I’m not headed to New Orleans for next week’s NTEN conference (more’s the pity), but I did crash the twitter tutorial that Rosie de Fremery and Kari Peterson led this afternoon to prep attendees to use twitter at the conference. [The recording of the tutorial is available here.]
I’ve made some corrections to the previous post based on what I’ve learned, and I may have found the missing piece to the kludge I started in this post. [Follow bbvx on twitter to see if I’m right — should get notifications of new posts to this blog.] This may be the “hour delay” that Kari was talking about in the tutorial — or there may be some other solution that they’re working on.
The problem I’ve been trying to solve is how to use twitter to get info about an event out to folks who can’t attend the event. Kari’s concerned about twittering at NTC and needs a a way to get almost real-time messages (“cookies in the ballroom”) out to the attendees. I’m more concerned about getting highlights (“great speaker who made these points…”). Her solution (retweeting posts directed @08NTC) would be more general than mine.
That, I think, is the missing link in the instructions for “using Twitter for an event“. In thinking of 08NTC, I think the options for an attendee/non-attendee to get updates are:
- “All messages from 08NTC and its friends” is too much information (and is, perhaps reasonably, only available from the web, I think).
- “All messages from 08NTC” is too little (and puts the burden on the few 08NTC folks to keep everyone posted).
- Setting “track 08NTC” is close, but seems to have some bugs (ktlove’s recent message was cut off after just a few characters when it got to my phone) and has no web interface.
- Using #08NTC is close, but until just now, I hadn’t discovered any IM/phone interface. Twitterfeed.com might provide that, but since the service’s forwarding is throttled (5 messages an hour) it isn’t be appropriate for conferences with lots of tweeters.
- I think having 08NTC retweet all the @08NTC messages is “just right”. Even with the delay it’d be useful for the large number of folks who aren’t able to attend, and if the delay can be eliminated, and folks turn on “notifications” for 08NTC, I think you’ve got the “cookies in the ballroom” announcement scheme!
If #4 or #5 is feasible, then there’s probably no need to set up the “event” twitter account which is used now to provide a “with others” list of tweets. That list inevitably includes lots of messages that have nothing to do with the event. [This wasn’t a problem for the AAUW 2007 convention because the few of us following aauw07 were only there so we could tweet about the convention. But for NTC? Talk about information overload!]
I can’t really tell you why I’m not letting this go — but if the BBVX experiment works, maybe I’ll talk to Patty again about setting up something similar for NCCWSL.