TWEET UP! Twitter Comes to Vermont


Got Twitter? - Round Barn Chef Charlie Menard Hosts the Very First “Tweet Up” in Mad River Valley’s History

Ashton’s doing it.

Oprah’s doing it.

Britney’s doing it.

And more and more Vermonters are doing it.

The “it” in question is “Twitter,” of course, a new, popular and free Web 2.0 micro-blogging application that allows its users to build networks of “followers” who email each other 140 character messages about a whole range of topics of their choosing, ranging from the now-cliched “I had pancakes for breakfast – yum!” variety to breaking news about swine flu (“Hamthrax,” in one Twitter-led joke) and the latest local and national events (Seven Days journalist Shay Totten “tweeted” the entire legislative gay marriage hearing a few months ago, allowing his followers easy access to up-to-the-minute debates as they unfolded).

Critics are quick to call Twitter an epistemological train wreck, the latest example of a culture that has lost its mind to simplistic and silly trivialities. But Twitter users will tell you that the application is simply another fun and creative way to communicate, something the human animal never tires of doing.

One devoted Twitter user is Round Barn chef Charlie Menard (, who has organized the Mad River Valley’s very first “Tweet Up,” a fun foodie-driven event organized entirely through Twitter, to be held at the Round Barn on Wednesday, May 27 from 5-8 p.m.

“My interest in Twitter at first was pure curiosity,” explains Menard. “Once I started to find people with similar interests and to follow their tweets, I began to realize the power of community building that Twitter and social networking in general has.”

A “tweet” is simply a 140 character message send through Twitter. Popular “tweets” are “re-tweeted” by other Twitter users in their networks, amplifying the power of the message - in some cases, exponentially.

But of what value is Twitter to a Vermont chef?

“The Food community on Twitter is fantastic in general, and the Vermont “foody” presence is really amazing,” Menard explains. “You can get all sorts of news by following foodies—restaurant reviews, what a chef has just prepared for tonight's special, what produce is coming out of gardens across the state, and of course the latest minute-by-minute news from events like the James Beard Awards.”

So what exactly is the purpose of a “Tweet Up”?

“The Tweet up is a mixer of sorts, an opportunity for our community to build and strengthen ties to our online neighbors, and a chance to meet the Tweeps behind the Tweets,” says Menard. “I know that there are some people that believe the future of Vermont is in its food. If we’re going to achieve that potential, we need to be a competitive presence in people’s lives and we also need to find a way to keep our young people in Vermont. I am truly inspired by the online community and I think that embracing the possibilities it offers will help us move forward.”

Find out more about Twitter at