Ten Etiquette Twips for Conference Tweeters

After attended several conferences this year where tweeting was not only allowed but encouraged, I thought that it might be helpful to develop some “twips” for tweeting at a conference. More than anything, this list was created to help me reflect on how I can be a more productive member of the community at this year’s MERLOT International Conference in San Jose.

  1. Be courteous to those sitting around you. Even at a technology conference, there are attendees who are distracted by the use of laptops and smart phones.
  2. Send only one or two Updates from a session. Share a twugget not a twanscript.
  3. Use Updates to ask any questions you have about a session topic or the conference in general. There are no quotos on inquiry-based Updates.
  4. Answer other participants questions using @username in Replies so the person asking a question can see the response under Mentions or @username.
  5. Include URLs to important content shared by presenters in your Updates. Be sure to use a URL shortening application (e.g. http:// tinyurl.com)  to reduce the total number of characters.
  6. Include the conference hash tag, (e.g. #MIC09) on all conference-relate Updates to help others find and organize content for their Personal Learning Networks.
  7. Retweet (RT) valuable Updates from other participants letting the Twitterverse know that an important idea has been shared.
  8. Write concise updates. It’s hard to ReTweet Updates that use all or most of the 140-character limit.
  9. Avoid writing cryptic Updates. Texting is for kids.
  10. Golden Twip: Tweet only what is appropriate to stand and say during a conference session. A critique of a presenter’s delivery skills (e.g. “David Wicks is just reading his slides. Boring!”) should be saved for the official session evaluation form.

Do you have any recommendations on changes that should be made to this list? I will be sharing it as part of pre-conference webinar, How to Twitter about the MERLOT International Conference.

Happy tweeting at your next conference!

David
@dwicksspu

7 comments:

  1. This is a really interesting list, David, expecially having just twittered through #BbWorld09 (although I think if I paid over £2000 to attend an international conference and you read off your slides, I’d probably be happy to stand up there and then and tell you!). As to the audience, I deliberately tweeted through a keynote at our Learning and Teaching Conference last year to provoke staff delegates with the challenge of someone using a phone in the session. You’re right that this is an issue and people need to be conscious of it, but these days people do also need to learn to live with it.

    Two sensible additional comments though, and they’re possibly more for organisers. 1) think about the tag you choose for the conference and 2) think about the potential to identify sessions. Tags count as part of your 140 xrs, so on a couple of occasions recently there have been two or three tags circulating for a conferenceuntil the shortest one was agreed on. So make sure you publicise your tag, but think about it in terms of people using it, especially potentially from phones first.

    At #BbWorld09 we also between the tweeters of us eventually managed to mostly identify the session (of 13 parallels) by some keyword or presenter’s name – this was good if the presenter was also a tweeter, because then using @name meant that their feedback was easily accessible to them and saved a separate tag, but sometimes there was a key word which was shorter.

    If I were running a conference this size (especially a tech one) I’d be tempted on this experience (the first time we’d had ubiquitous strong wifi which made twittering the whole conference a real option) to add an identifying code into the programme for people to use, based on the strand, paper, or even – if your organisation schedule allows, rooms. Pre-defined short tags would be easy to spot and follow.

    Enjoy the conference. I’ll remember to follow 🙂

  2. This is a really interesting list, David, expecially having just twittered through #BbWorld09 (although I think if I paid over £2000 to attend an international conference and you read off your slides, I’d probably be happy to stand up there and then and tell you!). As to the audience, I deliberately tweeted through a keynote at our Learning and Teaching Conference last year to provoke staff delegates with the challenge of someone using a phone in the session. You’re right that this is an issue and people need to be conscious of it, but these days people do also need to learn to live with it.

    Two sensible additional comments though, and they’re possibly more for organisers. 1) think about the tag you choose for the conference and 2) think about the potential to identify sessions. Tags count as part of your 140 xrs, so on a couple of occasions recently there have been two or three tags circulating for a conferenceuntil the shortest one was agreed on. So make sure you publicise your tag, but think about it in terms of people using it, especially potentially from phones first.

    At #BbWorld09 we also between the tweeters of us eventually managed to mostly identify the session (of 13 parallels) by some keyword or presenter’s name – this was good if the presenter was also a tweeter, because then using @name meant that their feedback was easily accessible to them and saved a separate tag, but sometimes there was a key word which was shorter.

    If I were running a conference this size (especially a tech one) I’d be tempted on this experience (the first time we’d had ubiquitous strong wifi which made twittering the whole conference a real option) to add an identifying code into the programme for people to use, based on the strand, paper, or even – if your organisation schedule allows, rooms. Pre-defined short tags would be easy to spot and follow.

    Enjoy the conference. I’ll remember to follow 🙂

  3. Sorry I disagree. Putting limitations and rules [even if they are ‘etiquette rules] on Twittering about something defeats the purpose. Now after reading this, I am thinking a hundred times before I twitter and it seems very inhibiting. I think it is very important to write whether a session was good or bad or any comments on the sessions on the spot, because it is spontaneous and informative. You are spoiling the spontanity of twittering. 🙂

  4. Sorry I disagree. Putting limitations and rules [even if they are ‘etiquette rules] on Twittering about something defeats the purpose. Now after reading this, I am thinking a hundred times before I twitter and it seems very inhibiting. I think it is very important to write whether a session was good or bad or any comments on the sessions on the spot, because it is spontaneous and informative. You are spoiling the spontanity of twittering. 🙂

  5. I agree wholeheartedly with mannina. The notion of twitter etiquette, even in a conference setting is quite retarded and very pedestrian.

    Twittering is meant to be spontaneous and honest. Rule driven social media? I do not think so. Freedom of Tweets.

  6. I agree wholeheartedly with mannina. The notion of twitter etiquette, even in a conference setting is quite retarded and very pedestrian.

    Twittering is meant to be spontaneous and honest. Rule driven social media? I do not think so. Freedom of Tweets.

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