For reasons that escape me right now I didn’t make it to the first twestival, which made me determined to get to the London Twestival last night. So despite many messages from ppl stuck in the queue outside getting sleeted on, I did eventually drag @twofootedtackle and @bair away from the warmth of our favourite local and over to the desolate wastelands of Shoreditch.
As is often not the case, staying for the an extra couple of beers was a good plan, for when we eventually found the damn place the queue of now-mythical length had disappeared and we waltzed straight in. It was comfortably packed and I got to say hi to a few familiar faces and make some new tweeps, I wasn’t very good at finding ppl that I’ve only met on twitter, in fact I don’t think I put any faces to handles, mebbe next time. All in all it was a thoroughly good night out enjoyed by lots of ppl, even if it felt a bit like being in the world’s largest student union disco, and most importantly lots of cash was raised for Water.
This has not stopped the entire enterprise being trashed by commentators on the Guardian and Telegraph. Amazingly, I’m not really annoyed by the comments that are insulting, inaccurate and or just plainly rude about one of my favourite online hang ups. I think this is because I’ve really heard it all before and now have a zen-like acceptance that there will always be ppl who mock what they do not understand while they completely fail to see the irony of slagging off a bunch of ppl from one form of online forum on a different online forum.
Now, as mentioned in my random stuff about me post, I’m not exactly new to the interwebz and I used to be admin on a telnet based chatter in the mid-nineties. Think facebook but in only in ASCII, we prodded instead of poked but you had a profile and there was a friend list. You could even create your own widgets, except they were called commands you need to be able to code in the games bespoke language so it was a little tricksie but still do-able. If you had a cracking idea for something you could always get someone else to build it for you, just as outsourcing app development is done today. It was global but on a much smaller human scale, I think on its busiest day ever there were 120 ppl connected at once and perhaps a few thousand ppl have created accounts over the years.
This was a time when blogs were still called home pages, Geocities reigned supreme and we dreamed of having T1 lines instead of dial-up connections. Users tended to be either students or sys ads, I admit it was a bit geeky but it was fun and lets face it, the internet back then was pretty crap. One of the things that made it fun was that once every six weeks or so, someone would throw open the floor of their student accommodation and invite everyone to come and get drunk at theirs for the weekend. These momentous events were called mud meets and were excellent for putting names to real life human beings, which was very hands as photos on the web were very rare and the system didn’t support avatars anyway, lots of friends were made and even the odd marriage. They tended to be small, maybe 40 – 50 ppl tops and they brought together ppl who talked on a daily basis and spent far too much online talking gibberish to each other, with the occasionally nugget of usefulness thrown in at random.
As the interet got easier to access and use, mud meets morphed into blogger meet ups and now it seems that tweet-ups are the latest equivalent. Last night’s Twestival proved to me that things haven’t changed so much from my mudding days, except that being online is mainstream, independent of whatever the platform is. It also reminded me that ppl enjoy an excuse to meet and that other ppl will always be cocks.
Competition time* – a piece of handpicked random crap from my desk to the first person who can actually name the mud, well moo, I used to admin on – either email or leave a comment.
*Normal T&CS, employees and their family members are not eligible for entry