Posts Tagged ‘live tweeting’

Sport-Tweet Udpate: SEC Caves, NFL Going Crazy… Why?

Just as the SEC reversed course on its unrealistic ban of all social media by fans at SEC games, the NFL continues to take more steps toward restricting the use of Twitter and other tools to share content they want to “protect” for themselves.  Still sounds so much like the Napster scenario now being played out in the world of sports entertainment content rather than music.

As Adam Ostrow reported last month on Mashable, the SEC ultimately changed, or clarified, its policy to allow personal messages and posting.  But they are very clear about any video or footage intended to be used for commercial purposes as being outlaw.

“No Bearer may produce or disseminate in any form a “real-time” description or transmission of the Event (i) for commercial or business use, or (ii) in any manner that constitutes, or is intended to provide or is promoted or marketed as, a substitute for radio, television or video coverage of such Event. Personal messages and updates of scores or other brief descriptions of the competition throughout the Event are acceptable. If the SEC deems that a Bearer is producing a commercial or real-time description of the Event, the SEC reserves the right to pursue all available remedies against the Bearer.

Absent the prior written permission of the Southeastern Conference, game action videos of the Event may not be taken by Bearer. Photos of the Event may be taken by Bearer and distributed solely for personal use (and such photographs shall not be licensed, used, or sold commercially, or used for any commercial or business purpose).”

But the NFL took the opposite approach.  Some talk has been that in an effort to prevent Chad OchoCinco from flying in a fan to tweet during the game on his behalf, the NFL has officially banned social media starting 90 minutes before and during all NFL games.  According to Steve Raquel on the Bleacher Report, the restrictions put in place include:

  • Twittering during a game by either the player themselves or someone on their behalf.
  • Any social media activity within 90 minutes before and after the game.
  • Restriction applies to not only players, but coaches, team personnel, and officials.
  • Restrictions on play-by-play descriptions of NFL games (e.g. Twittering) to only authorized media.

Ok, so the idea of a player Tweeting in the end zone or on the sideline is a distraction and I get it, I guess.  But isn’t this about entertainment.  Doesn’t Twitter suddenly make the fanatic follower of a team feel he knows exactly what Chad OchoCinco is thinking at that very moment.  Doesn’t that make same said fanatic follower even more fanatic about following that team?

I love Adam Ostrow’s quote reported by Jennifer Van Grove, also in Mashable, in her very well written summary of the issue:

“Sure, these days someone could theoretically live stream a game from their camera phone. But a shaky, low resolution video from the upper deck of Yankee Stadium isn’t exactly the same as watching FOX’s telecast on your big screen TV. Social media should be viewed as a fantastic compliment to sports that is good for both fans and the TV networks, but at the moment, it seems that’s anything but how it’s being perceived.

That’s the point.  Hello.  Just like the blackouts that force their content to not be shown in local markets if the stadium isn’t sold out… the NFL needs to think about the people who feed their empire.  Sure, so many of us love football to the point we watch even with this silliness… but how much more would we do if more efforts were made to connect with the fan.

I think a bigger issue is the concern the focus in on the player and not the team.  If Chad OchoCinco tweets on the field, it’s not helping the Bengals, perhaps, as much as it is Chad OchoCinco.  They can’t allow individual player brands to be established, shared, and extended.

But, teams can do the same thing, and in an even more powerful way because they have the content people want or need to be fanatics.

Consider what the NY Jets have done (all since losing Brett Favre, of course!).  In August they held a contest to give away tickets to games to followers of them on Twitter (@NY_Jets).  They now have 4,500+ followers on their official Twitter ID.  The contest was put on by the Jets, not by their fans… an important difference, and an indication of an organization trying to reach out.

But the Jets seem to get it.  Again this week they launched a promotion partnership with JetBlue with discount fares for games in Buffalo and Florida — all promoted, shared, and extended via social media connections as well.

The Jets efforts very well may be attributed to blogger, Twitterer, wine connoisseur and social-networking guru Gary Vaynerchuk.  Apparently, he has launched Vaynermedia and lists the NY Jets as one of his clients.

