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Twittering at ASAE's Great Ideas conference

Maddie Grant explains how the microblogging tool called Twitter really ">came into its own at ASAE's Great Ideas conference. Not being able to attend myself this year, I have been following the Twitter stream, and have to agree that it's been pretty cool to watch (though I would much rather have been there!). Maddie explains:

    We always talk about it adding a new layer of content/conversation/participation over the "official" conference content - but this was the first time that we could really SHOW that to people who might not have been aware of it in real terms. What I mean is that we early adopters have been using Twitter for quite a while and it's been like a club, like something we and our buddies know is cool but have had a hard time, sometimes, showing other people how awesome and powerful it is. But here's an example of how that worked here. Yesterday I was in Lindy's session on Blogging and Twitter. I randomly took it upon myself (ha) to live tweet the session, but Lindy also told people they could tweet me questions should they not feel like asking them out loud, and I tweeted that I would relay questions from Twitter, from people who were not at the conference or not in the room, should there be any. And there were! So we were able to really show how people NOT in the room were listening and participating, asking questions and giving feedback. It was a pretty amazing thing to watch, a really simple thing but with so much potential.

She also talks about how they showed people in the session the Twitter search stream for #Ideas09, including all the people commenting on things related to the conference, not just that particular session. "I think there's lots of potential for energizing a conference using Twitter in a more strategic way, too, rather than have more noise than signal, so to speak," she says, "but just looking at this Twitter stream updating was illustrating in a very direct way that even if you are not using this personally or for your organization, it's all happening around you regardless."

Exactly. It is all happening around you, whether you're paying attention to it or not. But why on earth would you not want to pay attention to such a rich source of feedback? And join in the conversation?

update: Ben posts about how speakers can handle a Twittering audience.

update 2: More resources:

Good primer on Twittering and events (from @corbinball on Twitter)

Six Steps on Using Twitter for Events (includes ASAE's Great Idea conference as an example, and not always in a complimentary way)

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