Ok, so most who are reading this will know that I tweet – if for no other reason that you can see what I’m tweeting in the update sidebar on your screen as you read this!
And lots of other people tweet too – some of it funny, some provocative, some thoughtful, some boring... and you may also know that there are lots of conventions and practices that have emerged around twitter: the #hashtag, the tweetup, and the tweeting live from events...
I've always liked to think that I’m open to ‘experimenting’ with my practices, so when I attended a recent event being staged by Unltd, I took the opportunity to jump onto a wifi network to tweet about the event ‘live’. And other people at the same event did the same. And from my perspective this meant some quite interesting things happened:
* I got to reflect on speakers’ presentations and discussions better because I could instantly follow (via the event #hashtag) what others thought of their points and arguments which helped me better reflect on them for myself
* people who I knew wanted to attend but couldn’t were able to get an insight into the emerging themes and issues being discussed, so didn’t miss out
* through being able to identify fellow tweeters at the event by searching for tweets with that #hashtag, I got to make contact with more people that I would have physically been able to do otherwise
BUT... all these things came at a cost. All the time I spent tweeting and reading others’ tweets I wasn’t fully listening to the speakers (naughty me!) and it also meant that I spent some of the time staring of my phone instead of being open to starting conversations with the strangers around me.
On balance, I’m glad I tweeted live as it meant I got a lot more out of the event that I would have done otherwise – having the opportunity to live tweet again may mean I attend more conferences in the future!