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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Davis Tweetup delivers dose of networking to de Vere’s

Local Tweeps gathered for the first official Davis Tweetup this place Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event was hosted by de Vere’s Irish Pub, located at 217 E St.

The Davis Tweetup is an ongoing project by Danielle DeBow and Blake Cooper. A Tweetup, which is a play on the word “meetup,” aims to bring together members of the community from all walks of life via the social networking service Twitter.

According to DeBow, there are many Tweetups that are entirely business-oriented. Such Tweetups consist of business owners getting together to network and brainstorm strategies and ideas. Cooper and DeBow plan to take a different course with the Davis TweetUp.

This Tweetup was the first event DeBow and Cooper jointly collaborated on, but there have been other Tweetups in the past. A Tweetup was hosted by Sacramento’s SacTweetUp when de Vere’s first opened its doors in Davis.

35 people were registered for Thursday’s event, but more were welcomed unregistered.

DeBow, a UC Davis 2007 graduate, majored in communication and currently works at Nugget Market as its marketing and communication manager.

“I just have always really thought that social media is a really interesting way to bring people together that maybe have never met before,” DeBow said. “An example of that is Blake, [whom] I’ve met on Facebook and have become great friends [with] and have very much the same goals for Davis TweetUp, which is to bring community members together and to bring students together so that they can learn [from each other].”

Cooper, the current outreach coordinator at the Education Abroad Center, was born and raised in Davis and said he has extensive experience with social media.

Cooper’s first foray into the world of social media was Thinkingten.com. This is a social site where writers are given a daily prompt and are allowed 10 minutes to write as much as they can about it.

“I’ve got a lot of projects like this that are going on, but I’m really plugged in to the social media network at UC Davis as well,” Cooper said. “They were really excited about this. Maybe we can have more of a networking for undergrad students, the same for grad students and faculty.”

Cooper has been giving presentations focused on social media throughout the country. In November, he will be hosting a presentation in China based on “Social Media 101 and 201,” covering the basics and how to build innovative social media platforms.

With the Davis TweetUp, Cooper said he wanted to bring people back to coffee shops and pubs to fuel some genuine face-to-face interaction, an alternative to staying plugged in and set adrift in the nebulous contours of the internet. In this sense, social media becomes more of a tangible aspect, rather than text and pixels on a screen, he said.

The benefits of the Tweetup exist on many planes. Down to the most basic level, attendees get the opportunity to meet new people and possibly forge new friendships, Cooper said. Especially in a close-knit college town like Davis, the blending of students with community members can lead to the exchange of a lot of helpful and useful information for both parties, he said.

On top of that, the local shops that host the Tweetups benefit from increased exposure and an influx of customers. DeBow mentioned that during a similar event at Nugget Market, of the roughly 100 attendees that had shown up, nearly half had never even been to Nugget before.

Justin Cox, editor and writer at the Davis Patch, was one of the many present at de Vere’s that evening.

“Social media has been a huge way that Davis Patch has grown,” Cox said. “I’m here because there’s going to be a lot of people that I’ve interacted with online that I’ve never even met. I think putting human faces to screen names and Twitter handles is a good, fun thing to do.”

Cooper has stated that Davis TweetUp has already been approached by several other local enterprises that would be more than willing to host the next Tweetup. Check @DavisTweetUp on Twitter for further information regarding future events.

There may also be plans to expand into other social media outlets.

ANDREW POH can be reached city@theaggie.org.

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