Malleable Musings

April 24, 2009

Twittering in conferences

Filed under: Conferences, Twitter — Tags: , — Brendan @ 7:13 am

On Wednesday I was asked if I could run a presentation for the Centre for Distance Education. That night I couldn’t sleep and instead of counting sheep I thought about conferences and presentations.

Twitter actually provides a useful addition to conferences. I hate the idea of twitter as a backchannel – it’s not a backchannel it’s a public conversation.  Within conferences and presentations it can provide an echo-chamber for the speaker(s) to understand what’s going on and a place to refine thoughts and continue a conversation.

However I wonder if it’s as useful as it should be.  I’ve got a very long unfinished post (private link at the moment) about a conference I was involved in from a couple of months ago.

As I was lying in bed I thought about the major problems.

1.) Integrating the feedback from Twitter in to the main presentation
2.) Using the tweetstream – especially at a later date, I don’t think conferences can rely on search.twitter.com, e.g. search for a conference from last year on Twitter then search for it on Google with a site:twitter.com modifier.
3.) Attribution of tweets and the unintended changing of meaning of what a speaker actually means

This lead me to two particular thoughts which I noticed as tweets from two people the next morning about tweeting when a keynote speaker and about using the tweetstream.

It also led me to start playing around, with a few things and last night I watched the extremely good .eduguru’s presentation at #hewebcornell which prompted a few further thoughts about how the process could be improved further.

I’ll need to write more sometime.

(P.S. 12.05.09) – Just discovered this great post by James Clay about use of Twitter in conferences and social reporting.

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