Compare this with the Dallas Cowboys.  I couldn’t find an “official” Twitter feed, but there are 20+ fan-created follower groups of “America’s Team”.  The most popular, @Cowboys, has 13,000+ followers.  Imagine what the team could do with an official feed offering content, access, and connections to fans.

Another argument against the use of Twitter at sports is sharing confidential information, like the recent ban by the US Open to restrict players using it.  Andy Roddick called it right in my view when he explained you’d have to be a moron to share “insider information” that would call into question the integrity of the game.

Ian Paul reported on other decisions by teams in the NFL regarding social media during training camps and in the preseason, apparently to protect their trade secrets (avoid the infamous video taping of signals fiasco):

The Dolphins allow the media to tweet as much as they like for the first 20 minutes or so of practice, but once team drills begin all electronic equipment including computers, cameras, and cell phones has to be turned off, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Dolphins fans, on the other hand, are forbidden to blog, tweet or even send SMS messages while watching their team practice. The Dolphins aren’t the only NFL team wary of new forms of communication either.

Teams like the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, and Detroit Lions all have similar restrictions, while the Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers are running tweet-friendly training camps.

I suggest, rather than being so focused on protecting trade secrets or trying to ban players from branding themselves or try to keep fans from distributing content that they own, the NFL, and other sports entertainment brands, should look to how these tools can enhance the relationship with their most important assets: their customer base.

Bring some fan on Twitter who keeps up with what’s going on to the primo seat for free, in exchange for his or her building, promoting, and living the essence of that team. Conduct press conferences for exclusive content that only goes to your followers on Twitter first.  Incentivize your players to get a following, create venues for them to get together with these people who love what they do.

Have a relationship.  Don’t try to enforce or create an “arranged marriage”… those don’t work so well in our world today.


09 2009

Hurry… Ban Twitter! No… Don’t Try to Control, Find Relevance.

In my last post I tossed out the question regarding etiquette for using Twitter to broadcast private conversations you happen to overhear. Good fun, or even good material for stand-up comedy, or just inappropriate?

This is the craze all over the professional world right now.  The NFL, the military, the scientific community, the theater/acting world, and college football are just some of those struggling with “… to Tweet, or not to Tweet.”

But the SEC (football conference, not the regulatory body) recent action takes the prize for crazed reaction without considering the consequences. I can just imagine the conversation: “I know, let’s just make it illegal for anyone to send anything about our games. That’ll work.”

Seriously, the SEC is expected to release today it’s formal ban on all social media during SEC games. Their ban extends to the average fan reporting on the game via Twitter.  It reads:

Ticketed fans can’t ‘produce or disseminate (or aid in producing or disseminating) any material or information about the Event, including, but not limited to, any account, description, picture, video, audio, reproduction or other information concerning the Event.’

Why?  The SEC has a $3 billion deal with CBS for coverage rights of the games. Apparently, they think they should be the only ones to give access to what happens at football, basketball, and other events. And, what’s more, they believe they can keep anyone else from sharing anything to anyone else.

I couldn’t agree more with Adam Ostrow on Mashable:

For the moment, these policies seem a lot more grounded in fear than reality. Sure, these days someone could theoretically live stream a game from their camera phone. But a shaky, low resolution video from the upper deck of Yankee Stadium isn’t exactly the same as watching FOX’s telecast on your big screen TV. Social media should be viewed a fantastic compliment to sports that is good for both fans and the TV networks, but at the moment, it seems that’s anything but how it’s being perceived.

There are real issues for sure. The contract with CBS is huge, and its how people make a living. But their fear is driving them to a policy that will have much greater negative impact on that contract, and their bottom line, than had they done nothing.

Don’t try to control the world of social media. Find relevance. When you do, you add value to your enterprise. When you don’t, you hurt yourself more than you hurt.

Two weeks ago, the NFL started clamping down hard requiring its players to not text information and not to use Twitter as reported by the NY Times.

In that story, however, I loved comment in the NY Times by nose tackle Jason Ferguson. He’s weighing when it’s worth the fine. Hilarious.

