Twitter: Means getting a better conference experience

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2008/04/18 · 4 comments 1 views

in c micro-blogging Twitter,e marketing 101 serving a need

So post-it notes and notebooks is what Twitter is to blogs – a sort of micro-blogging that is becoming ever more popular with users.
Some have argued that all this microblogging is helping us to become less effective

Some people have compared post-it notes and notebooks to what Twitter is to blogs. However, Twitter is another social network that makes our living in a glass bowl as far as privacy is concerned ever more a reality:

Kids have difficulties using this technology safely:

Safer Internet Day 2008 – CyTRAP Labs quicktip – facebook versus privacy

So are corporations who must deal with the security issues. I am pretty certain that Forrester Research failed to address and reflect on two issues namely:

a) EU-ReguStand trend spotting – Twitter – e-discovery requires managing your risk exposure smartly

b) Twitter – why this technology causes corporations some serious headaches

We have pointed out before that Twitter can help you wasting quite a bit of work time.

On one of our recent posts, Adam Cohen made an important point in saying:

While some of the “tweets” were not always on topic, I would suggest we are all still learning about Twitter and it’s usefulness in these situations.

However, for Hugh McLeod it was all clear that Twitter had failed him to bring order and help manage the e-mail overload better so his decision was:

2008-04-10 – declaring Twitter bankruptcy

He felt that the Twitter strategy had failed for him. Nonetheless, with some cyber mobbing from his friends he decided to get back onto Twitter. Still we are uncertain if it will do him any good and help being more productive. Therefore, we sent him a set of 12 tools that might help in cutting down the time wasted with Twitter.

CyTRAP Labs tip – 12 best Twitter tools

If this post was helpful to you, please consider stumbling this post from CyTRAP Labs.
also of interest:
Twitter – why this technology causes corporations some serious headaches EU-ReguStand trend spotting – Twitter – e-discovery requires managing your risk exposure smartly
Going Solo – Ropes to Skip Twitter – means having a better conference experience

MichelleBB will most likely appreciate getting these tools or knows them already because she commented:

“I think we all see this year’s Forum as an opportunity to learn how to better leverage tools like Twitter to enhance the value of conferences for attendees and watchers alike.”

Nevertheless, as I pointed out in my previous post Twitter: wake up and smell the coffee – have a conversation instead raising the question:

– do these technologies improve the level,

– depth or accuracy

of our conversations. Put differently, do the add quality or quantity?

MichelleBB’s comment above lets me conclude that it does not have to be this way if one uses Twitter somewhat effectively – that goes for conference delegates as well as freelancers working from home while being logged into Twitter during the workday.

Eric Weaver started the discussions by stating:

    First, those of us there tweeting were doing so for different reasons. Some were using Twitter as a note-taking mechanism, some to share gems with followers. Some were using it to connect with others at the conference, and some with colleagues who couldn’t attend. The great thing about Twitter is that interested parties can sift through these tweets to find good stuff. But I would encourage people to link back to tweeters’ blogs for the real “meat”. It’s hard to continually craft gems in 140 characters or less. :)


Twitter is a wonderful tool if used correctly, as Warren Sukernek put so nicely in his comment:

“Twitter at conferences has numerous benefits:

– Makes the conference more collaborative via usage of the backchannel, so that it becomes a we event.

– enables the twitterer to take notes and stay more focused/engaged

– Provides those not at the conference with live on-going updates.”

Amy Worley puts it quite similar by saying:

“There are a lot of conversations going on right now related to how many people a person can feasibly follow on twitter before it becomes unproductive. Right now I think we’re each finding our own way to get the most out of it.”

Accordingly, working with Twitter can add value in many ways whilst listening to a keynote speaker at a conference. To make it feasible for attendees to network all it needs is a tag agreed beforehand as happened with the Forrester Marketing 2008 conference that used the #forrmarketing08 tag. In turn, Twitter adds a real-time chat feature for interacting with other delegates or those like me watching the video stream from afar. However, we have to use Twitter and other similar tools in such a way that they add value to our work and possibly professional lives beyond the conference itself.

Based on the feedback I received from people participating using Twitter at the Forrester Marketing 2008 conference (an expensive event, wished I could attend :-) ), the majority sending a tweet to me or commenting on blog felt positive about it.

In addition, blog comments indicate that delegates agree one way or the other that there is room for improvement, before we can take even better advantage of Twitter than most of us are able to do today.

My personal viewpoint is influenced by having experienced a conference this week where we did neither have wireless nor stationary access to the Internet. This was an unusual experience for me. Certainly, not having been able to share what went on during the conference with some of my buddies on Twitter that were not attending has been a new Going Solo conference for freelancers, May 16th, Lausanne (Switzerland).

experience for me (or taking a step back in time).

So I am looking forward to attending Going Solo where we will make great use of this technology to create even better synergies amongst attendees and and those trying to join the conversation from afar :)

PS. 1

Even Wired seems to overestimate the effect Twitter might have on our lives or survival when it comes to natural disasters – see this story:

2007-10-24 – Wired – In Disasters, Everyone, Not Just Bloggers, Should Use Twitter

Twitter may be great if your mobile phone is charged and you were able to take it with you, when running out of the house to escape a wild fire (e.g., Southern California). In such geographically contained cases of emergencies, SMS messages or Twitter can be great to keep people posted about where to go for being safe or to get shelter. Naturally, this assumes that the mobile network is working.

PS. 2

T-Mobile is the only carrier in the U.S. that blocks both, Facebook Mobile and Twitter on its network.

  • Warren Sukernek


    Nice analysis!

    I like how you were able to incorporate others’ viewpoints into the discussion, especially when they were the opposite of your point of view.

    It looks like we were able to convince you of the value of the twitter tool at a conference.

    As a result, I look forward to your tweets from the Going Solo conference.

  • David Berkowitz

    Great roundup. Thanks for sharing this on my blog.

    To: Dave
    From: Urs

    Thanks for the flowers but you were one of the people who got me thinking about this issue so I thought I had to respond and say thanks.

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