Social media movement Twestival made its inaugural debut in Brunei on March 24, 2011, which marked an important day in the local social media scene. The chosen motto was ‘Tweet.Meet.Eat.Give‘ in order to raise money for the Child Development Centre in support of the World Down Syndrome Day. Another aim of the Twestival is to connect the local Twitter community offline and give them an opportunity to meet face to face.
The Brunei Twestival event was sponsored by Kitaro Japanese Restaurant and Swensens Cafe & Restaurant, which agreed to hold a food eating competition in support of the charity. The proceeds of the event will be used to buy new equipment and educational toys for the children of the Child Development Centre.
A pre-Twestival food challenge event was held at @KitaroJapanese Restaurant where contestants had to consume a plate of sushi. One of the top finalists in last year's Borneo Blogger awards, BorneoColours (@marul69), was very supportive of the Twestival event and uploaded a video of one of the winners of the Sumo Challenge.
At Swensen's Cafe & Restaurant, the Huge Swensen's Challenge required participants to eat the infamous ‘Earthquake’ of 8 scoops of ice cream weighing 3 oz each in a huge bowl topped with whipped cream and other sweet toppings. Local blogging heroes came to support and participate in the event like @ranoadidas, @anakbrunei, Senor Pablo, @kurapak and @maurina to name a few.
Funds were raised from a portion of the proceeds from dinner sales at Kitaro Japanese Restaurant Brunei on 22nd March 2011, and from the sale of ice cream and kids meals at Swensen's Brunei (from 20th March 2011 to 24th March 2011). The tally of funds raised came up to BND$1,573.82 and has gone towards the purchase of developmental toys, teaching aids and educational equipment for the children who undertake therapy at the Child Development Center.
Close to 500 people attended across both local events, many Twitter friends met up for the first time…
Along the way we picked up many big-hearted folks who helped with the logo (@jidah), technical issues (@thewheat, @mfirdaus & @talkingaloudbru), background details (@faeyakof & the crew of @ubdfm), PR (our local social media friends), including the sponsors (Swensens & @kitarojapanese) and the public who came to give their money and time.
A local podcaster @talkingaloudbru was present at the event and managed to do quick interviews during the pre-Twestival event at @KitaroJapanese Restaurant. He was also one of the volunteers promoting the event and he did a ‘live recording’ at Swensens during the main event. You can listen to pre-twestival podcasts here and Twestival Brunei podcast here.
@kurapak one of Brunei's well known bloggers, showed his support for the event by making a comic poster using the Twestival Brunei logo on his site. @johnreydangilan on his blog theasianbimbo made appearances during both the pre and main twestival events.
There were a lot of familiar faces on twitter and to be able to meet them were a little scary for me. I am a social pariah of some sort so being in the sea of all these people is a little bit of “I could pee a bit in my pants/puke inside my mouth” moment.
Being the charitable person I
pretend to beam, I am glad to be able to take part in this offline gathering of twitter lurves especially for a good cause. Even greater joy for me to see people who I have conversed with on twitter and a few more who recognised me from my rants here and there.