Group puts some face time into social media
Despite its name, there is an element to social media that's not so, well … social.
Twitter users rarely know everyone they talk to online. Oftentimes, only a fraction of their followers are people they've actually ever met in person.
A group of Pittsburghers are working to make those connections a little more personal. Every month, they gather in person at a different spot around town to eat, drink and put a real face to the names they've seen only online.
“It's very laid-back,” says Andy Quayle (@techburgh), 33, of Munhall, one of the organizers of Pittsburgh TweetUp (@PghTweetUp). “We say we're putting the ‘social' back in social networking.”
The monthly events attract as many as 50 people at a time. They've met everywhere from IKEA to Piper's Pub, the Carnegie Science Center to Finnigan's Wake. Sometimes, events serve as fundraisers for organizations like The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. All are welcome.
The next one, set for 6 to 9 p.m. May 24, at Wigle Whiskey in the Strip District, will benefit the Pittsburgh Promise.
The gatherings are casual, with folks sipping drinks, shaking hands and getting to know their virtual friends.
“We can see the value in getting a group of people together and having people interact face-to-face,” says William Reynolds Young, 23, of Castle Shannon, fellow TweetUp organizer (@WReynoldsYoung). “It's a networking event without the formality.”
Young knows the value of that connection personally. He met his two closest friends online and even pursued launching an online technology blog with them before ever seeing them in person for the first time in January.
Katie Biehl, 32, of Monroeville, (@KatieB480), has been to several of the events, most recently at the April TweetUp at the Tin Front Cafe in Homestead.
“You meet a lot of new people, get some new followers,” she says. “Everyone is really cool. You just hang out. There's no pressure.”
John Quayle, 25, of Canonsburg (@jpquayle) started following Andy Quayle online simply because of their shared last name — there's no relation.
“It's a quality group of people,” John Quayle says. “It's a good way to hit places around town. If I'm trying a new place, why not try it with 20-plus new people?”
Young says the goal is to have events at as many places around the region as possible.
“We want to keep things new and interesting,” he says. “Plus, if we have an event in the north, west, east or south, we tend to attract different folks.”
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates’ 5-game winning streak ends with 1-0 loss to Brewers
- More companies embrace exchanges to curb health care costs
- Paying tuition a challenge as costs skyrocket and aid varies
- Penguins notebook: Crosby sits, could be out ‘couple days’
- Gas industry remedies ‘brain drain’ in Western Pennsylvania
- Hill District leaders irked as Penguins submit former Civic Arena site plan to city
- Pitt blows 10-point lead as Iowa rallies for win
- Electricity rates expected to increase this winter
- Penn State rolls past Massachusetts
- Starkey: Can Steelers’ Mitchell find Carolina cure?
- Penguins’ Rutherford hopes to raise Cup again