Sacramento’s twitterati go retro with in-person tweetups
Twitter users rave over the real-time information network of which they’re a part, 140 characters at a time. But there’s one thing their “what’s happening now” news doesn’t deliver – face-to-face contact.
Enter the tweetup: an in-person gathering of two or more people who know each other through Twitter.
SacTweetUp, which holds events once a month, is celebrating its one-year anniversary Tuesday at Mikuni restaurant.
About 150 people wearing tags that include their real names as well as Twitter IDs are expected to hobnob and drink cocktails while a projector displays live tweets being written at the event.
“The truth of the matter is real relationships happen when you shake people’s hands,” said Alejandro Reyes, 29, a social marketing consultant who co-founded the group.
Created in 2006, Twitter is a phenomenon lauded in some circles for its marketing abilities and denounced in others as pointless blather.
Reyes started tweeting in 2007 and has found it invaluable in connecting with clients, industry experts and friends. He now follows about 7,500 people and has about 15,000 followers.
“Twitter’s kind of like the biggest social cocktail party on the planet,” Reyes said. “But you don’t get caught with someone talking your ear off about something that is irrelevant to your life.”
Reyes said he likes the simplicity – there aren’t photos, boxes and notes to sort through like on Facebook, and everything has to be done in those short increments.
SacTweetUp – which is marketed as two parts social and one part business – began last February with events about once a month attended by an average of 130 people, Reyes said. Many of them are ages 25 to 44 and savvy early adopters of technology.
That is why Suzanne Hopkins, 43, of Sacramento finds the group invaluable.
Hopkins, a marketing communications consultant, moved from San Jose five years ago. She has created a community of business associates and friends in Sacramento because of social networking and tweetup events, which naturally attract people with similar interests.
“You can take those online relationships you’ve established with people and take it offline,” Hopkins said.
Of the 1,000 people Hopkins is connected to through Twitter, she would call about 75 of them in-person friends, she said.
For Steven Bloom, the events are about 80 percent business and 20 percent social. The 53-year-old founder of SacramentoComedy.com, a portal to the local comedy scene, says he’s made many connections through the people he’s met.
“Twitter just starts the conversation,” Bloom said. “Real business partnerships or collaborations don’t get done without face to face.”
Here’s how word got out on Twitter about the event:
Thanks for all your Tweets about the #SacTweetup Almost 75 ppl registered in under a day!! http://bit.ly/91juzW You Coming?
Web page: http://twitter.com/sactweetup
IF YOU GO
What: The SacTweetUp one-year anniversary
Where: Upstairs mezzanine of Mikuni, 1530 J St.
When: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday
Highlights: $5 drink specials and complimentary appetizers. A Mardi Gras masquerade party will follow.
More information: http://sactweetupanniversary.eventbrite.com