Completely anecdotal but a possible indicator of increased use of Twitter in the last few months? In September I noted that there had been 300+ tweets tagged with #altc2008 relating to the 3-day 600+ delegate Association of Learning Technologies annual conference. Today I’m at a 1-day virtual worlds event with about 70 people and so far there seem to be 400+ tweets and rising. Post on the event will follow on my work blog.
Oh happy new year! (resolution to blog more often going really well)
Update (Jan 21): Final count for #cevw09 was 600+ which didn’t please everyone.
I have to say I found it a bit much too and I was there! Lots of people saying what the guy in front of me had just said BUT I have really enjoyed following other events… so nicely positioned on the fence! Be interested to hear what others think…
Or it could just indicate that those attending a virtual worlds event are more likely to tweet than the general learning technology population that attended ALT.
We ran an event recently at UoL (http://scienceoftheinvisible.blogspot.com/2009/01/follow-up-to-web-20-information.html) which attracted similar criticism, although in our case this was an intensive hour-long session. Twittering allowed remote participants from as far way as Spain to “attend” the session, something which would not have been possible otherwise, and also provided a permanent recorded commentary of the event. OTOH, it is undoubtedly had work keeping up with a simultaneous online and live conversation.
Must admit I find lurking on the edge of an event very useful,
mostly for BUT it may be sometimes better to have a system as used at handheldlearning last year such http://grouptweet.com/ so that people can opt into a particular event.
Its most useful for people having triggered thoughts rather than as a commentary of whats happening.
Would also help if some events didnt have a tag for every break-out session.
I have enjoyed following a couple of conferences on twitter – and others I have just ignored – don’t see what the problem is.
Its the people who tweet about their running that is the real problem – only joking and jealous as my knees aren’t up to it these days.
I agree about the benefits of the conference back channel and have found twitter to be an excellent tool in this respect. I wanted to highlight another tool for this purpose ‘Coveritlive’ which is a live blogging tool. I “attended” a session at the recent CETIS conference via the live blogging of Andy Powell. The interaction afforded was more comprehensive than with twitter and I will be encouraging our academics to look at this.
See http://efoundations.typepad.com/livewire/2008/11/cetis-conference-2008-day-2.html for the example that I “attended”
I have mixed feelings about the ‘live-blogging’ phenomenon. Twitter *can* make a good back-channel if used judiciously, but what I sometimes find irritating can be an over-abundance of general background commentary – e.g. ‘so and so is next up to the podium’ etc. I have been guilty of providing this sort of commentary – I recently moaned about how cold it was in the auditorium at one event. And moaning about poor WIFI provision is essential Tweeting of course 😉 But generally, I want succinct pearls of insight from my Twitter network, not general event coverage.
I especially don’t like Coveritlive for this reason – it encourages dense, real time coverage. There are few, if any occasions, where I want to follow an event this closely without being there….
I have chatted with Andy Powell about the use of this tool – I accept that others see this very differently to me.
@paul surely from your point of view CoveritLive is better than Twitter, because it is a destination for those interested rather than introducing noise to the Twitterstream etc?