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The most anticipated event of the Sri Lankan Twittersphere, #TweetupSL is around the corner, just few more days to go! Keeping the tradition of annual events, TweetupSL 5 will be held on 20th of December 2014 at Orion City Car Park Premises. This time, the Principal Sponsor would be Mobitel Sri Lanka and they have more than Tshirts to give to the tweeps during the event! A grand carnival atmosphere is planned for the tweeps to get engaged in interactive activities  with other tweeps.

So, what is TweetupSL? TweetupSL is the annual gathering of the Twitter users of Sri Lanka, where tweeps meet in person. This is an event that allows tweeps to take forward the networking that was limited to keyboards in previous instances. Tweeps meet in person, some of them meet each other for the first time and for some, it is one of their regular meetups with their Twitter friends.

TweetupSL is not limited to networking, it also allows Twitter users to have fun in a carnival atmosphere. Many games and activities are planned for the day, where tweeps can take part in these activities as a group or individually.

Another interesting aspect of TweetupSL is the voting and prizes! With the election fever hitting the town, Twitter community also has its own election allowing tweeps to vote for their favourite tweeps under 13 categories, which are highly unique to Twitter behaviors. Some of the unique awards are hashtagaholic, instagramaholic, Twitter news breaker of the year and Twitterholic. Most interestingly, TweetupSL voting also include crowning Mr. Tweep and Ms. Tweep, which are considered to be the most highlighted segments of the event.

So, interested in TweetupSL? J You need to get yourself registered to attend TweepupSL 5. It is a must for you to have a Twitter account to attend TweetupSL 5 and also your account needs to be at least one month old. If you qualify in these criteria, log into www.TweetupSL.org to get yourself registered.

TweetupSL also focuses on ‘social good’ while allowing Tweeps to network and have fun. All the tweeps attending the event have to purchase a coupon worth of Rs. 200/=. The proceedings will be allocated to serve the community in need, in due course. Therefore, TweetupSL is not only about fun, but also making a positive impact on the society to spread the message of love and harmony.

Want to know about past TweetupSL events? Check out our TweetupSL coverage:

TweetupSL 1

TweetupSL 2

Video captured from TweetupSL 4

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The most highlighted event of the Twitter community of Sri Lanka in 2013 – #TweetupSL4 was held on 7th December at Mercantile Cricket Association Ground with the participation of over 500 tweeps. There had been many conversations around how good the event was.  Since there were many talking of the success of the event, we thought of  unveiling the hardworking committee behind this major event.

#TweetupSL4 had  nine organizers who were from various backgrounds with one common element, which was their passion for social media. The organizing committee included @UdaraUMD @MoAwesomeSauce @GihanGamos @Gopiharan @UdithaUmesh @HimalKK @Chamara @rebelinpurple and myself (@hajara_).

One of the founders of #TweetupSL, @UdaraUMD who is proud about the journey of #TweetupSL says:

“It was the 4th time that I was involved in organizing TweetupSL. I never thought this event would go this far when we did come up with the first TweetupSL way back in 2010. It grew year by year and tweeple are always eagerly waiting to attend it.”

He is right, none of the tweeps would have thought that #TweetupSL would become an annual event, but thanks to the anticipation of tweeps and committed organizing committee, it has become the most popular annual event among the Sri Lankan Twitter community. Another founding member of TweetupSL team, @rebelinpurple says,

‘It really is humbling and pleasing to see how far TweetupSL has come, from nearly 70 attendees in 2010 to the over 500 last month.’

Organizing an event of this scale requires huge commitment and there was one person who kept reminding all the orgainzers about their pending duties. He is none other than @MoAwesomeSauce. If not for his follow ups, most of us would not have put in such an effort and he says:

“Organizing an event of this magnitude isn’t easy and will never be easy. But then again, being able to work with an awesome team who contributed in any way possible to make this event a success, did help to pull it off. This year we faced many difficulties in terms of finding the time to dedicate ourselves to get this off the ground, finalizing a venue and date and finally securing the right sponsors. Once these major obstacles were overcome, it was smooth sailing ahead till the actually event took place.’

There were new faces in the team who were not involved in organizing previous TweetupSL events. For them it was a new experience, but they were able to fit in perfectly well among all the odds. One of the newcomers to the team, @Gopiharan says:

“At first I wasn’t sure whether I would fit into the team, but eventually I liked being part of something exciting. It was a great experience, even though my contribution was relatively low. For me, it was more about learning from the awesome team.”