I don’t have an account (Twitter). I was thinking about getting one until I got the information. O.K., won’t get it now. Can’t do it. I don’t want to get fined, not yet.

Consider the broad action by the NFL and some teams (like the Green Bay Packers) in contrast with what the NY Jets are doing.  It was reported today the NY Jets are actually encouraging their players to use Twitter.

We really made a conscious decision that we were going to embrace social networking because it’s an outgrowth of our motto that we talk about internally:  Remove the barriers.  Football, more than other sports, probably has more barriers that you have to overcome. With the helmet, you don’t really get to see players’ faces or expressions. twitter enables you to communicate with players directly, one-on-one.  Matt Higgins, EVP of business operations for the Jets

In my view, that is finding relevance.

It’s ironic to read ESPN’s reporting of the NY Jets actions given their own stated position acted on earlier this month.  ESPN has implemented a policy for all of its employees that amounts to only using Twitter if it benefits ESPN. You can see coverage here on for latest and reactions.  The deal is their currency is news and information, so ESPN is grasping at whatever control it believes it has to require its employees to not use Twitter for anything related to sports.  The full memo is very strong in its constraints — you can see it here on Mediaite with the full memo at the bottom of the post.

Again, why not find relevance over asserting control in this way? ESPN’s personalities have a huge following on Twitter, and it is because of who they are, how they talk, and what they share. Trying to assert editing control over that audience of fans is directly contrary to why they follow in the first place:  unvetted access to the people they trust, like, or enjoy listening to.

There’s got to be a way to find relevance and drive greater loyalty to ESPN.

In some cases, Twitter’s open access has more obvious reasons to be shut off, or at least re-direct. I previously wrote about the banning of Twitter at certain scientific conferences in which confidentiality of material being presented is paramount to intellectual property rights issues at play (pick up more of that story here if interested).

The military is starting to do the same thing.  About the same time as the NFL made its announcement, the Marines declared a total ban on social media networks, including Twitter.  The Marines’ ban is said to last for one year while the military makes a full determination what to do.  They cite security concerns, of course.

But, even with the military, it’s interesting to note that Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has a Twitter account and over 5,800 followers.  So, it’s about finding relevance and not trying to assert total control, even in high-level security situations like these two. Cut and dry bans are just crazy and short-sighted in my view.

Finally, here is yet another interesting example to consider. Is it appropriate, or not, for a casting director to live-Tweet information and thoughts about the actors auditioning in a closed, private casting call?  The acting industry is now facing this very issue.

A story in the NY Times covers a recent controversy involving casting director Daryl Eisenberg and her comments shared about what she was seeing/hearing during a recent audition.  Eisenberg shared a few tweets like these:

If we wanted to hear it a different way, don’t worry, we’ll ask

If you are going to sing about getting on your knees, might as well do it and crawl towards us … right?

Eisenberg defended herself even before people got up in arms citing the “there is no rule” defense:

There is NO rule/guideline against Twitter/Facebook/MySpace/Friendster. Freedom of speech. Ever heard of it?

But, the Actors Guild, Actors’ Equity Association, and others got involved and she has since agreed to not use Twitter in the audition room.  The main argument made by the union folks is:

“It’s a very long road for an actor to get from seeing the casting notice to getting that audition. To have it mocked is unfair to the actors and to the other people who are working on the particular project. It’s very simply that there is an expected level of respect and professionalism, and these values were violated.”  Maria Somma of Actors’ Equity Association

Part of that defense strikes me as a bit too sensitive–I mean, these people are seeking a career that is very public, get some thicker skin than that. But, it points out the absolute need we have in these various dimensions of public and private life to define what is appropriate and what is not when it comes to using technology such as Twitter.

Personally, I don’t believe the answer is hurry up and ban Twitter–that’ll fix it!  Actually, it won’t. It will just cause bigger and different problems, long-term.

Reality Tweeting: A New Trend? Another Type of Live-Tweeting?

