Twitter: A Catalyst for Change

Continuing the conversation on the Phoenix technology community, I wanted to describe what has been happening in the last year here in Phoenix.

More meet-ups are taking place around the Valley (of the Sun) and more people are attending them. Refresh Phoenix has been my favorite tech-related meet-up during the last two years and often draws the most people. Anywhere from 20-40 people from as far as 60 miles away would come out every month on the first Tuesday of the month.

This year, there has been a trend of increased attendance at Refresh Phoenix and other local gatherings. Refresh Phoenix seems to be maintaining an average of 40-50, jumping up to about 80 in February on Demo Night. There were about 47 people at last week’s Social Media Club Phoenix meeting, which was great to see.

Every Friday for the last few months, anywhere from 4-10 people have been meeting up at various local independent coffee shops. The meetings are casual, open, and planned in an ad-hoc style by whoever feels like showing up. They are organized on Twitter, sometimes as late as Thursday.

Meet-ups seem to be benefiting greatly from Twitter’s communication mechanism. It’s easier for people to hear about events taking place in their area, as long as they’re connected with enough people in their area.

Twitter is a catalyst for Phoenix. Phoenix has no shortage of talented and interesting folks. The problem is the network. People don’t know there are thousands of others in the city who share their interests. Twitter allows people to connect with a broader network and, most importantly, be subjected to conversations between people inside their circle with people outside their circle. This simple trait of an open communication platform does wonders for introducing people with similar interests to each other.

Thanks to Twitter, people are connecting — at least digitally — with more people. This means they have the opportunity to hear about more events going on in their area, thus increasing their likelihood of attending.

9 Replies to “Twitter: A Catalyst for Change”

  1. Possible downside to tools such as Twitter: People get so much data from assorted digital tools that they no longer think they need to physically meet-up with people. But there is a world of difference in the quality of interaction and personal exchange in meatspace.

    You can’t beat the bandwidth of same time, same place.

  2. Great article and that’s awesome news that PHX is embracing Twitter. I need to get my biz partners together so we can attend a PHX Refresh meeting. I have lived in PHX for almost 2 years now, but have not yet had the chance to meet too many other local web 2.0 geeks like myself, so this should be fun!

  3. I like what I am hearing here! Coming from New England, I am used to the old “person-to-person” networking meetings since the geography is so compressed and the Boston area is relatively small in square miles. Out here, I have noticed that the large footprint of the metro area seems overwhelming… BUT Twitter is a good connection tool to get things organized for these meetups. Another hidden gem to the simple little Twitter…

  4. Great summary Brian.

    I’ve been using Twitter’s track feature to find and follow other Phoenicians. Been amazed with how many cool geeks there are in town. Can’t wait to visit my first Tweet-up!

    Explanation of how to use Twitter’s track feature:

    PS – I track Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa among other things. (Send a text msg with ‘stats’ to Twitter to see everything you’re tracking.) *Unfortunately*, these notifications ONLY show up on your device and I’m following so many people that I only turn on my device when I’m drunk on the weekends.

    Dear Twhirl, if you’re listening, can you please add this to your client? I’ll give you my future children. (And by that, I’m referring to a thimble of the raw ingredients.)

  5. I’ve found recently that I spend so much time networking online to build my brand that I have less time to do the work that started my brand! Where does it stop??? Great blog!

  6. This is so true. Especially the very last line. Going to one thing (hackmania @gangplank) has opened up many social opportunities and started friendships.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *