Page last updated at 02:15 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Tweeters set for Twestival time

By Doug Kennedy
BBC Scotland news website

Twestival logo
The Twitterers will be tweeting for fun and for charity

Fans of Twitter are to gather for the first Scottish Twestivals in Edinburgh and Glasgow later this month.

The micro-blogging site sees users post messages of up to 140 characters to keep people up-to-date with what they are doing and share information.

Celebrity converts who have taken to "tweeting" include Jonathan Ross, Stephen Fry and Andy Murray.

The events, on 12 February, will include live video streaming linking to Twestivals in almost 200 other cities.

Jim Wolff, one of the team organising the Edinburgh Twestival, said it all started with a tweet following a Twestival in London a few months ago, which was looking for other cites to get involved.

There will be a tag to project individual tweets onto the walls of the venue and pictures posted to Flickr
Jim Wolff
Edinburgh Twestival organising team
Mr Wolff said he suggested Edinburgh and within a few days the names of about 40 other cities had been put forward.

The list for the February event has now shot up to more than 180, from every continent in the world "apart from Antarctica", but maybe there is still time.

Participants for the Edinburgh Twestival have reached upwards of 200 from all over Scotland.

"They're mostly from the web, tech, media and social networking spheres, a network of people who met on Twitter who will now meet face-to-face," explained Mr Wolff.

'Twitterer' posts Hudson plane crash picture

"There will be live music including Peter Gregson, who plays an electric cello, and someone who plays music using a Wii.

"We've tried to get music with a tech edge, but not too geeky.

"But there will also be an interactive side, there will be a tag to project individual tweets onto the walls of the venue. Pictures posted to Flickr and video posted online will also go onto a screen, so there's the option to play around."

Another feature of the evening will be the ability to record who you have met and spoken to during the Twestival to create a log of the night, or a "social graph".

Twitter has been in the ascendancy through its celebrity dabblers and since high profile involvement in news stories such as the Mumbai terror attacks, where aspects of its use as a journalism tool were later called in to question.

But it scored with news networks recently when one of the first pictures to be posted from the Hudson River plane crash was obtained by a Twitterer on his phone and immediately posted through Twitpic.

Mainstream surge

Mr Wolff said he believed the response from the Twitterverse in Scotland showed one of its real merits was as an organising tool.

He said: "What was recently niche and underground has suddenly rocketed, you can see from figures that the user base has increased 10-times in a few months.

"Twestival shows the mainstream surge in enthusiasm and support. We set up an account asking for support and straight away there were three offers of a PA, 10 to provide music - it's so quick and easy to collaborate and get involved.

"We have all met each other in the process and now we're going to meet on the day."

The Edinburgh Twestival, which like all the events has proceeds going to Charity:Water, will be held at the Hawke and Hunter in the capital and still has tickets available.

The Glasgow event will take place at the Sith Cafe in the city's west end.

You will be able to follow the Edinburgh event on a BBC Scotland Twitter feed.

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