Twitter is great but the Tweetup is a phenomenon all it’s own. In Flagstaff, Arizona we are privileged to have had tweetups put together since 2009 by the always fabulous Paula Monthofer (@PMonthofer). I have been a part of other organizations but nothing quite like a tweetup, in fact I was looking for something new to get away from dual graphic design jobs, working in publications and web management at The Flagstaff CVB and burning the midnight oil with a graphic design freelance business. The first Flagstaff Tweetup came at just the right time as I was feeling burnt out in my virtual world of graphics and online avatar friends and needed a real world professional outlet. It was at Picazzo’s where members of a blossoming twitter community first came out from behind their PCs and mobile devices to meet IRL. What a truly motivating experience to meet people of similar interest and to talk about Twitter, then still very new. You can view photos from the first Flagstaff Tweetup on Deborah Soltesz’s Flickr Stream (@dsoltesz) .
From then on it was history, through Paula and friends like James Anderson (@Jim_Anderson1) and Carra Riley (@Cosmiccowpie) Flagstaff and Sedona Tweeps would continue to meet at various places throughout town on a monthly basis, meeting new tweeps and tasting fine samples of food provided by the generous restaurants and business owners. The tweetup became a volunteer effort by the members who chose to come and contribute, some took video, some wrote blogs and some bought drinks for those that came (Thanks Jim). This went on until Paula became “set at bay” with the much tweeted about #BellyPirate. Pre-occupied with her soon to be born, bundle of joy and her business as a Realtor and Instructor, I was obliged to take my turn in helping things along by bringing the much anticipated reopening of Bookmans and #Flagstaff #Tweetup together in one celebration. The 2011 January tweetup was a large one, no doubt due to the help from Kate Beles (@Bookmansflag), also a community who cherishes its local venues and an uncontrollable growing twitter audience. Within this tweetup there were mini tweetups: the twitter Rat-Pack of Flagstaff; @Kordean, @Bobraibourne, @drewlesaurus , @Mouuntain_O, @Eunicebrownlee, a group of new twitter Parents including Paula, @Schussman and @HeatherAinardi, a group of NAU Communication Arts students curious to check out the tweetup and a group of tech talking tweeters including @Bschorr, @Flagcent and @Sedonadogg, and so much more. With Paula’s support and encouragement I would go on to plan two more tweetups and am happy to say I found that real world professional outlet.
Thank you to Paula for not only starting the Flagstaff Tweetup, or #Flagup as coined by Greg Roybal (@Piogreg), but also encouragement and love to all us tweeps who use twitter to it’s full benefit and promote our wonderful town of Flagstaff.
Here are a few blogs dedicated to the Flagstaff Tweetup.