Twestival $250,000 and counting – The Good, The Bad and Ugly

It’s now been around half a month since Twestival rocked over 200 countries on the night of Thursday 12th February and whilst the total amount raised for Charity:Water has not been finalised, the total as of 18th February is $250,000. This figure is rising rapidly with the proceeds from around 80 countries still outstanding.

Twestival: The Good – It all started with a tweet

Most of us take clean water for granted, but there are an unbelievable amount of people in the third world that do not have access to clean water and charities such as charity:water work extremely hard to bring water to these people. The results achieved by these charities are amazing. Some may be thinking yeah it’s all good saying that, but how do you know? Well for me that’s easy a few years back a few of my family members put their lives in the U.K on hold and in danger and volunteered to travel to war torn areas of the third world to install the water pumps that bring clean water to those in need. The stories of joy they brought back were amazing and to me really showed how charities such as charity:water go to help. But lets not forget the volunteers who travel out to these locations and make it happen, its not as safe as you may think!

I guess if you were to summarise what was good about Twestival in a sentence or two it would be: That Twestival utilised the social phenomenon that is Twitter to bring together 200 countries and many thousands of people on one night to raise money for a worthy charity.

A slightly more lengthy account of the good: It was a huge achievement by @amanda and the rest of the Twestival team not only to get so many countries on board, but to use only the power of social networking to generate interest, buzz and awareness around the aims of Twestival and charity:water. The majority heard about the event via twitter and as such the majority of people who attended the event were active on twitter. They gained sponsorship from Virgin Media, SEO and PPC digital marketing specialists Latitude, Mashable and Skype to name just a few. And I guess finally the money raised and the enjoyment of the attendees says it all really.

Twestival: The Bad

After the event itself there was a huge amount of media and blog coverage, which gave a much wider audience the chance to give their opinions on the event, one such example is the blog post by Jemima Kiss on the Guardian. The comments on this post make very interesting reading – essentially some people were arguing that the event was just one huge PR exercise to benefit those in online media. Now to me this sounds like bad blood from people in the offline world aimed at the event itself, the opportunity to report on it and the opportunity to sponsor this great event purely because of their own inability to embrace online/digital media as the current force in the media world. Maybe it’s just that news is being reported on twitter hours before any of the big media/news players get their hands on the story. Maybe it’s because online marketing is destroying the idea of an offline “exclusive”. Anyways for those people who are blind to the power of social media, there’s no reason to take out your frustration on the purpose of the event itself, seriously you should be ashamed of yourself!

Twestival: The Ugly

Thanks to Virgin Media, there were some very dodgy wigs floating around so we’ll leave “the ugly” to the photos below…

twestival wigs

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