Sunday, October 04, 2009

Some thoughts from me to you.

So as I sit back reflecting on another weekend I notice that much of this weekend has been dominated by activities which were organised via Twitter. Yes! Believe it or not a website which gets you out of the house and doing stuff. How does it do this? Simple, it does the one thing the internet was built for; it connects you to people.

The way which I connected with most of these people is BTUB – the Brisbane Twitter Users Brigade1. As a regular attendee to BTUB functions organised via Twitter I’ve met many lovely and interesting people. Some of these people I like to think have become friends rather than merely acquaintances.

So if you’ve got this far and are still asking “what the hell is BTUB?” then here is a quote shamelessly lifted from the BTUB About page:

BTUB is a loose association of Twitter users located in Brisbane, Australia.

Similar groups exist in other Australian cities, using the *TUB format, such as STUB (Sydney) and MTUB (Melbourne).

Mostly, a BTUB occurs when several Twitter users publicly get together in Brisbane for any ol’ purpose. It’s always social and it usually includes drinking.

So as I understand it a group of Twitter users got together at a pub for a few drinks to meet people they’d spoken with online in person. They liked what happened and so more events were arranged. This became known as BTUB.


Recently I’ve seen and heard some discussion around BTUB organisation and the events via Twitter and in person. I felt that I had a few ideas to put forward about this and the best way to do that was via my blog so I can express them at length and everyone can read and comment.

I like the fact that people are questioning and discussing BTUB events. It shows there are people out there who care about the Brisbane Twitter community. It is through these questions, comments and opinions BTUB as an idea stays current and relevant to the wide range of people it is made up of.

There is no doubt in my mind that most of the people who I’ve met at BTUB activities I would never have met in an alternate course of events. Even if I did meet them some other way I doubt that we would have maintained contact without Twitter and, more specifically, BTUB. I’ve met teachers, musicians, lawyers, lecturers, students, IT professionals, librarians and so many more. I’ve re-connected with people from my past and met people who I’m sure will part of my future.

The challenge of having all these wonderfully interesting people together is that their likes and dislikes are obviously going to differ.  Some people don’t like crowds and pubs while some can’t get enough of mosh pits and loud music.  Others enjoy relaxing with a coffee while some are out playing sport.  So surely this can’t work – right?

I think it can and my reasoning for this can be summed up with a quote from The Matrix changed around a little:

Do not try to bend BTUB - that’s impossible - instead only try to realise the truth.

There is no BTUB.

There’s no constitution, no charter, no president, no clubhouse, no meeting room, no committee, no membership fees & no membership card. Sure, I’ll admit there are a few individuals who guide the group by posting contact on the BTUB Twitter account and website but that’s as organised as it gets.

What this means for you is that your idea for an event can happen. All you need to do is put the details together, ask @BTUB to put it on the calendar and tweet about it with the "#BTUB" hashtag. There are some tips you can follow on the BTUB FAQ page and plenty of other Twiter users who'd be happy to help.

I don't want to go to every BTUB event. I don't even want to want to go to every one. What I do want is for everyone to have the desire to attend at least one event. That means there's a variety of events going on to cater to this crazy variety of people who just happen to all identify themselves as #BTUB.

1: I know originally the "u" stood for "underground" however I personally feel the group is a bit big for that now. I also feel that "users" better explains what we are. YMMV


Sleepydumpling said...

Champion blog post good sir, and YAY for the librarians.

Personally I like the idea of an organic thing that just happens when two or more Brisbane tweeps come together. Sometimes things need to be organised per se, but other times they just happen.

The concept of a "Twitter community" doesn't sit comfortably with me though, as it implies some form of obligation to contribute something. For me, Twitter is very much an opt in/opt out activity, and a sense of obligation doesn't feel right. It makes me uncomfortable when people talk of "Twitter community" like it is some form of clique or club.

But as it is a group or groups of people, it does have a sense of community attached to it, that's for sure. I love that I've been able to bring all kinds of fabulous people into my life, and like you, meet people I never would have met without it. Your good self included sir.

Heather Conroy said...

Thsankd for clearing that up- I have been wondering about BTUB for quiter some time, and thought I would be an idiot to ask about it at this late stage. Much Appreciated.