Early this morning (like 1AM) my colleague, Jim Wilkerson, pointed me to a bizarre (searching for right word here) and entertaining (sort of) live-tweeting going on by a guy on a plane narrating an argument between a couple apparently sitting next to, or near, him.  Jim was alerted of the exchange by Augie (August) Ray by this tweet to his 2,114 followers:

picture-16When you click on @jmatusin you can follow his mad rush to the gate at the MN airport, the help he got from a non-English-speaking gal who let him cut in line and who he then helped to her gate, the Traveler’s Insurance ad he spotted along the way to his gate, and… then this exchange he broadcasts to the Twitterverse between two people seated near him on his flight (read from bottom to top in case you’re not familiar with Twitter stream flow).

picture-18He closes out the experience with this observation on the whole thing.


So, aside from being entertaining, this version of live-tweeting raises a lot of issues. I’ve covered a number of posts on this blog about our analysis of live-tweeting at business conferences and events.  I’ve reviewed pros and cons… but this now opens a totally different realm of live-tweeting life, for entertainment value.

Suddenly, material for stand-up comedy is live broadcast to an audience whose limit or potential is hard to define. It’s funny because it’s real. But that’s why it’s weird, too.

Certainly, the couple was having a conversation between the two of them. But, we’ve all overheard such exchanges and privacy can’t be expected, especially when you listen to aspects of this drama.

So, what does this mean for ethics, protocol, and human interaction? Anything can be shared and likely will be shared if it has inherent pass-along value like this does. @jmatusin provided his protocol by using HIM and HER and not trying to convey anything that could identify people.  What other socially acceptable norms for this behavior will emerge?

I can see a new line of employment opportunities for college students or interns hired by authors, writers, and Hollywood types to work through their lives broadcasting the real-life sitcoms they encounter along the way.  What can be better than the real thing, right?

Interesting… this can’t be the first time someone’s done this?  Any other examples? Do share…


08 2009

Best Use of Twitter At Conferences: Change the Context

Combine technology, tools, and time and you eventually see dramatic paradigm shifts.  Obviously, social networking tools are shifting social norms around interaction, public and/or online.  An emerging area of “digital etiquette” that fascinates me is the use of Twitter and other micro-blogging tools while at a conference.1616049-2-cloud-vs-tweet-300x300

Why? First, because so many more people are doing it (Webber Shandwick study of top conference organizers puts it at 58%) and, second, because there are extremely passionate opinions on the pros and cons of live tweeting (check out interaction between Ira Basen and Joe Thornley from early 2009, or the banishing of live tweeting earlier this month in certain scientific conferences after Daniel Arthur’s coverage of a Biology of Genomes meeting; Martin Ebner also presents findings of a survey of attendees across five different conferences that demonstrate usage patterns).

Some say this behavior is both rude and a meaningless distraction, others swear by it and the new layer of interconnectivity these tools provide.  Clearly, it’s such a new dynamic we’re all just trying to figure how to best leverage it for greater creativity, productivity, and interaction.

I’ve been looking into this specific Twitter dynamic to learn and to push the conversation.  Analysis of live tweets generated during two very different conferences (Charlene Li session at SXSWi and Chris Brogan keynote at SOBCon09) showed most of those using Twitter were seeking to extend the reach and value of the event for themselves, others in the room, and those not in attendance.  Mike Edwards found similar activity in his analysis of tweets at the 2009 NonProfit Technology Conference–and he went further to identify the dynamic of “dominant hubs” in the form of two or three trusted Twitterers attending the conference.  

But, from a presenter’s perspective, the dynamic of having so many people heads down in a laptop (just like teaching a college course these days) computers-and-lecturewhile you’re presenting can be frustrating or distracting.  So, how do we harness the tools in a productive and creative way?

The more I look into this, the more I think it’s all about context.  When a conference presentation is prepared, set up, and delivered primarily for the benefit of the attendee and not the presenter, I think these tools become natural and integral to the experience.  Let me explain.

As creatures of habit, we learn appropriate behaviors for different situations.  Context matters.  If you don’t think so, try wearing your swimming suit to church next Sunday.  This demonstrates how the same behavior is both essential and offensive depending on when and where it is applied.  Duh.

