All the talk of Norfolk County this spring has been the phenomenon called “Tweet Folk Tours”, a gathering of local residents, business people and others who meet face to face in one place for the evening and engage in a group Twitter chat.
In January 2014, the Year of Social Media in Norfolk County was proclaimed at the municipality’s annual Economic Development Symposium. Social media guru Scott Stratten spoke to 175 local residents and business owners, extolling the opportunities and pitfalls of new technology.
The first Tweet Folk Tour (#twtfolks for short on Twitter) occurred on March 27, 2014 at the Blue Elephant Craft Brew House, involving a tour of the restaurant, networking, fellowship and learning.
The phenomenon gained momentum at Eat & Drink Norfolk, an annual local food and wine tasting event organized by the Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show in mid-April of each year. That was followed by a stop in late April at Kaley’s Kakes in downtown Simcoe, a beloved diner with great pastries. The group moved on to the Long Point Bird Observatory in early May, when images of colourful birds flashed across the twitter ‘verse.
The purpose of proclaiming 2014 as Norfolk County’s Year of Social Media is to encourage Norfolk County businesses, organizations and residents to participate actively in social media and other technologies in order to expand the capacity of citizens to become technologically proficient in an ever-changing world, to increase opportunities within our community, to encourage unity across Norfolk County and to grow community pride.
So far, Tweet Folk Tours is the shining example of how the Norfolk County community has embraced new technology and built new relationships in the process.
The Tweet Folk Tours initiative is the brainchild of Gregg McLachlan, Mike McArthur and Amy Van Kessel, three local residents who are champions of social media.
The Tweet Folk Tours events welcome newcomers to social media so they can mingle with more experienced Twitter users and learn by watching, laughing and doing.
If you live in Norfolk County and you’re interested in getting involved, follow @TweetFolkTours on Twitter.
Here are some recent examples of conversations between attendees at a Tweet Folk Tours event in Port Rowan:
@DennisTravale: Group forming to enjoy the food, flavours & ambience of @NossaCasaBistro in downtown Port Rowan.#twtfolks #Ilovenorfolk
@suereformer: Learning something new @TweetFolkTours thanks@ted_willey #twtfolks
@KCCOCath: So neat to have so many “new” people in town and learning about our gem @NossaCasaBistro #PortRowan #twtfolks
@gailbouw: I have arrived and have been greeted by #twtfolks at@NossaCasaBistro they are giving us a #feas@DooneyRanch: This looks amazing! Ready to dig in with my#twtfolk family!
@KaleahMK: And to think, I used to get yelled at for texting at the table! #twtfolks #tweetandeat