@UdithaUmesh also added:

“As a person who is coming from an analytical and consulting background it was great to be a part of a volunteer driven nationwide event like TweetupSL. This set a different tone to my personal day to day activities which is why it was exciting. There was lot of experience gathered by being a part of this team. “

For the organizers, it was all about the experience that they got and also the fun of being a part of a great team. @GihanGamos says :

“It was indeed a pleasure to be back with the TweetupSL team in brainstorming and organising an entertaining and fun filled event. It was great to work with the team with new faces who did an immense contribution towards making the event a success. Look forward to many more TweetupSL events in the coming years to bind together a closer knit family of tweeps.”

However, being an organizer of TweetupSL is not easy, when all of organizers are employed full time. For the participants, the event day was all about networking, but for the organizers it was all about making sure a smooth flow of the event occured. Commenting on the experience, @UdithaUmesh says :

‘Being a part of the organizing committee of an event like this is in one word was exciting. But I must say, on the day of the event it was exhausting.’

And @Gopiharan believes that the learning experience should continue to make future events better :

‘The event may not have been perfect due to various challenges we encountered, but it sure has taught us what to avoid and where to focus more, if we end up organizing again.’

This is not the end, concluding note from @UdaraUMD says:

“May #TweetupSL live long !”

In case you missed out in attending, view the video here

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It’s been exactly two years since the article about #FASL was first written. So much has happened since then: so many stories, events, puns, gossip, cricket and politics all wrapped in different tweets by different kinds of tweeps all making a mark in history in their own individual way.

TweetupSL is going to be celebrated for the 4th time this September (Updated – happening on 7th Dec 2013) as many in the twittersphere would know. That in itself has a history of over 3 years for the Sri Lankan twitter community. And for those who have been on twitter before that, the events that had unfolded have been sweet/bitter memories, forgotten moments, life changing instances that few may know about.

We’ve also had an explosion of businesses popping into Twitter in Sri Lanka in 2011. Many of those stories are also interesting milestones for the Sri Lankan tweeps.

Many of us would now look back at the inception of our twitter journeys and ponder ‘Wasn’t it a bit peculiar to begin with?’, ‘What was life like before I got addicted to twitter?’. Time has indeed passed us by with many an activities with the online community, with a few happening offline too.

Then there are the growing new twitter users who ultimately get involved and have a jolly good time with local hashtags, take part in free food events and talk politics/cricket to name a few engagements. Some get to know the past activities of other twitter users, some remain clueless.

All in all, from a few people to clicks of batch mates, they all end up on twitter and form part of the Sri Lankan twitter community.

Being on twitter since Feb 2009, a few things got me thinking that with such an active twitter community, it would surely be fascinating to encapsulate the various experiences/stories into one entity in the form of a book. But the only way this would truly be possible to capture most of the instances would be, if the Sri Lankan twittersphere help in sharing their stories (mini-tweetups, local hashtags, life changing moments etc..).

So, what do you say? Want to be part of a project where we can create a historic book which we can proudly keep as a worthy memorabilia?

Here is how you can get involved:

  • Dig into your twitter account (you can use your twitter archive option too if allowed) and unfold some memorable moments on twitter.
  • Finally you can even use that ‘Favorite’ option that you’ve pretty much being using like the facebook ‘Like’ and uncover some tweets which you found fascinating.
  • Maybe you are already remembering a few memories of some of the fun times you had, go find those tweets.
  • Once you are ready to share them, you can tweet to @gihangamos about it or use the hashtag #TweepSLbook (would recommend both)
  • A book wouldn’t be complete without pictures in it so do send your pictures too so that they can be included in the book (Naturally all pics sent by @sudaththa will automatically be rejected)
  • Hope you can spread the word about it too so that many can be part of this.

Oh and this book will be ready in time for TweetupSL 4! And to make it a truly memorabilia one, a separate section will be reserved in the book for details of all that register for TweetupSL4 with profile pic and twitter handles included. Use that section to get signatures of the tweeps you meet maybe?

So let’s do this, shall we?

p.s – Permission will be sought from tweeps if their tweet is involved before it is published in the book.

Disclosure – To cover publishing/printing costs, the book will be available for a very nominal price

Current tweets for #TweepSLbook


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The much awaited annual meetup for Tweeps for 2013 ‘TweetupSL 4‘ is now on the cards and the organising committee has put forward a poll requesting the Sri Lankan twitter community to suggest a date.

You can also submit your preferred date by voting on the poll available here.  Voting is scheduled to end on 22nd July.

