Geeking it up at Twestival Beirut
I know i am supposed to copy/paste one of those nice and well written posts about TwestivalBeirut and breast cancer awareness and post it to my blog – but heck – this is quite boring for me to do so since you can easily figure out what twestival beirut is by looking here and here and here oh and here too !
Instead I am gonna share what it is like to geek it up in Twestival team and things i have learned.
It all started when Sana Tawileh contacted me asking some weirdo techy questions about retrieving and restoring MySQL backups from WordPressMu into a custom made CMS – I was like euh – what ? I need to research that – but yeah can be done somehow in theory – but easier if I do it, not you – After I asked, it turned out it was for twestival beirut 2010 backup – i mentioned – hey, if you are doing twestival 2011 and need tech stuff to be done, feel free to contact me – w ya heik l 3al2a li 3lekta ( joking ) - So she added me to the team and I was in .
First of all – we were in touch with twestival global team and thanks to their kick-ass geek – we managed to perform the above restore task.
Then came the turn of the boring and typical task of having a hosting , creating emails, configuring them, send test emails, call over the phone to check if they received them, configure gmails blabalbla.
Things got more interesting when I was added to a closed facebook group used by the dear Darine, Naema, Lucienne and Sana to co-ordinate tasks and share info (I just noticed ano all members are women lol).
Being in the group was awesome – since we are already friends, collaboration was really smooth – somehow collaborating on facebook gives it a “friends” feeling – the interface is less “serious” than a google doc for example – less pro then those paid solutions from big companies – there is the “like” button – we could show appreciation and encouragement to each other upon completion of tasks. The like button was even used as a “poll” ! When we wanted to chat, we simply used the Facebook Chat option ;p
I can compare the facebook group to somehow a better-google-wave as well – you have many “waves” started on the main wall – people react to them, there is the like/poll button for voting, we got notifications to our emails that we could read. Sharing Media like images and videos is very intuitive – facebook group even has docs you can use for creating task list and such. What I loved about the facebook docs is that it is somehow Notepad but with bold and ordered lists ! I am secretly praying they don’t ruin it by turning it into something bulky and bloated. Notepad is all you need for task lists and info sharing !
It was the first time I really use facebook for collaboration – when it comes to volunteering and the way we used it in the team really it kicked ass ! Beats email, beats google docs, beats separate image sharing, beats chat , beats wave :) and it has this social aspect that i loved.
Anyhow, enough on the facebook part.
Since it is twestival – it was really shameful if we don’t put the word “tweet” in it – so thanks to Lucienne Hanna – we got in touch with Terranet – they granted us our internet wish/dream.
In a country known to be the slowest in the world – when an ISP told me make a wish for covering twestival and we will grant it – a really really wide smile shot up my face !
So I told them we will be doing the following :
- Live Streaming on the global twitter channel (ouh yeah ! )
- Live twitter panel
- Live pics from PhotoBooth
- Live pics aggregated from attendance
- Uploading of videos and interviews with attendance
- Tweeting for the attendees
We estimated that live streaming minimum reqs are 700kB/s upload – we calculated and crunched numbers – and decided to ask for a 1.5 MB up and down.
Trust me when i say – you better ask someone for his soul then for good connectivity – but TerraNet granted us our wish and put internet and tweets in our twestival.
Then came time for logistics – get the video cams, cams, someone to shoot at booth – Abzyy will be at the booth shooting people and funkyozzi trusted me with her 2 video cams (those cams are now pretty familiar with leb tweeps ;p )
Setting up the website was really easy – the blog takes custom HTML – the donate buttons and tickets online sale are modules provided by twestival global – it was Sana who set them up. I tried to help the lady – but it was mind boggling for me to go through some of the processes – specially the donate button ;p
Twestival really provides with all the tools and platform needed , they send tutorials, provide a person to follow up with in problems – so it is super well organized when it comes to tech ( yeah, i am impressed) – It was really fun and easy doing the tech work – I can’t say the same for the PR, design, social media , traditional media,content writing work – since they require way more energy and effort - for once i am really glad I got the easy part ;p
All those efforts is to fund raise for a good cause and most important celebrate the twitter community around the world and the change it can help bring around.
Before I bore you more – just one thing I would like to say : in beirut we have a twestival – a twitter festival – how geeky is that ! and to top it off – Elie Saab – yes THE elie saab is bringing fashion to the geeky world ! *there is a really wide grin that goes on my face each time i read this*
I will leave you with this pic as a last inspiration :) Enjoy it