Lessons learned from the Twestival

Another blog in my little mini-series, Social media for social change.

The first blog post was about the Twitter storm that hit a small Norwegian school, Moltemyr skole, after some Norwegian Twitter users became aware of some anti-Darwin articles written by one of the school’s science teachers.

TwestivalSocial media for social change (or if you want to be fancy: SM4SC), that was one of the slogans we used for the Brussels Twestival.

I was part of the group that organized the Twestival (Twitter+charity:water-festival, I’ve written about it here, here and here), and Christian de Neef has written a very good summary of what we learned from organizing the event.

In short, Brussels Twestival was the among the top 15 cities to raise money for the non-profit charity:water. We raised 2,457 euro (US$ 3,058), which was below what we had expected, but compared to the other cities, pretty good still. New York and London raised most money.

Christian gives you all the organizational details and suggestions for improvements that could have been done, but for me, it was a great experience to see this social power in action, canalized mostly through social media (Twitter, blogs, Facebook), but also mainstream media and something as simple as regular business cards.

During the Twestival I enjoyed to meet the active Belgian twitter scene, learn some cool and useful new tricks at the unConference about Social Media for Social Change, especially from Nathalie McDermott from On Road Media (social media training for minority groups).

But most of all, it was impressive how much we could do, for so little money and on so little time.

If I could ask for some changes, I would like to see more openness from the organization charity:water. When people from 170 cities+ are raising money for one charity, we need all the info we can get to convince other people that this is worth their time, money and energy.

I wanted to know more about how specifically they were going to use the money we raised, in which countries/cities and when? How are they choosing which projects to support? And how could such a young and new-established organization handle such a big thing as the Twestival?

Those were, and still are, some of my transparency questions.

To learn more about how another social media campaign worked, take a look at Jon Worth’s slides, “Atheist Bus – why did it work?”

3 thoughts on “Lessons learned from the Twestival

  1. Pingback: Moltemyr skole and some very interesting social media cases « Bente Kalsnes’ blog

  2. As the organizer of Brussels Twestival, I feel responsible for where the money goes, how it is being managed, etc. So I share your concern, and I would like to see more openness from charity:water and the global Twestival organizers also. If we fail to get that transparency, if we can’t report on the destination and usage of our proceeds, then people will lose faith and there will be no next Twestival. That would be a pity for Twestival itself, because it is a grand idea, really. But it would be really bad for the whole SM4SC movement, which is still in its infancy but has a promising future. At last so I believe!


  3. Pingback: How political are political Facebook groups? « Bente Kalsnes’ blog

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