Various activities are on the pipeline to make the meetup an enjoyable and memorable one. Stay tuned for more details as the organising committee finalise with the help from the community. We will have more in-depth details in our next article. You can follow the official TweetupSL twitter account here.

The first TweetupSL happened quite by accident when Udara Dharmasena, Lasantha David and Moshanthi wanted to meetup. (more on the first Tweetup here). What then followed is now in the history books.TweetupSL2 was held with a crowd of about 300 (more on the second Tweetup here) and TweetupSL3 drove in a crowd of 650 in 2012.

TweeupSL 4 has huge expectations from the highly active twitter community in Sri Lanka and a crowd of 1000 is anticipated in September 2013.

TweetupSL 4 is organised by a volunteer base of young professionals.

 

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TweetupSL 2 - The Cake, coutesy @PereraAndSons

The TweetupSL 2 Cake, courtesy @PereraAndSons

The Tipping Point

A small group of individuals accidently created the first Tweetup in Sri Lanka. It was when @udaraumd, @moshanthi and @rebelinpurple were discussing on Twitter about meeting up. A few others joined in tweeting to meetup in person too. This ultimately resulted in having the first Tweetup in Sri Lanka with just over a hundred participating. That was 26th August 2010.

The Second Tweetup

Event compered by Halik Azeez (Snap by @udithaumesh)

Jump to 27th August 2011. Close to 300 participants turned up at Dialog Future World in Colombo. The organizers had really got themselves a role model concept with a dedicated Tweetup website with in-built apps to monitor reservations, hold interesting polls and also assign personalized t-shirts courtesy @dialoglk.

@GBSlk provided a memorabilia too with a notebook (with DPs of most of the registered Tweeps printed on the cover) and @PereraAndSons provided a Rs 100 voucher for all who turned up. To feed all these hungry souls, @cocoveranda took on the responsibility and did a praise worthy effort. @ITNsl provided the media coverage.

The event was compered by @HalikAzeez (aka Kamal Addararachchi in disguise) and entertained the tweeps throughout the event.

So the cake was cut, the food was served and the tweeps had a great time meeting in flesh all the people behind the twitter handles.

The most interesting part was when the results from the twitter poll was announced. 10 notable tweeps walked away with valuable gadgets from @dialoglk, few books from @GBSlk and Rs 500 vouchers from @PereraAndSons. The winners list can be found on the tweetupsl.org website. (but be sure to watch the video embedded below to see what the winners (and some of the crowd) had to say) :)

TweetupSL 2 crowd

TweetupSL 2 crowd (Snap by @udithaumesh)

Video shown below was recorded by @AnjulaMalshan and @ghost_xaIn

 

The Team

The organising team worked really hard behind the scene to prepare for the large crowd and it was an awesome team effort in the end.

TweetupSL 2 – Organising Team (Snap by @udithaumesh)

Organising team comprised of Amitha Amarasinghe, Gihan Fernando, Shazly Makeen, Nazly Ahmed, Muhammad Bin Nasir, Sarath Sathiamoorthy, Himal Kotelawala, Milinda Tillekeratne, Indulekha NanayakkaraLasantha David, Udara Dharmasena.

 Opportunity

Although social media is still not used as a major component of marketing in Sri Lanka, events such as this would certainly open up the eyes of the companies that are still putting in big budgets on traditional media. Compared to last year’s event, this year had many more sponsors involved and they have all been very generous in assigning various gifts/giveaways since they know the importance of these twitter individuals who are trend setters in their own rights.

Connectivity

With Sri Lankans crossing 1 million mark on Facebook just a few weeks back, it seems that twitter is also fast becoming a platform to get customers involved as can be seen with a number of large companies being actively involved on twitter having a dedicated team to listen and respond to queries (such as @dialoglk, @Pereraandsons).

Once the event concluded, the enthusiasm did not run dry as the #TweetupSL hashtag kept appearing on the timeline frequently. The event also opened up the accounts of some twitter users who had earlier had reservations about following the unknown. With more followers and followings, the experience for twitter users in Sri Lanka will only get better and could create a platform for many more users to join the twitter platform.

The Future

With technology and devices becoming cheaper in the country, it can be certain that these trends will only get better and whatever platform arrives, there is a surely a crowd that wants to ride it. Look forward to TweetupSL3 and I have a feeling that we might need to book BMICH to accompany the expanding tweeps.

For more snaps of the event,see http://www.liveshare.com/#&id=1564687

TweetupSL twitter handle – @TweetupSL