Times of India: Bangalore Twitter users raise money for charity

By B Pradeep Nair. September 13, 2009.

BANGALORE: IT professionals, hotel management executives, entrepreneurs, artistes: they were all there with one purpose of supporting a charity at the Twestival in the city on Saturday. Bangalore was one among the 200-odd cities around the world (including six other Indian cities) where Twitter users gathered this weekend for a cause.

It was an evening of fun and entertainment at Kyra Theatre, Indiranagar. The mind-reading session by Nakul Shenoy took the audience’s breath away as he rightly guessed what’s in the mind of participants who volunteered. There were standup comedy shows by Aron Kader and Papa CJ; a quiz programme, and finally a performance of contemporary Indian folk, with a fusion of rock, Carnatic and jazz by Swarathma. While the programme was on, a giant screen displayed the live tweets on the Twitter festival.

The organizers were upbeat. “At least 140 people are here. There were many who bought tickets but couldn’t make it,” said Vaijayanthi K M, regional coordinator for Twestivals in India, Bangladesh and Middle East. “We haven’t checked exactly how much we got for the charity, but it’s at least Rs 20,000.” Bangalore event coordinator Hrish Thota said the event surpassed expectations. “We also showed that twittering is not just a time pass but can be leveraged to achieve noble objectives.”

Twestival Bangalore is supporting Dream A Dream, a Jayanagar-based charity that works with NGOs to impart life skills to children. Says Pooja Rao of Dream A Dream, “We decided to partner with Twestival because this is a global event that will help create awareness about the social work that we do and also about volunteering that is at the core of the movement.”

Rakesh Krishnakumar, a software engineer with IBM, is an avid Twitter user. “I use Twitter to know what is happening in the city. It’s an effective medium to communicate with your friends and family. My mother, who is in Delhi, has a Twitter account and follows my tweets to keep in touch with me.”

Mark Doray, a knowledge management professional with Nokia Siemens Networks, thinks Twitter is a powerful information dissemination tool. “I follow experts who tweet about my subject and it helps me a lot in my profession. Twitter is most effective when we identify the right people who tweet and follow them.”

But not all participants at Twestival use Twitter. Ravi Kumar, an engineer with IBM, had come on the suggestion of a friend. “Neither do I use Twitter nor am I a fan of the band that’s performing, but I thought this was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday evening – for a charity,” he said. Sujit Krishnan, a hotel management executive, was another. “I’ve just heard about Twitter, that’s all. It’s amazing how online guys can get offline and pull off something like this!”

Note: Article reproduced from Bangalore Twitter users raise money for charity – Times of India


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