Sure, Twitter might be a fantastic time-suck at work, a distraction at play (admit it, you've tweeted at dinner!), and even a tempting place to spill your soul or make absolutely no sense at all after that one last cocktail you shouldn't have had. (You mischievous thing, you!)
As for redeeming qualities? What about all the money those tireless volunteers from the Twitterverse are raising for a good cause via Twestival Phoenix?
This is where social media gets really interesting.
Using the viral nature of Twitter to rally the troops, organizers have brought on an impressive lineup of sponsors for this Thursday's big Twestival shindig at Martini Ranch. The end goal is $7,500 in donations for Concern Worldwide's efforts to build or renovate schools for children in the poorest parts of the world.
From 7 to 10 p.m., guests will get to schmooze with other locals they know from Twitter (indeed, it's a tight-knit and damn cool community where everyone eventually knows everyone, and they're all about food). But of course, you don't need to have an online handle to participate. Admission is a $20 ($10 for students, $30 for regular admission plus five raffle tix).
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Local band The Surfside IV will perform live, and there will be eats and drinks from Cruz Tequila, Petit Fromage, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, Fairytale Brownies, Karlsson's Vodka, and Sessions Lager. Many more donors have contributed goodies for the night's silent auction and raffle. They also have some rockin t-shirts (see one of them at left) -- proceeds from those will also go to Concern. Since they're limited edition and will go like the proverbial hotcakes, you have to order one in advance from Brand X in Tempe.
Twestival Phoenix even has its own free iPhone app that serves as a guide to the event. God, these people are futuristic.
Phoenix is one of more than 200 cities around the world hosting its own Twestival, and competition is fierce to raise the most dough. 100 percent of the proceeds go to charity.
So how about this -- get tickets for Twestival, buy a t-shirt, and just throw some money in their general direction. You'll be in good company.