TweetupSL, as we all know, is the largest gathering of the Sri Lankan Twitter community. And from TweetupSL 1 to TweetupSL 3 which was held last year, the community has seen strong growth. This year, preparations are underway to have TweetupSL 4 in a grander scale. A number of interesting activities have been planned for the event, which will be held on the 7th of December at Mercantile Cricket Association, Colombo 7.
This time around, the organizing committee has introduced a set of entry requirements. Tweeps who want to register for the event should meet the following criteria:
- Should have been active in Twitter for at least 6 months.
- Should have at least 500 tweets in his/her account.
- Should have minimum 50 followers.
And more importantly, should be actively tweeting and interacting with the Sri Lankan Twitter community. At the time of writing, the registrations had exceeded 700.
Tweetup is a fun event focused on getting tweeps together and providing a chance to meet and interact in real life. So why have such restrictions, you may wonder. Well, there are many reasons. The Sri Lankan Twitter community is very large. It is also a rapidly growing community. So it is important to make sure the crowd at the event is manageable. These rules will allow to filter the most deserving & active tweeps who will benefit from the event. Also, this restriction will mean, the online votes for the competitions remain free of manipulations by any fake or spam accounts, thus contributing for a fair voting. (A tweep needs to register/login to vote for the categories)
Supporting a worthy cause
This year will also see TweetupSL having something beyond the “fun” aspect. We will be having “Water With A Difference” (an initiative by late friend and wonderful tweep @sarathsc) on board as a partner and all participants will get a chance to contribute to the project. This will be done through the purchase of a ticket priced at 100 LKR. In return participants will get a WWAD bottle of water along with a food voucher sponsored by Prima Kottumee. The fund collected will be donated to the representatives from WWAD at the end of the event.
We will also have Needy Readers team and the participants can donate any books in usable condition, which will be used to set up school libraries in less privileged areas. A target of collecting 5000 books is anticipated and tweeps are encouraged to bring books for this worthy cause.
Furthermore Gihan Fernando (editor at digit.lk) is working on a special edition TweetupSL book, which will document the history and special events of Sri Lankan twittersphere. Such a book is published for the first time ever and it will surely be a great souvenir for the Sri Lankan Twitter community. What is worth mentioning about this book is that the book is compiled with the help of the tweeps, so its a one of a kind crowdsourced book in our views. The book is available to all tweeps who pre-order at a very reasonable price of Rs 250 (which is 50% off from retail price of Rs 500).
Moving on to competitions, the organizing team has planned for some really fun filled competitions for the event. We will also have our regular competitions to recognize the deserving tweeps among us. Voting started on the 25th and will go on till the 1st of December.
At the time of writing, the leaderboard for Mr.Tweep & Miss.Tweep, two of the hugely popular categories looked like this:
Surprisingly there isn’t a huge margin between the top 5 and the positions seem to be changing quite often. Looking at the number of votes for each participants in ‘Mr.Tweep’ category, I can tell you this will be a highly competitive and unpredictable one till the last moment.
The leaderboard of some other popular categories like Tech Tweep of the year and Twitterholic, looked like this:
Apart from the regular categories, few more interesting categories have been introduced. One of them is the “Twitter News Breaker of the Year” which will require the tweeps to vote for the tweep who is usually fast in providing news (of any nature). I’m sure a number of tweeps and journalists will have some tough competition. And I don’t think brands or news agencies will fit into this category, which is aimed at recognising individuals. At the time of writing, this category was among the ones with lowest total number of votes. And thus one of the unpredictable categories.
The organising team has also introduced few restrictions to the voting. As mentioned before, only those who register will be able to vote. So there cannot be vote manipulation. The members of the organizing committee cannot compete/ tweeps can’t vote for them. This is mainly intended in maintaining the transparency of the whole event. Also, this time tweeps cannot vote for someone who won the same award at TweetupSL 3, last year. This rule has brought mixed reactions from Tweeps. This was in no way intended to cause any difficulties in selecting a suitable candidate. It was simply intended to allow more tweeps (from the now large community ) to get noticed and recognised. And to maintain a high level of competitiveness and interest in the competition.
What the organizing team expects is to see people taking more interest in voting and vote for the most fitting and deserving candidates so their work/talent gets recognized. At the end of the day, the tweetup event should be a fun filled as well as a meaningful event. The Sri Lankan Twitter community is a very diverse one comprising of people from various beliefs and backgrounds but thus far we have managed to stand as one and celebrate as one. Let us unite once more, bigger and stronger, as ONE.
And before I finish, here’s a sneak peak into the leader-board of few more categories:
(Note: The above leader-boards reflect the status at the time of writing (28.11.2013). Each category has recorded different number of votes. Not everyone who registered has voted, yet. Tweeps have the option to vote all categories at once, or at different times, until the registration portal is closed. Once voted, the votes cannot be changed.)