This Week on teh Interwebs

#TwBSO and @Blogobar


et bientôt une version française de ce billet 🙂

As y’all know, I’m always one to go to Tweetups and blog meetups and whatever online people do to congregate in real life. As Stephanie Booth mentioned in one of her recent blog posts, there are a lot of opportunites in the French part of Switzerland to meet tweeps/online people IRL.

One topic of conversation I have frequently with my Swiss German cohorts (with whom I sadly speak in English) is the real presence of a social media Röstigraben. With the except of a few highly-connected people, I do find the online communities in Switzerland pretty segregated by language (then “expats” but that is another story for another post). I think I have a decent presence in the social media scene of Romandie but have realized in recent weeks I know nothing about what happens on the other side of the Sarine (the “Saane” if you will).

One manner of rectifying this has been to go to #TwBSO in Solothurn, hosted by Martin Rechsteiner and which, in its last edition in February, assembled people from the region and around Bern, as well as people from as far as Zurich and…Lausanne (MOI). It’s a great way to cross the linguistic barrier for Romands namely due to its close location (an hour from Lausanne by train, less by car): I left work at a normal time and was just in time for the apero at the Solothurn Ramada. Call me American, but I can’t understand why people have no drama commuting from Vevey to Geneva, but think going to Solothurn (less train time) for drinks is like going to Outer Mongolia. So shed your insular bourgeois notions of travel and join us for the March edition of #TwBSO on March 30th, again at the Ramada, by signing up here. The old joke about what happens when you put Swiss from all the linguistic groups in an elevator (they speak English) rings true: the more people show up, the more chance you have of speaking the language you want. I had a great time in English at the last #TwBSO. If you can’t make the March event, the rest of the dates for 2011 can be found here.

As one of the “ultras” I would be remiss if I did not mention one of my favorite soirées romandes. The very next evening, March 31st, Xavier Bertschy hosts in Neuchatel the first Blogobar of 2011. To sign up, the form is here. Unlike #TwBSO, the location changes per trimester, info on the next editions (namely Fribourg in June for those of you who want to cross the Röstigraben easily) can be found on this page. As I mentioned above, your presence determines the language, and you are guaranteed to find someone willing to speak in “your” language.

Hope to see you on one side or the other of the linguistic divide (and no comments from the peanut gallery how I wrote this post in English)!


Author: Nicole Cunningham

American Expat and convert to Islam living and working between Lausanne and Zurich, Switzerland.

4 thoughts on “#TwBSO and @Blogobar

  1. Thx much for your post, i hope it will be come a lot of people from the french part of switzerland @ the maybee first #Röstigraben #Tweetup 🙂

  2. Ben tu vois, pas plus tard que ce matin, il m’est arrivé un truc assez symptomatique de la situation. J’étais sur FB, je vois une publicité qui pour une fois me donne envie de cliquer j’arrive sur un site pour retrouver ses camarades de classe. Le site est en allemand si tu choisis “suisse”. Pour avoir le français, il faut aller… sur le site français (inutile quand tu as fait tes écoles en Romandie). Il y a déjà le problème que les internautes ne communiquent pas dans la même langue, mais il n’y a pas de site suisse réellement multilingue dans sa conception. Tu as essayé d’obtenir la page d’ en français? Bref, je suis d’accord qu’il n’y a pas d’unité du net suisse, mais si les créateurs de site ne font pas l’effort, les utilisateurs ne vont certainement pas le faire…

  3. Well – as a Swiss/Portuguese grandma-baby-muslima (find out what this is) living in the last south-west corner of Europe where Muslims are very rare, and who has a certain aversion against the English language (don’t know why – loved it when I was a Teenager) I would prefer a french version. Or – what about german?

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