Livetweeting. It gets you out from behind Seesmic—at least the way I do it—to stretch your legs and bring a little media to your social.
Last night I tweeted a 1000-person event from media conference in the morning to gala dinner at night. Here are my observations.
Breaking news & the MSM
As you know, I’ve been thinking about mainstream media’s role in information dissemination lately, and the media conference was a case in point. See these MSM guys standing there in their video pool, dutifully gathering the story for their news organizations? Before they’d even finished shooting I’d tweeted the whole story, with photos, out to our audience. They spread the news to their audiences.
A: that’s a lot for the MSM to contend with. They have standards of accuracy to adhere to that slow them down in their reporting, but they’re up against citizen journalists who have no such demands. It’s a much smaller deal for me to go back and delete a tweet or say “whoops!” if I make an error.
B: what’s the incentive for the media to cover your event if you’re scooping them so badly? Could livetweeting damage your org’s relationship with the MSM? If your news is big enough (or your Twitter audience small enough), it may not matter. Just something to think about.
Hotel wifi, a must for Apple Fanboys
Moving on to the evening event, I was stymied, as usual, by thick hotel ballroom walls. I cleverly (and swiftly, this time) got the credentials I needed to use local wifi.
For the 1st time in my livetweeting career, I remembered to connect to hotel wifi. Hotel walls are impenetrable to 3G.
@EricaGlasier hotel walls are not impenetrable to a BlackBerry Maybe you’re holding your iStone wrong?!
Are you on your phone?
I’ve seen livetweeted rooms with banks of laptops clicking away, but I like to do everything from my iPhone. I can get right up in the action, post Twitpics to illustrate the story, and check out all corners of the event.
The thing that worries me is that I appear to be standing there ignoring the heartfelt speech of someone very important as I type away on my phone. I hope people know what I’m doing—does it help if I pause to snap a photo?—but the majority of the live audience must think I’m shockingly rude. I’m calling right now for a bright orange livetweeter vest that clarifies your totally unapparent but actually extremely intense interest in the real life proceedings.
Here you see HOT103′s Ace Burpee grinding the event to a halt to pose for my Twitpic, thereby highlighting my dinner-time cellphone use to an audience that included the Premier of Manitoba (who also generously, but less embarassingly, posed for a Twitpic). Bright orange vest, people.
.@AceBurpeeShow just burnt me in front of 1000 people. Respect the livetweeter!
I run two Twitter clients and two Twitpic uploaders simultaneously—well, as simultaneously as the iPhone will allow—so that I can talk to my personal network at the same time as the event’s audience. The two apps keep me from delivering commentary from the wrong source in a frantic environment.
The benefit of covering the event from multiple perspectives is that my personal audience, who may have no interest in the brand I’m working for, get exposed to some of what’s happening. This helps lend social proof-style credibility to the brand, build buzz & hopefully garner them a few more followers.
For this reason, it’s smart to use livetweeters with the biggest networks possible in your relevant niche or location.
Holy marcaroni, that’s fun
I love livetweeting—check out my exuberance (& tips) the first time I did it. The pace, the feeling of being a conduit for information, the repeated, mortifying, heat-of-the-moment mistakes. A blast!