Meet up with like-minded advocates of technology and social media and help some kids in Africa tonight at the Denver Twestival. That’s short for “Twitter Festival,” and it’s the local iteration of a global event organized via Twitter to help worthwhile causes. The Denver event will raise funds and collect shoes for Shoes for Connor, a Lone Tree-based charity that provides shoes for impoverished children around the world. It’s a sterling example of how social media can be used to generate interest and awareness of a cause in a short time. “The best example I can give is Jerry Lewis’s Telethon, started in 1956,” says Chuck Blakeman, one of the organizers. “Thirty years later, it was in 180 cities inside the continental U.S. In three weeks, we had 200 cities worldwide. Certainly, we’re not raising anywhere near the kind of money Jerry Lewis is, but it gives you an idea of how people who have never met, who have a common , simple means of communication, can put something together that is very powerful and is going to have an impact worldwide. Imagine what it will look like two or three years from now.”

More than 200 cities worldwide are participating, and live Twitter feeds from other events will be displayed throughout the event. There will be a silent auction with items ranging from pro athlete’s signed shoes to original art, a live band, a short presentation by the founder of Shoes for Connor, and a short film that shows how the shoes will help needy kids — plus the usual eating, drinking and socializing that goes on at any good tweetup.

The Twestival starts tonight at 5 p.m. at Cool River Cafe, 8000 East Belleview Avenue in Greenwood Village. Tickets are $20, or $10 with a pair of shoes, or $1 with ten pairs (practical shoes only, and please tie or rubber-band them together). All money raised goes directly to charity. For more info, visit or use the #DenverTwestival hashtag on
Sat., Sept. 12, 5 p.m., 2009

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Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato

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