Bloggers are more social and interactive in live twittering than are techies/new media gurus. At least that’s what we see comparing Twitter activity during a Charlene Li SXSWi 09 session with Twitter activity during a Chris Brogan /Julien Smith keynote session at SOBCon09.
The debate continues about live Twittering during presentations. Too distracting or valuable collaboration? Waste of time or productive? No matter your POV or behavior, it’s hard to argue a new ettiquette for this technology is trying to emerge. More on that in another post…
To add real data to the debate, here is another installment in our review of what actually happens at live conferences with Twitter.
In April we captured 686 tweets during the Charlene Li presentation at SXSWi in Austin. In May we snatched 330 tweets generated while Brogan and Smith were delivering their 45-minute presentation in launching their book, Trust Agents, at SOBCon09.
If you don’t know about SOBCon, get more detail on what an SOB is? Basically, it’s Successful and Outstanding Bloggers who get together and talk shop. Their latest gathering was in May.
Compared to the interactive, media, and tech types following Charlene Li’s delivery at SXSWi, bloggers RTed each other at twice the rate and referenced specific @usernames at three-times the rate during the Brogan/Julien session.
One in five “live tweets ” during Brogan’s presentation was a RT of someone else’s comment or idea. Nearly 80% of all tweets during the delivery referenced a specific @username.
So… bloggers at SOBCon made it a point to connect and spread ideas and people. SXSWi twitterers seem to have been more focused on the ideas and less on individuals.
Looking at what was actually shared in tweets, the bloggers wander and ponder aloud off-topic at a higher rate than do those at SXSWi. But, in the content, we find further evidence of this more social behavior: higher frequency of ”play-by-play” color commentary on the presentation, coordinating how/where to connect with others, and making a new connection during the live session.
Those at SXSWi, in contrast, were more focused on the topic, offered more discussion regarding the ideas presented, and were more likely to announce to everyone else where they’re at right now.
In short, bloggers are better at promoting and playing with each other via live Twittering (RT and @ use); but, they stray off topic more frequently in the process. SXSWers use Twitter more for capturing and pushing their own reactions to ideas shared, and rarely stray off topic.
Both, however, show that the bulk of live tweeting is on-topic interaction with very little slamming of the speaker or ideas presented.
The real question is what does this behavior mean to the tweeple, the presenter, and other attendees in the session? How do we better leverage the benefits of this live twittering without degrading the experience of all participating in a conference session?
There is more work to be done to give a credible answer. But the content being produced is worth its real-time creation. Attendees, presenters, and colleagues would do well to figure out how to capitalize on this backchannel resource to extend the reach of your mind, ideas, and experience.