After they live-tweet, or, the what in ‘now what?’

Mark Oehlert thinks Twitter can be a good thing.  Though I haven’t discussed this nuance with him, I’m pretty sure he’d say it’s not good in and of itself; what matters is the use you put it to and the value you get out of it.

Take live-tweeting.  That’s when people at an event tweet about it in real time.  On the one hand, I can see how that might drive others crazy–the presenter, say, or the people sitting next to the person tapping away relentlessly.

Yet live tweets can accomplish other things:

  • They can help participants connect with one another.  If you’re in a huge keynote with hundreds of other people, you really don’t get reactions from folks more than three feet away.  Live tweets allow you to scan the reactions of others, even if you don’t send out your own response.
  • How this got startedThey can expand the conversation: people will tweet links to related topics, the presenter’s site, and so on.  This post is a direct result of seeing one of Mark’s tweets.
  • They capture unexpected connections: a live tweeter may have special knowledge of the subject, or related experience, or what I think of as something relevantly tangential (as opposed to tangentially relevant).
  • They bring outsiders into the event.  During the ASTD conference last May, for example, I learned about presentations thanks to live tweeters, even though I was unable to attend.

So what? Just a few minutes ago, I followed that link Mark tweeted.  It was for a tweetbook–a collection of tweets around some topic.  In this case, the topic was the recent Open Government and Innovations conference:

Heard of tweets?  Here's a herd of tweets!

That image is a link to a sixty-two page PDF document.  As Andrew Krzmarzick explains:

How often do you leavea conference and ask yourself, “That was nice, but now what?”

A few of us were pondering that precise predicament at the conclusion of the Open Government and Innovations Conference (now affectionately know as “#ogi”) when I mused that we should create something called a TweetBook — a neatly packaged compliation of all the tweets from the conference.

Then I saw a series of seven blog posts from @pbroviak on GovLoop and learned that the two-day grand total included 4,423 tweets from 629 contributors that comprised over 150 pages when dumped in a Word document.

Within days, a band of volunteers (including some who had not attended the conference) produced the tweetbook, reformatting and organizing tweets covering dozens of sessions as well as keynotes and plenary events.

So the comments didn’t just disappear–they’re ready for people interested in the topic to use as they will.  Like the folks at GovLoop, “a social network connecting the government community.”

6 thoughts on “After they live-tweet, or, the what in ‘now what?’

  1. Janet, you’ve probably seen the #lrnchat transcripts; the OGI tweetbook is another example.

    Sure, some of the individual tweets might not offer much–but that’s for the person reading to decide. What interests me is the filtering / reworking / mining going on.

    And those who worked to reformat and organize this stuff deserve a lot of credit.

  2. I participate in #lrnchat and really like the transcript for review and identifying some other Twitterers that I should follow. The transcript is especially useful after the drinking games. ;)

  3. Don, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve skimmed the transcripts for lrnchats that I didn’t participate in. And when I do take part, I don’t worry about missing something, because the transcript’ll be there for me to search. (Earlier post mentioning lrnchat from June 1st and July 3rd.

  4. Hi Everyone,

    I just noticed this blog post and wanted to say thanks for recognizing our efforts. It was a labor or love and took about 50+ hours from 8 volunteers, but I think the end product was worth it.

    There are a couple new tools out right now that help to capture the proceedings of events:

    These have limitations based on number of tweets it pulls and presentation formats, so I am working with some folks to get a new and improved Web-based version (not a PDF, though it should have that functionality).

    Stay tuned…and let me know if I can help in sharing the process we used, etc. More on that here:

    – A

  5. Andrew,

    Thanks for the follow-up, and especially for the suggestion of tools to help capture what’s in the stream.

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