A conference keynote–or even a breakout session–is a situation in which someone has prepared information to share with a large group of people.  Social norms put us in round tables (or lecture style rows) with attention focused on the speaker and visual aids (PowerPoint slides) on the screen.  Pulling out a laptop and connecting online feels odd and even disrespectful to the presenter.

Now, shift the context.  

For years in my career I’ve used various laptop-driven tools (WebIQ or ThinkTank or GroupSystems) for collaborative sessions with large or small groups.  frame1This is a situation in which a large group of people are assembled in the same type of conference set-up, only this time the presenter becomes a facilitator and attendees become participants.  The person at the head of the room still has important information to share, but the laptops in front of most everyone in the room are set up with the express intention of capturing live reactions, ideas, and feedback.  Suddenly, in this context, having a laptop open and connected online is integral to the success of the meeting.

What if we took this approach to presenting at conferences?  From the outset, explain to the audience the intent is to share important ideas for the purpose of getting your reaction and pushing the thoughts and ideas to a new place.  Embracing this both in what you say and how you present can dramatically shift the context for the presentation and remove the social norms fussing about the guy next to you opening his computer right as the presentation starts.

Isn’t this the same as what we’re telling brands to do now in letting go of the control they believe they have in their communications?  As a presenter, wouldn’t both our material and our audience be better served if we were to cede some control and hand it back to those in the room?  How much more would you get out of a keynote session in which the presenter asked you to weigh in and help shape the ideas and thoughts moving forward?

Obviously, this is a paradigm shift that requires different skills and preparation to be successful.  But that’s the point of new technology, right?  Push us to a new, and hopefully better, place.  

Several smart, experienced folk offer ideas around this area.  

And there are tons more.

The real breakthrough, though, will come when someone truly changes the context when presenting by acting like a facilitator rather than a speaker.  Just like we keep learning how to make better use of PowerPoint slides and/or other visuals when presenting… let’s see who can embrace micro-blogging tools like Twitter/FriendFeed to change the dynamic of conference presentations dramatically.

paradigm-shift-cartoonThat’s a paradigm shift I’m looking forward to, both taking the challenge as a presenter/facilitator and, most important, as an attendee/participant at conferences that will, in this context, be a lot more creative and productive.

What do you think?


06 2009

SOBCon bloggers more social/interactive than SXSWers? In live twittering, yes!

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.Types of Tweet


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 tweet-content-comparison1do 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.






06 2009

Conference Tweeting A Distraction and Waste of Time, or Not?

Since the 2008 Zuckerberg interview, SXSW has to be one of the largest scale laboratories for using Twitter while at a conference.  Many saw how that particular “interview” rapidly took a nosedive, spurred by backchannel twitter chatter live during the event.

So… is Twitter helpful or hurtful when it comes to conference participation? For the speaker? For the attendee? For colleagues not there? There are many points of view being shared. It’s either the biggest waste of time and expressly forbidden (as was my experience in how CTAM directed its conference recently in DC, or it is fully embraced and publicly lauded as in SXSW. Kate Neiderhoffer recently explored same ideas in a recent post in her blog Social Abacus. Some comments to Peter Kim’s post summing-up SXSW lament the intensity of its use.

I don’t know the answer. But my colleagues and I are trying to dive into some analysis in our spare time to see what actual use is like and what we can learn from that. We’re not done by any stretch–but take a look and share your POV.

SXSW Charlene Li “The Future of Social Networks”: 686 Twitter Feeds

Armano TwitPic post at Li presentation

Armano TwitPic post at Li presentation





So far, we’ve loaded 686 tweets during the Charlene Li “Future of Social Networking” presentation at SXSW. The tweets included the #sxswfsn or cited her name AND were published within the start/stop timeline of the live panel so as to narrow our inquiry to live use of Twitter during the presentation.  Of course, Charlene started hers introducing the # and a backchannel–so we’re talking a case in which the speaker encouraged use of Twitter from the beginning.

