Friday, 15 August 2008

TWITTerers at conferences

Twitter! Or ...

Twitter is a free service that lets you keep in touch with people using the web, your phone, or IM

My esteemed Colleague in RSC Scotland & North East recently blogged on the use of Twitter as a free and simple SMS broadcast tool for a cohort of students. IMPORTANT UPDATE :: Twitter has suspended the receiving of free UK SMS, but it will be replaced. Read more here. Therefore the above idea is null & void (for free).

Well, my colleague Jane Edwards in our RSC has been using Twitter for a while now, and regularly shouts with glee across the office at a twitter posting live from a conference that has been compiled by someone she's following (on twitter). I've been hearing more and more people talk about this (web 2.0) application recently, and it could become the new facebook?

Essentially it's a SMS microblogging tool (140'ish characters max), where you can receive postings from people you are "following". Or you can post these tweets and hope others read them (like this blog). These tweets can be accessed from your mobile phone (not advised) or via web portals or Instant messaging tools. I'd like to have a go, but I'm in danger of information overload as it is, with blogs, JIScmail lists, email, wikis, etc...... so I may find a web service to filter out some interesting posts?

If you want to see some of the many very clever mashups people are doing with Twitter and other web tools/service head over to URL :

Anyhoo.. this links neatly with a recent call by Lawrie Phipps for tips for surviving conferences. I replied on the SEDA JISCmail list ;

  • Take plenty of notes, then you can reflect upon and blog them later
  • Use twitter or similar to microblog proceedings so others can get quick updates
  • Run the conference online using a VLE, as we have done for the past two years, very successfully. Use a mix of live ( ) and asynchronous tools (forums) to ensure that people can dip in and out , yet still feel they are attending an “event”.
  • Follow the “unconference” trend ( ) and design larger events where networking and peer dialogue is promoted above speeches.

  • Take a laptop and read your emails whilst pretending to take in the presenters speech (annoy others around you by the loud start up tune and incessant keyboard tapping).
  • If you need to survive a conference, perhaps you’re attending too many/the wrong ones?

Today I stumbled across another nice downloadable document for blogging at conferences. Download it for free here @ URL :

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