conVerge12 and Twitter

A presenter in front of her audience

Nancy White at conVerge11

I was asked recently to provide a list of tools for displaying and collecting Twitter feeds for our next e-learning conference, conVerge12.

The wonderful thing about using Twitter for a conference is that it extends the conference beyond the time and space of its various presentations. Outsiders who can’t make it can get a sense of what’s going on in the conversations. Tweeting of keynotes at conVerge11 has helped improve the reputation of the conference as others in Australia got a taste of what was happening in real time.

Another great advantage of using Twitter is that it can enrich presentations: questions to the speaker can be put through the feed, and speakers can sometimes ask the audience to insert their own content into the feed (such as pictures).

So a few tools are available for displaying tweets on a big screen, along side the presenter’s PowerPoint or live video feed. I decided to go for Twitterwall, as it’s free and works great, but there is also Tweetwall.

What makes these tools especially cool and powerful is that they allow tweets to be validated before they appear on the screen. This is very interesting as it prevents spamming, and it allows the administrator (me) to exclude irrelevant and non-suitable tweets (ie. tweets that contain aggressive or disrespectful language for instance).

If you want to have a more attractive display of the tweets, you can use Visible Tweets. I’ve used it during presentation breaks in the break areas to give reminders of what was said.

After an event you may want to have a record of all the tweets. Last year I used tweetdoc which saves all the tweets with the conference hashtag into a PDF document. I also like the look of If This Then That for directing a set of hashtags into the cloud service Evernote.

Photo: Nancy White, by howard61 on flickr.