Individual Use — Very Little RT

First, it’s clear most of the activity was original tweeting (91.4%)–only 8.6% were re-tweets of others’ ideas or comments. It seems the interchange online and/or the speed of review of ideas being shared live create a context of people offering their ideas and not spending a lot of time spreading the verbatim ideas of others.  

This doesn’t mean there wasn’t direct exchange and interaction.  Nearly 10% of the tweets during the live presentation included direct references to others Twitter IDs as the source of a quote, object of a reply or debate, or a person of interest to the tweeter. 

So… point one is Twitter during a live panel is predominantly my “megaphone” or my “note-taking device”.  Most of the listening, reviewing, reading and/or sharing what is tweeted by others seems to comes later.  Hmmm… good or bad?

Dominant Content = Quotes, Ideas, Discussion

To the naysayers who claim only garbage flows by those tweeting during a live speaker presentation or panel, the stats show differently.  In reality, 75% of the 686 tweets were directly quoting the speaker/commenter/questioner OR commenting on the topic/issue OR passing along added value links for relevant content.  In other words, most of the chatter was directly germane to the topic being discussed live in the moment.

The next largest block of tweets were for “alerting others where I’m at” (13.6%) and/or arranging how to connect, meetup, or discuss ideas in person (6%).  I explore this a bit later.  

Five percent (5.1%) of tweets were brown-nosing suck-ups or genuinely impressed people sharing their praise for Charlene Li and her commentary.

And–get this–only 4.4% were tweets random, or seemingly random, off-topic comments not directly contributing to the debate.  But–even this is debatable as one of the tweets coded in this bucket does contribute to the “feel” of the room in a funny way:

     Lots of trust issues in this crowd, come see me for a hug. #sxswfsn 

Another was quite functional… I wonder if those sunglasses were ever reunited with an owner?

     I just found a pair of sun glasses in Ballroom A where @charleneli spoke. If you know who’s missing them let me know. #sxsw #sxswfsn 

So… point two, so far, is Twitter activity live to the event seems mostly to facilitate distribution of ideas directly tied to the topic.  We’ll find out by comparing with other sessions we’re pulling whether this is due to the high-interest nature of the topic and content being shared.  But, most of the chatter is on-topic and seemingly furthering the debate.

Constructive Uses — Maybe???

Digging deeper into specific tweets you can see some a number of uses with, potentially, real value. Some seem to be more useful after the fact. Others, however, are only relevant due to the live nature of their delivery. What do you think?

Sound Bites.  The obvious is sharing compelling ideas, quotes, thoughts whether you agree or disagree with them.  This seems either to be to spur thought or a sort of note-taking for you and/or others in your network. This is also most likely to be RT of the relatively few that are.

     “they dont think of this as a social strategy. they think of it as a corporate strategy and they will need help”– charlene li #sxswfsn

     What will get everyone to open up and work together? Money, money, money #sxswfsn

     RT @faris: distribution not destination #sxswfsn (So you can never leave or arrive again…)

Play-by-Play.  Several take the form of almost a narrative setting up the event, some with pictures (see Armano picture I posted up top, loaded live during the session, that had 890 views — but, of what???). These feel like play-by-play commentary offering their own John Madden spin.  

     Going to live broadcast the first 30 of charlene li, the future of social networks” follow me for URL. #sxsw

     Liking the idea of putting the customer into the org chart. this is getting better :) #sxswfsn 

     so, heres precisely my issue with FBC, no standardization…social web needs to be based on standards..a standardized data web #sxswfsn 

     already getting bored…not to sound like a douche, but none of this is new to me re: portable graphs, social touchpoints #sxswfsn

The play-by-play can also be entertainment of sorts.

     favorite intro ever – question from “low persuasion marketer” #sxswfsn 

     Finally got the required crazy rambling conference questioner that never made a point. #sxsw #sxswfsn

     Ballroom A wifi is pretty sucky, at least for me. #sxswfsn 

     #sxswi #sxsw Technical diffs plague even the most commanding speakers ike Charlene Li. Makes me feel better bou t my own ppt foibles.

