Just under a year ago, I went to my first Ealing Tweetup in Ealing, west London. Organized by Mark Hillary, it was unlike any other tweetup I’d been to before in a number of ways especially the local-community, non-geeky feel to it. It was terrific and I’ve been hoping to be able to go to another one.
I did just that a few days ago when I joined nearly 200 other people at “The biggest Ealing tweetup ever!” on September 1.
This event abounded with superlatives, starting with the bold description on its Twtvite page:
Since 2009, probably the best social media event in London! Certainly the tweetup with the best music, the best networking, and most interesting bloggers!
I wouldn’t argue with that based on the one I went to last year, the relentless buzz on Twitter since then and the sheer drive of prime organizer Mark Hillary and, for last week’s event, Hayden Sutherland.
Amongst all the informality, buzz, conversation and enjoyment, last week’s tweetup had a serious intent in supporting community businesses in the aftermath of the London riots of early August (Ealing suffered but is recovering):
Help Ealing… #ealingunites
Coming soon after the attacks on Ealing (Phil Smith stayed up all night defending the R&C) this is going to be an even-more-important-than-usual community event… staff from many other attacked pubs, including The Kings Arms, The Red Lion and The Castle will be here…
We will be collecting cash from Tweetup guests for the Mayor of Ealing’s Relief Fund. This special fund has been created to give help directly to local citizens and small businesses affected by the recent riots… do something to help the community…
The tweetup’s primary sponsor, HCL Technologies, offered to contribute £2 to the Mayor of Ealing’s Riot Relief Fund for every tweet or retweet that included the hashtag #ealingtu. Fuller’s Brewery in Chiswick – just down the road from Ealing – provided welcome pints of delicious London Pride for everyone. And of course the pub itself – the Rose and Crown – was magnificent in its hospitality for such an exuberant crowd.
I could stay only for a short time so I arrived at 6pm on the dot and was able to be there until about 7.30pm – just before the bands started playing and the real fun began.
But during that 90 minutes, I did manage to meet and chat with a few handfuls of people to get their views about why they were at this Ealing tweetup, capturing their thoughts with my handy Zoom H4N portable digital audio recorder.
- Listen to my Ealing Tweetup podcast (MP3, 3.6Mb, 7:52)
You’ll hear from Hayden Sutherland, Dawn Stewart, Karolina Shaw, Rachel Stone, Ben Gould, Virginia from the Red Lion pub, Karen from Charlotte’s Place restaurant, Bryan Glick, Ranjana Sharma, Laura Spence, and Rory Cellan-Jones.
Thanks to all who were willing to share their thoughts.
It was a great event, thanks to Mark, Hayden and everyone who took part. Undoubtedly others will be posting their opinions, photos, etc, so follow the hashtag #ealingtu to find more.