Twestival, or why Twitter is the better alternative

Today is Twestival day and I am also attending the local gathering of Twitter users – which also happens to take place in my favourite pub here in Frankfurt (aptly named “the place to be“).

Twestival is a world-wide, almost simultaneous event (live streaming) and attendees are encouraged to donate some money to Charity Water, an NGO active in Ethiopia.

Somehow in a Prof. George Ayittey-way and having previously gained some experience on NGOs, the water business and having a different perspective (of an African/European intellectual) on it, I do of course feel a bit discomforted with such mass-donation events that a) promote water as a sexy (and innocent) cause and b) provide absolution to some Westeners who “want to do good”. Sorry, but sustainable approaches just don’t work that way. I would rather prefer institutional changes than the drilling of wells for areas on which we do not even have groundwater maps. But maybe that’s just me and my scepticism.

On the other hand, I somehow adore how they are making use of social media tools to mobilize the masses. Maybe this is what it takes to reach the masses. And this is also very cool:

FireShot Pro capture #84 - 'Twestival Tweet Meet Give ' - www charitywater org twestival
Tweet some facts” via Twitter.

I think we should also use this for ecological sanitation projects. Using social media to mobilize the masses. Kudos to CharityWater for this really smart approach!

One of the reaons for the success of Twitter and other micro-blogging services, I think, is also the lack of alternatives.

Yes. Even in 2009, there’s still no decent mobile blogging client except for Twitter & Co.

What I am looking for is an application designed for a smartphone that enables me to quickly post an update to my website, with annotated images, maybe also video content and the ability to edit all of this as well as moderate comments. All of the previously mentioned apps for Symbian S60 phones and plugins for installations just don’t do the job for me. And I don’t know about this on the iPhone. Is it any better? Would be a reason to switch phones.

So, even though Twitter is just a micro-blogging service with a limitation to 140 characters / message, it helps to serve the basic idea behind blogging: connecting people through conversations. And besides, with this character limit it is also compatible with another popular service: SMS.

I really like the idea of combining social media tools with the sector I am active in: sustainable sanitation.? Maybe that’s just the way forward for me.