by Deborah Wroe
I had cause to use the hashtag #sonotwhatTwitterisfor the other day after one of my search feeds on Tweetdeck was full of diatribe, accounts clearly set up just to slag off a person or a place. I stand by the fact that that it is ‘so not what Twitter is for’, and for that matter Facebook, which also has groups set up just to insult somebody or some thing. And there have been widely reported incidents of cyber bullying, stalking and general abusive comments about people or brands on Facebook. Anyway I digress, this blog is a celebration of the good that social media can do.
Using social media for social good is one of the straplines around Twestival, the global grassroots fundraising initiative. On a single day, 24 March 2011, 150+ towns and cities all over the globe held events to raise money for local causes. Twestival crowdsources volunteers via Twitter to get teams together and plan local offline events, often without meeting face to face until the event itself. This year Oldham took place for the first time. I was regional co-ordinator for Australia and New Zealand for Twestival Global in 2010 (I was living there at the time) and decided that Oldham, with its rising number of social media users, should get in on the action and take part in this amazing global event. And I am glad we did; as well as the money raised for our nominated charity Oldham Mountain Rescue, we got great PR for the charity, got them on Twitter and through a team effort crowdsourced local business support for both donations and attendance at our two events. Twestival Oldham really brought together the local business community across Oldham, Tameside, and the surrounding areas.