Yeah, right!  Another use is to challenge what is being said. Some offer their own insight. Others just like to attack.

     too bad @charleneli didn’t touch on the potential of “social networks as air” (aka the social web) is to realize VRM #sxswfsn 

     I disagree with Charlene Li. If I’m a fan of something I don’t mind my pic appearing with an ad. If I like it, I like it. #sxswfsn

Sometimes this is an attempt to call someone on violating protocol.

     Totally, ask a question not an adv. RT @bud_caddell “Hashrocket and potlabs… False advertising. #sxswfsn”

Connections / Associations.  Among the most useful tweets I see are those that associate an idea with another–although not likely used until after the event.  Many even add direct links for additional content, including the slides being shared live by Li on the stage. No doubt some of these are going to be self-serving for “my content” or “my product”.  In this case, many seem to genuinely point to useful material toward the topic.

     Reminds me of John Pickering’s High Performing Organization model. Google HPO and University of Virginia for more info #sxswfsn 

     For a look at what a local government is doing is social media, go to #sxswfsn 

     Media6 looks very interesting for site owners #sxswfsn 

Requests.  Several tweets suggest topics they either would like to have discussed or they are anticipating will be discussed in the session.  Of course, for these to be useful there must be some mechanism for sharing with the speaker delivering content in a manageable way.

     At the @charleneli #sxsw presentation about the Future of Social Networks – hoping to hear more about Activity Stream innovation #sxswfsn

Follow-Ups.  A particular useful tweet practice are those pointing to things that should be followed up on based on what was heard or discussed. 

     love the idea of social algorithm making privacy and permissions easier to manage #sxswfsn

     @rnadworny spoke briefly with Charlene Li after her presentation. Will e-mail her tonight to find out more for next steps. 

Musings.   Debatable as to how useful these are, but some tweets are individual musings on what is being said with varying degrees of insight and/or entertainment.

     #sxswfsn Interesting that folks talk about the death of email in the face of social networks, but think about how you login to each – email!

Logistics Coordination.  The most practical or functional use are those who simply used tweets to connect with colleagues or with new people they met or would like to meet as a direct tie-in to the content being discussed at the panel.

     So many people I follow from twitter at this Charlene Li talk. Would be nice to find them and meet them. #sxsw

     @amyrsward meeting up with @carribugbee after session in front of room, audience-left. RIght by video camera. #sxswfsn 

     @cvelis hey – are you in the #sxswfsn panel? me too! i’m on the right side, half way back

These next two were actually in response to each other… a connection apparently made.

     Li: Talking about gov’t and social media. Again, if people have ideas about this and want to talk, please get in touch. #sxswfsn 

     @AndrewPWilson I, too, want to talk about soc media for govt. Let’s meet in ctr of room b/w 1st & 2nd sections after panel #sxswfsn #gov20

So, What?

This is just one look into a hot-topic issue at a Twitter-heavy conference event. Twitter is a distraction, especially if you don’t use it or don’t see any real value in those who are–so in that way, it’s clearly distracting to others in attendance. But, to those patched into it, the tool seemed to be predominantly used in this situation as furthering discussion and, therefore, committing to memory (as Kate references in her musings on the topic) the ideas being discussed.

Beyond that, there seems to be a lasting benefit beyond the moment of capturing spur of the moment thoughts and additional content to be referenced later… but, is it referenced later?  Or is is only entered in the moment and never referred back to in the future?  Can we provide some mechanism for assisting the access to these insights later when there is more time to think, ponder, and review?

A huge win in terms of Twitter relevance in the moment has to be the connection in real life based upon ideas being shared in the moment via an online platform.  How else can you break down the social protocols and impossibility of direct interaction with a large number of those in attendance to filter through whether that person has something of interest to you? Pre-Twitter you could do that via the person sitting next to you, the person asking questions, or you could be a crazed biz card socialite and query almost everyone in the crowd. A few tweets create much more precise serendipitous encounters!

Finally, however we look at this, it seems clear this question must be considered differently from the perspective of all parties in attendance in the moment:  the speaker, twitterers, non-twitterers, and observers from afar.

What do you think? Twitter use valuable or waste of time at a conference? What does this analysis tell you?


04 2009