A Mainly Virtual Tweetup

I’m finishing up a buffalo burger here at Jacks Corner Cafe in Firestone, site of the first Denver Tweetup, a supposed meeting in the flesh of people using Twitter in the area. I drove a half hour north of the city, set up the MacBook Pro in a booth, hopped on the internet using their good and free wireless connection, and waited for my fellow Twitterers to show up. While I waited, I set up a Ustream broadcast.

What happened next was funny. I had five or so virtual visitors to the Tweetup from Germany, Alberta, New York City, and California, posting messages in the UStream chat room while they watched and listened to the live feed. It was very cool. Here at the restaurant, I invited three women into my booth to be on the show. They said they already spend too much time on computers, so they had no interest in signing up for Twitter, but they enjoyed seeing themselves on the live feed. Two daughters of a woman who works at the cafe sat in the booth for a while, asking questions of Mark, my internet friend from Edmonton.

Of course I could have done this from my desk at home, but I’m glad I made the drive and hosted a Tweetup, even if the only guests turned out to be virtual. The guy from Berlin was a Brit named Michael, who is a fan of One Hundred Years of Solitude and who has been pondering the addictive stimulation of Twitter. Me too, although today’s little escapade has hooked me even more deeply into the amphetamine-like energy of this whole phenomenon.

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