I keep getting these invitations to join my “friends” on google +. I keep looking at these emails and I keep them marked in my inbox as unread. Why? Because I can’t decide if I want to join my “friends” in yet another online endeavor. After there is facebook, that I now use to play scrabble with random strangers on and just check notifications and maybe respond to the occasional message. There is twitter that I just keep being followed on despite very little activity. There is gchat that I usually don’t log on to. There is my yahoo mail (the only thing I do check religiously) and they keep threatening to upgrade me to the new and improved version. And skype which I never log into except from my work account. And of course there is my smart phone  that allows me to connect to all the above. And let’s not forget this blog too.

 

What’s funny is I am not an avid user of all that connectivity. None of it seems real to me, so why would I connect through one more thing and add to the list of accounts to manage and passwords to remember? I don’t know what google + is, so this isn’t about it or its functions, I know that I will eventually find out. But I think this weekend I will dedicate some time to old fashioned pen and paper and write some letters and head to the post office and get some stamps.

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So as a skeptic of Twitter and its crazy chatter I was surprised at myself for wanting to go, and thankful to Ali for taking me along, to the Amman Twestival. The Twestival that took place last night was not what I would call a festival but more of a seminar with four panelists and a lively audience discussion. As a blogger it was very interesting to hear the about the potential of Twitter as a leveraging tool and a means of outreach.

The discussion though focused on the corporate and the entrepreneurs was if not useful was definitely fascinating to follow with ideas, and responses from corporate, venture capitalists, start ups, and various web initiatives. The leveraging of social media and its use in what is being called social marketing and customer service was one of two topics that dominated the discussion. The other being digital content and how content is the driving force behind followers.

Present in the audience were bloggers and Tweeps (People who use twitter apparently are called tweeps- I am now a tweep). Being at the Twestival I felt something was missing, and that was the Tweep from the panel. But then I quickly realized that a Tweep didn’t need to be there on the panel they were in the room constantly twittering and in doing so they were contributing to the live digital discussion going on in parallel the to the one on the ground. At one point you could hear the people talk and the laptop keyboards and mobile phone keypads clicking away at the same time, and to keep up you had to keep an ear on the conversation and an eye on the main screen projecting the tweets. It seemed to me as if everyone was gossiping, talking, contributing, making fun and having fun at the same time.

The Twestival was a learning experience for sure, and the fact that Aman Fund (www.alamanfund.jo) benefited from it made me a happy camper thanks to Aramex’s gracious donation. The networking opportunity that took place afterwards over atayef and coffee was just as valuable if not more – taking the conversation to the next level and making personal, generating even more ideas and finally motivating me to go twitter. Now to get the hang of the tweets.