So, with the #RickyTweetUp crew decreeing that we should definitely hold a #RickyTweetUp at the Rickmansworth Festival, then began the frantic organising to pull our shit together in one week to have some sort of stall in the Chambers Marquee Tent (with HUGE thanks to Nina to giving us the stall and helping get the flyers printed!).
Through the power of the Twitter, somehow we managed to organise our stall with:
- @sculley72 supplying Twitter Bunting and Tablecloth
- @laralgreenway supplying the awesome Twitter labels, laminated twitter pictures and extra power cable
- @Seanhannam supplying the Rickmansworth themed bunting
- @Charlbarrett supplying her ever so wonderful cakes, which we gave away (for a donation to the RWT charity) to people
- @edwards_Tim supplying the RickyWorkHub business cards
- @Craigydoll for her infectious enthusiasm in explaining what Twitter was to bemused folks wondering what the hell #RickyTweetUp was
And I managed to bring a box of Wine (you can’t obviously have a tweet up without wine!), cups, RickyTweetUp cards and my iPad to show a live TwitterFall stream searching the hashtags of #RickyTweetUp, #RickyFest, #RickyFestival, #Rickmansworth @RickyFestival & @RickyTweetUp in an attempt to let people see what Twitter was and how people use it.
So, once the table was set up it was time to sit back, relax, and well…. have a #RickyTweetUp!
So, we chatted to anyone and everyone who came over to our table and explained to them what #RickyTweetUp was all about. Reactions ranged from;
I don’t do the internet
I don’t do Twitter, it’s an invasion of Privacy
No, I’ve no time for that sort of stuff. It’s a waste of time
Oh, I didn’t know there were people in Rickmansworth that were on Twitter
What’s a TweetUp? What do you do at a TweetUp?
Wow, I’d love to come the next RickyTweetUp
Can I join RickyTweetUp?
Some of this we expected, but some of the hostility against using digital tools I must admit took us aback a bit.
I suppose because those of us who do get Twitter & Digital technologies, we are so comfortable with using this tech as a means of communication – it’s engrained into our everyday life that we forget that for those that don’t use this – it’s a completely alien world and when dealing with something new and so different – it’s sets people on the defensive, the shutters come down and the wall goes up. No matter what you might say to try and ease their fears and concerns isn’t going to work because they aren’t listening. Which is a shame.
But perhaps this highlights the digital gap in our society, and it’s not something we can ignore because it’s not going away. More and more government services are going online with the Digital By Default agenda. More businesses and economies are shifting to digital – we can’t leave people behind and have to find a way to bring them along to this new way of working and communicating.
Unfortunately, that’s not something we can do with #RickyTweetUp – we are just a bunch of folks who live in Rickmansworth and met through Twitter and became friends. We are an inclusive group – everyone is welcome to come along to a tweetup, it’s free of charge and usually held in a local pub. We love meeting new folk, finding new contacts, colleagues and friends, and hopefully building a stronger local community – it’s all for the love Rickmansworth & Twitter.
Anyway, back to the festival. We all had an awesome time, got to meet lots of new people who hopefully might join us at the next #RickyTweetUp on Wednesday the 5th of June, 8pm in the White Bear – and in between tweeting at the TweetUp a few of us managed to wander around the festival and soak in the atmosphere.
A huge thanks go out to the Rickmansworth Chamber of Commerce, The Rickmansworth Waterways Trust, the Police and the St Johns Ambulance service for making the festival happen. Without the army of volunteers there wouldn’t be a Rickmansworth Festival, so if you do see those RWT collection tins around Rickmansworth please think about giving a wee donation to help fund next years festival.by