Pawpawty: Twitter has gone to the dogs, cats, and bunnies

If you’re on Twitter and follow some other pet owners, you may have started seeing a few of your Twitter friends ending their status updates with #pawpawty. PawPawty is a monthly virtual party that people on Twitter participate in as their pets. The mission of PawPawty is to raise money for a different animal charity each month. It’s a monthly 24hr virtual party to have fun, win prizes, meet new people, and to raise funds for animal charities all over the world.

Here’s how it works and what you need to do to pawty:

1: You make a twitter ID posing as your pet and tweet status updates as if it was coming from them, such as saying something like, “I went for a walk and tried to chase a squirrel but wasn’t allowed!” A lot of people who have Twitter IDs for their animals also talk in “LOLCAT” language which is a cross between phonetic and just bad spelling of words such as SKEDULE (schedule) or PEE-MAIL (email).

2: To attend a party, you just need to start tweeting with #pawpawty somewhere in your status the day the party starts. To find the next pawpawty, check out their website. You can also let them know you’re going to the pawty by RSVP-ing here.

3: Pawpawties are like big gatherings of twitter people who have conversations and pretend they are at a party. It’s amusing to read but the stream of people replying and posting is very fast and you can lose track. If you want to be able to see a real-time stream of the pawpawty and have it be separated from the non-pawty Twitter people you follow try Tweetdeck, which allows you to create categories into different columns to make it easier for you to follow information that is relevant to you. For instance, I have a column called “News” where I follow CNN, NY Times, and other news twitter feeds. For the pawpawty you could create a column that finds all tweets that have #pawpawty in them.

4: Once you are “at the party” you’ll see posts that ask if you’ve paid your cover charge or made a donation to the charity with a link. You’ll also see links to fun photos of other people’s pets, silly photos of the animals at the party, and a link to listen to the music the DJ is playing.

5: There are those who are SEKURITY (security) officers who monitor the activity and will report bad twitter animals as spammers or “bullies” to Twitter. It’s a party, be nice, don’t bite, and have fun!

6: You don’t have to stay online for the full 24 hours – come and go as you please. Please remember to donate a few dollars to the charity of choice.

In the time that PawPawty has started, it has grown from just a group of people pretending to be their animals and giving money to a specific charity to having many people take time to create fun ID pictures for the pawties, be security guards, organize payments, and create funny after-pawty blogs and pictures. There’s a pawparrazi wall where twitter pictures have been collected for each pawty. The pawties have themes too and if you have a bit of Photoshop experience you can have your cat or dog have a Santa hat on or Easter bunny ears.

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This past month was a Las Vegas themed party and many animals were dressed up as Elvis. The charity chosen was World Society for the Protection of Animals and they raised $1878 that went to help animals that were affected from the disaster in Haiti. In total so far, pawpawty has raised over $23,000 for different animal charities around the world. It’s an amazing use of social networking that is different from Facebook fan pages and causes, because this also motivates people to “talk” to each other, come together for a cause, and make new friends without much effort. Why not attend the next pawpawty and see if your critter makes some new friends and maybe even finds true luv?

If you find yourself wanting to help organize future Pawpawties, contact the following twitter critters to learn more: @frugaldougal and @snick_the_dog.

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