the first jump a bit easier. It was a very successful and productive event and being that Raleigh is becoming a hotbed for social media, below are 3 humble suggestions to make the next event even more productive. Note: I consider myself a “rubber meets the road” kind of person and will gladly volunteer to help in any way possible if needed.
1. Create a more open discussion forum
First off, @bronto is an incredible office with incredible people (thanks @covati for the great, informative tour). If you’re searching for a job, start checking their hirings because I know of several folks that would give an arm to work there. The only downside about the setup @bronto was that due to the excellent turnout, not everyone could sit in on the sessions. I carpooled with @raleighgrande @thorstenkessler who was a panelist and is doing some awesome things in the Raleigh area. At the same time, we talked about some of the struggles that come with social media: getting buy-in and support from executive management, building community support, raising awareness, collecting focus, finding the best way to discuss the ROI of social media, etc. The awesome thing about a Tweetup is the massive amount of knowledge in one place. As great as the event was, I feel that if it was in a venue that could seat everyone to create more of a panel discussion it could be even more productive and helpful.
e.g. Imagine 250 Twitter users in a theater @dpac (thanks @boraz) having an open discussion, asking for help, offering help, etc.
2. Brainstorm and Collaborate
Piggybacking on what I said previously, there are a lot of smart people at a Tweetup! I think it would be really cool to have a bit of time to just throw out ideas (similar to the pitches that existed at TT2.0) and even try to find the missing piece to your puzzle. There may be some sweet app that needs a better dev guy and there may be a dev guy looking for a sweet app to work on, bingo. Everyone was extremely approachable and laid back and I think having a Think Tank session could be an awesome thing.
3. Find Ways to Continue Putting Raleigh on the Map
A quick glance at Twitter Grader for the Raleigh area yields some powerful results: @pinkelephantpun, @waynesutton, @andybeal, @lruettimann, @dgtlpapercuts, @kbodnar32, @ginnyskal, @danlondon, @jtobin, @hayespotter, and @cammicam are just a few. NC State even has a graduate level course on social media, MBA 590 Social Media and Management (disclaimer: I am a visiting lecturer for this class for Claudia Kimbrough) and I would love to try to get even more folks involved in that class. There are endless companies using social media in the Triangle as well, from @Bronto, SAS (@davidbthomas), and IBM (@theRab), to slightly smaller scale efforts like @RaleighGrande, @Zencos, @SunTechMed.
Clearly, the Triangle is in safe hands when it comes to social media with the folks behind @TriangleTweetup and everyone who attended, and it is pretty cool to live in an area that I consider “ahead of the curve.” I hope that #TriangleTweetups continue and that they can keep growing and expanding into symposium type knowledge sharing events. Thanks to everyone for their hard work to make things like this happen, all the panelists, and @josh_hofer for the sweet photobooth! If you haven’t been to a Tweetup, make the plunge soon (and @covati, keep pushing forward with Pici.me…I think it can be awesome for Tweetups and other events). 🙂