Social Fresh Conference: The value of live tweeting

by Morgan Siem on August 18, 2010

in Uncategorized

Scratch pad? Scratch that.

Scratch pad? Scratch that.

Monday’s social media event, Social Fresh Charlotte (a.k.a. #SoFresh) made me think about how the standard procedures for attending a conference have shifted. How many people used the notepads provided? Maybe one. Maybe. Instead, the room was a sea of laptops, iPads and mobile phones.

The New Protocol for Conferences:

Live tweeting with a hashtag. Sure, that’s not news to most of us social media geeks, but it’s worth noting that it really is a powerful way to increase the value of your experience at a conference and also increase the value that you provide to your followers.

First of all, let me pass along a great recommendation of a tool to help you live tweet & follow an event hashtag. It’s called TweetChat, which Meg Crawford (@Postgrad) introduced me to during the first panel discussion. TweetChat follows the hashtag in realtime and allows you to tweet directly from there and automatically appends the hashtag for you. Simple, clean tool.

TweetChat: #SoFresh

TweetChat: #SoFresh

Following the hashtag conversation on Twitter during a conference is a great way to join a conversation with other people sharing an experience with you. You can make new connections this way and then follow up with an in-person introduction at some point during the conference.

You can also use it as a space to keep up with the multitude of things going on at any given time during a conference. Sure, during the keynote many people will be tweeting the same information. However, for most of the day there were two different presentations running simultaneously. So, following the hashtag let me be in two places at once. I could attend one presentation while still catching the “nuggets” from the other.

You can also use this as a place to take notes for yourself. You’ll be able to refer back later for more research or follow-up. Additionally, if it’s information that you found valuable, chances are that your followers will, too. So, while you’re taking notes for yourself, you’re sharing your experience and new expertise with your followers who couldn’t attend the event themselves. This makes you an information hub / resource center. You want to be the person able to provide the information others seek.

Can you tell which day was the conference?

Can you tell which day was the conference?

And, as a secondary benefit, you can expect a jump in your follower count. This tends to happen during conferences if you take advantage of the networking opportunities they provide.

(This data tracking my twitter follower growth is thanks to the Argyle Social tool).

There were a few more takeaways that I think each deserve their own blog post, so you’ll find them added here over the next few days. Here’s what you can expect:

And for more recap info from the conference, I offer up Lisa Sullivan‘s blog post, Media Two Gets Fresh at Social Fresh Charlotte.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Zena Weist August 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Hey, Morgan, I love your take on how social media tools are changing the way we gather info from conferences and how by utilizing the tools you can increase your community.

I love to take notes at conferences via twitter. It’s part of my M.O. as it was for a lot of folks at Charlotte’s #sofresh. Here’s a tool that Katie Morse (@misskatiemo) reminded me about at the start of Social Fresh: Mute Tweets: It helps your followers with your signal to noise ratio and more importantly, their tolerance of your chatter of the day. Your followers can temporary mute you if they don’t want to see your notetaking, etc.


Morgan Siem August 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Wow! That’s a great tool! Thanks for recommending it here. I know that as much as we think our conference tweets are valuable, they do drive some of our followers up the wall. This is great to have in the arsenal.


Michael Hubbard Michael Hubbard August 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm

So I’m not sure why all of the notebooks at Media Two are constantly in use :) .

Actually – I’m wondering if anyone knows how long archives things for now? When they first came out, it was only 3-5 days and it went away, but I know it’s gradually been displaying longer and longer. I’d love it if it were a permanent archive – but does anyone know the exact length tweets are public record on


Morgan Siem August 18, 2010 at 4:49 pm

All tweets are archived by the Library of Congress – so they’ll never “disappear.” Twitter search doesn’t go too far back, however there are tools you can use to archive your tweets. Danielle Baldwin once recommended I check out backupmytweets and tweetake.


Ellie August 18, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Thanks for the recommendation Morgan – looking forward to using TweetChat – and to your future posts.


Karl Sakas August 19, 2010 at 12:25 am

Wow, that’s quite a spike in followers! I like your intro quote from Zena Weist: “the sound of typing is the new ‘applause’ for presenters.”

Following the #sofresh hashtag was a great way for me to see key nuggets from 150 miles away. I’m looking forward to your additional articles — thanks, Morgan!


Joshua S Sweeney August 19, 2010 at 9:48 am

I have to admit, I don’t always pay attention to those conference streams, but the tweets that come out of them are extremely valuable. It’s like a Cliff’s Notes for the industry in 140 character chunks!

“So, while you’re taking notes for yourself, you’re sharing your experience and new expertise with your followers who couldn’t attend the event themselves.”

As someone who will rarely (if ever) be able to travel outside of the Triangle to an event like this, there is hardly a truer statement than that.


Brian McDonald August 19, 2010 at 10:36 am

Morgan, good recap of using Twitter during conference. I’m with you in that good use of hashtags allows conference attendee and followers to learn from more than a single place. Also using these as foundation for notes is great advice.

I recently attended a small event where wifi and social media was reduced in order for the event to focus on conversations and interpersonal communication. To accomplish this the forum was more of a true round table with active participation from the group versus traditional presentations or panel discussions.

However for larger more traditional conferences Twitter and social media allow for increased exposure to the knowledge “dropping” as well as promote value for the conference organizers to show value and increase future attendance.


Morgan Siem August 19, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I like the idea of that small event as well. I do think that it’s important to make sure we use technology to help us share with one another and engage with one another, but to be careful not to let it come between us, especially when we are face-to-face. Thanks for the comment, Brian!


Ryan Boyles August 19, 2010 at 11:43 am

Thanks for blogging about this angle. Important to remind people about tools and tips like this. I’m collecting best quotes and phrases from the Social Fresh conference and Zena’s will definitely be in the list.

FYI add your suggestions on my blog


Morgan Siem August 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Thanks, Ryan! Great post idea. As you can see from my post, I was going to compile a list as well, but I think you’re saving me the work! I’ll post mine to your blog and send the link there :)


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