Twitchhiker | Paul Smith's travel tales from here and there

How you can help me – be on Twitter tomorrow from midday!
25/02/2009, 12:18
Filed under: twitchhiker project | Tags: , , ,

We’re nearly there. Just four days to go. I’ve decided I’m mostly excited with only a twist of the heebie-jeebies.

So I’m planning to leave Newcastle on Sunday dinnertime, but how? And where? That’s where you come in. I can make travel plans three days in advance, so tomorrow is the litmus test of whether this is really going to work.

From 12 midday GMT tomorrow
, I’d like you to offer whatever you can to help me – transport or accommodation – to begin my journey from Newcastle. It’s the only time we’ll have a clock-start, so we can have an “official” launch on Twitter. Otherwise, offers simply have to be for three calendar days ahead of the current – offers for Monday can be made anytime on Friday, and so on. I’m sure that somewhere along the line this will get sticky when timezones are taken into account, but I’m sure one of you will notice and put me right.

So how will tomorrow (and subsequent days) work as far as offers are concerned?

  • If you want to offer me transport or accommodation, you need to send a public message beginning with @twitchhiker
  • No direct messages at this point please – it’s very important everyone can see your offer; this must be a completely transparent process – any offers made by direct message will be ignored.
  • If you make an offer, don’t include too much detail; if it’s transport, say where you can take me from and to, and what the method of transport is. If it’s accommodation, just mention whether it’s a spare room, a sofa, a hostel, and where it is – no addresses, just the town or city will do.
  • I’ll send a @reply to the people I’d like to help me. That person then needs to reply back in public to @twitchhiker and confirm the offer. If don’t hear anything back within an hour or so, I’ll probably move on to another offer, if I have one. Once the offer is confirmed, we’re in business! The detail will be worked out in private by direct message; this is primarily to keep me safe.

It’s up to me to look at everything and match up offers of transport with offers of accommodation – you may not think your offer makes much sense by itself, but it may be a single piece in a much larger jigsaw, so please offer anything you can and let me know how you can help.

I don’t know what to expect on day one; there may be dozens of people wanting to help, or thousands waiting to watch me fail. If you’ve any questions about this process, if any part of it doesn’t seem clear, leave a comment below and I’ll reply.


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I protect my updates. Does this mean I can not offer you help? I see why you want keep things open, but turning down help from anyone who protects there updates may not be the best way.

Comment by Alistair MacDonald

Could people who protect their updates not just unprotect the ones to @twitchhikder?

Comment by Adrian

And, yes, I normally can spell… 😉

Comment by Adrian

Or if the worst comes to the worst, create a second account? I dunno, I’m not even good at Twitter, why am I even trying to help… arghh…

Comment by Adrian

Unfortunately it does mean you can’t help me. I can’t enter into private negotiations to arrange my trip.

From a practical point of view, everyone needs to see what is on offer so they can respond with offers that might compliment them. Plus, Twitter users are my checks and balances, and need to see everything going on to keep me honest.

I’m not a fan of closed accounts; I think they go against best practise on Twitter. I tried it with my personal account, and I think I benefit far, far more from being public; people are more likely to follow me, to become involved and to share.

The whole reason Twitter succeeds is that its default setting allows open interaction, not closed; if everyone operated their accounts privately, then a) everyone would have learnt about this morning’s air crash through traditional media, and b) everyone might as well go back to Facebook.

Obviously I want everyone to support this, but you need to be fully embrace it and be part of the wider community to do so. If that’s not for you, that’s fair enough.

Comment by Paul

hey – ? Why stop at “CAMPBELL ISLAND” – it’s summertime here (well it’s supposed to be) and a trip through Christchurch – would grab a ‘NIWA”‘ free-fight down & back – to the SOUTH POLAR REGION – (if someone at NZ’s NIWA was on twitter) … as they “run” flights for staff – to & from McMurdo & Scott Base… ANTARTICA… – & U wouldn’t need to stay – just touch the ice & fly back… the same day?
& U wouldn’t need VISA down there ? (no atm’s on the icepack)

Comment by QUIX-NZ

Do a quick wikipedia search – re:- NEW ZEALAND… almost near the bottom – You’ll SEE this… New Zealand operates Scott Base in its Antarctic territory, the Ross Dependency. Other countries also use Christchurch to support their Antarctic bases and the city is sometimes known as the “Gateway to Antarctica”.
Thus – Christchurch – may be a UK “nationality” (base) ‘leap_point” also?
Worth an ask somewhere…

Comment by QUIX-NZ

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