Atlanta Twitter Scene

Some people want the different Atlanta Twitter groups to be gangs: the sharks and the jets, snapping it out in cuffed up jeans and white tees with ducktails and pompadours. While I’m a huge fan of the fashion choices, as one of the two hosti (plural for hostess? It is now) I’m not a fan of the approach.

(For those of you who have been livin’ in your mommas basement without cable or interwebs for the last year and a half, here’s what you need to know about Twitter. C’mon back here when you’re up to speed.)

Tessa (of Drive a Faster Car and #atlgas fame) and I decided to start hosting monthly Twitter love-ins in the ATL metro area a few months back. The response and the community have been amazing (207 members to date in the ATL Tweets facebook group) with three absolutely delightful TweetUps under our belt.

We never thought we’d be the end-all be-all for peeps in the ATL who like to tweet. We knew there would be others, just as there was in blogging. Factions start to form: entrepreneur bloggers, mommy bloggers, poetry bloggers, photo bloggers, music and art scene bloggers etc etc etc ad nauseam until the pipes are clogged with blogs abandoned with single entries like tumbleweeds in a western town when the gold has all dried up. Or flaked off. Whatever. What was my point?

Oh right. So a new (I say new, but we’re all “new”…) group of Twitterers in Atlanta hosted a meet-up last night (12/4) at the airport Sheraton. It’s not *our* group, per se, but we did throw their event out there to folks in “our” group in the event they were interested.

Call us match makers.

Problems – not hilarity – ensued with confusion on group names and which event belongs to who and blah blah blah. It’ll all come out in the wash as we get our bearings but now we find the community firmly divided into two camps…and I’m not talking about #atltweets v #atltweetup. I’m talking about those of us who think there’s plenty of love to go around and those who are confused and threatened by people we don’t know with similar but divergent interests.

What say you, the jury?

Oh, and BTW, the next ATL Tweeters event is Weds, December 17th at Thinking Man Tavern in Decatur.

4 Comments so far

  1. Will (atl_will) on December 5th, 2008 @ 11:26 am

    I’ll admit I was confused by that last invite (and its choice of an airport hotel as the venue), but since I’m afraid to leave my house lately, for fear the whole thing will just be carried off into the night, it was a non-issue for me.

    Factions are inescapable. They’ll form if only because some people like to join clubs and other people like to organize them, and so every would-be organizer needs a club. Nothing wrong with that. Just is.

  2. maigh on December 5th, 2008 @ 12:36 pm

    Sidebar taking place over @ :

  3. james hervey (jeherv) on December 5th, 2008 @ 1:13 pm

    i’m totally a joiner.

  4. shelbinator on December 5th, 2008 @ 2:02 pm

    Whoa, head fake! Thought I was going to read about the different kinds of tweetups in Atlanta but instead it seems to be a question on the morality of schadenfreude.

    So, first, let’s add some details for the Google spiders so that in the future, people who are interested in finding topic-appropriate tweetups can do so, using the kind of cursory web search that might have precluded this kind of pseudo-schism in the first place. The hashtag #atltweet has been used in the Fall of 2008 to identify the social gatherings of Atlanta twitterers at in-town locations, at which the primary goal seems to be drinking, oogling each other’s gadgets, drinking, and chatting about various and sundry topics from politics to movies to local music. The hashtag #atltweetup seems to have been coined by user @tufadvisor in late November 2008 with the goal of collecting twitterers who may or may not live in Atlanta but were going to be in Atlanta for the online business-marketing-networking-whoknowswhat training seminar given by Matt Bacak called "Marketing Madness." Given the rather specific focus of this particular crowd and the physical location of conference attendees, the in-town location and social-alcohol themes found in #atltweet meetings were swapped out for an airport hotel location (site of the seminar) and discussions about…marketing…and stuff. While there may be earnest discussions about monetizing your blog and the secrets of networking at #atltweet tweetups, I heard no such entrepreneurial scheming at the one I attended, YMMV. Presumably, these two hashtags may survive to delineate these two rather different gathering demographics in the future. Now you know, errant wanderer of the interwebs.

    I don’t know if anyone was confused or threatened by the existence of a new Atlanta tweetup group, and their use of a unique hashtag actually made such a problem moot. It’d be one thing if some new twitterer followed the #atltweet chatter down to the airport hoping to see such fine ladies as @maigh and @tessa and the like only to be lost in a sea of marketing lingo and the fever of pyramid seminar-based online capitalism, but thanks to the new tag that’s not a problem. In fact, I think it’s more useful to highlight the differences so prospective attendees get the most out of the right tweetup, rather than try to glom everyone together in general Atlantaness.

    Sure, there has been some ribbing-type chatter among #atltweet types who shall remain nameless except for me, but it wasn’t for feeling threatened or lacking enough love to go around. Some of us simply got a chuckle out of the irony that for a while there were several people who enjoy giving up whole weekends for seminars about exploiting the internet for marketing and money by making connections using networking secrets who seemed wholly oblivious to the existence of many prior tweetups, even ones predating #atltweet. C’mon, that’s funny. I have pulled similar goofs myself and been heartily chortled at just the same. I don’t think our peanut gallery snickering has done more to create a sharks-v-jets division than the existence of a de facto "leadership" has. I mean, right there you have the creation of distinct tweetups: the ones "hosted" by the admins of a particular FB group, and the ones not. Might as well elucidate the experiential differences between ’em for future tweeple.

    So, while any sharks/jets references dwindle as the joke gets old, I also hope the potential schism raised herein, between the snickerers and the plentyoflovers, also dwindles. ‘Cause this is way too much navel-gazing for a social phenomenon.

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