Twitter, Social Media, & Hashtags For Events, Meetings, Presentations, & Bloggers

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How to use Twitter and other Social Media Tools to engage your audience

The World Wide Web is connecting people and things faster than ever.  The use Twitter, Blogs, Social Media, Mobile Media has become part of main stream culture.  You can leverage the power of your audience and new media to build exponential value into your existing efforts.

The Three Points of View for an Event

  • Audience
  • Speakers
  • Event Coordinators

Three Thoughts About Events

  • How Event Coordinators Can Make Their Job Easier
  • How Speakers/Presenters Can Make Their Job Easier
  • How The Audience Adds Value

Events 2.0

Events are much more interactive now.  The trend for events is similar to the trend we see in how people use the Internet.  Web 1.0 (Mostly one-way communication) to Web 2.0 (Very interactive with at least two-way communication).  People are working together now, more than ever.  The current economic conditions and busy lifestyles creates a condition that leads us to doing more with less.  People are smart and will spend their time and money where they see the most value.  Adding more value is key to success.

Social Media Tools

Twitter: “Just-In-Time” Communications

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick rich text messages.  Twitter messages are available through mobile devices, web services, and third party applications. http://twitter.com Conversations can be connected by the use of a hash tag.

Twitter: Micro Blogging

ParaTweet: Engage audience and speakers

Paratweet Supports Speakers interacting with the audience through live or delayed Q&A and spreads user generated conference info.  This tool supports filtering.  http://www.paratweet.com/The view can be filtered by the event hash tag.

ParaTweet

Twitterfall: A tool to help display questions/conversations on stage

Twitterfall is a way of viewing the latest ‘tweets’ of upcoming trends and custom searches on the micro-blogging site Twitter. Updates fall from the top of the page in near-real-time. http://twitterfall.com/ Views can be filtered by hash tags.

picture-101

Free WordPress Blog: Blogging service for your online journal

You can get a blog started in less time than it takes you to read this sentence. All you need is an email address. You’ll get your own WordPress.com address (like you.wordpress.com), a selection  of great free and customizable designs for your blog (we call them themes), 3 gigabytes of file storage (that’s about 2,500 pictures!) and many other great features. You can blog as much as you want for free, your blog can be public to the world or private for just your friends, and premium features are completely optional.  http://wordpress.com/ Event related posts can include event hash tag in title & body so others can find the extra content by a simple search.

WordPress: Blogging Software - SaaS

Google YouTube to share your event and presentation videos

Google YouTube allows people to easily upload and share video clips on www.YouTube.com and across the Internet through websites, mobile devices, blogs, and email. http://www.youtube.com Event related videos can include event hash tag in title & description so others can find the extra content by a simple search.

Google: YouTube

Google YouTube example: Service Oriented Architecture-SOA

Slideshare automatically converts your presentation into sharable content for social media

Upload and share your PowerPoint presentations and Word documents on SlideShare. Share publicly or privately. Add audio to make a webinar.  http://www.slideshare.net Event related presentations can include event hash tag in title & description so others can find the extra content by a simple search.

Slideshare: sharing presentations

Slideshare example from #ajaxworld 09 NY

Yahoo Flickr to share photos/videos of people, ideas, and information from your events

Event related photos/videos can include event hash tag in collection title, tag, & description so others can find the extra content by a simple search. http://www.flickr.com

Flickr photo sharing site

Yahoo Flickr example from #ajaxworld 09 NY

How The Audience Adds Value

People are going to talk about the event and the speakers.  Most of these conversations will take place on the web in the form of social media.  The current trend of using Twitter and mobile devices during an event opens new opportunities.   Giving the audience resources to use in these social media channels will benefit everyone.  A simple resource could be a hash tag (a key word that identifies the event ex:#web30), more on this later.  Additional resources could include content that people could simply copy and paste into their blogs, twitter posts, and other created media that adds value.  Twitter offers the ReTweet function.  Google YouTube, Slideshare, & Yahoo Flickr offer copy/paste code for bloggers.  Most of these tools also have APIs that will support Mashups.

Resources on how to use Social Media for Events and Meetings

About Hash Tags

Hashtags are a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to your tweets. They’re like tags on Flickr, only added in-line to your post. You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag. http://twitter.pbworks.com/Hashtags

Using Hash Tags For Events

Additional Social Media Resources Related to Twitter

  • Tweetboard is True Twitter Conversation for your website: http://tweetboard.com
  • TweetGrid gives bloggers and web site owners the ability to include event related widgets in their pages:  http://tweetgrid.com/
  • EventVue provides easy-to-use social networking tools that help your attendees get the most out of their networking experience at your event: http://www.eventvue.com/

Experiments with #hashtags

The hash tag for AJAXWORLD 2009 New York was #ajaxworld.  This event spanned more than one day and had several sessions across multiple tracks.  This event also happens annually.  I would think the annual hash tag would be something like #ajaxworld09.  This event also happens in multiple locations within one year.  I would think the hash tag would now look something like #ajaxworld09NY.

Here is what we have so far:

  • #ajaxworld: What
  • #ajaxworld09: What When
  • #ajaxworld09NY: What When Where

I would think that this type of structure easier and I would still have space within my 140 characters to add value.  That would be difficult if I had to include “#ajaxworld #2009 #NewYork #RIA #SOA #iPhoneDevSummit“.

Now we have “what”, “when”, and “where”, I am thinking about how to identify the tracks and sessions.  Track 04 was dedicated to iPhone Developer Summit.  Seems like the hash tag for that track at this event would be #ajaxworld09NY04.  This hash tag would allow people to monitor the iPhone Developer Summit Track of AJAX WORLD during 2009 in New York. The hash tag could also be used to tag related resources for current or future review.

What about the session part of the event matrix?

I would think that session 05 of the iPhone Track on the second day would look like #ajaxworld09NY040502.  This would identify the “iPhone Development in an Enterprise Environment” session that took place on the second day.

Ideal hash tag structure:

#{What}{When}{Where}{Topic}{Details}{Time} Most hash tag users seem to use a two digit number for the year, which makes me think about also using two digit numbers for Topic, Details, and Time.  This type of structure will support an event with upto 99 Topics through 99 sessions across 99 days.  Events that go beyond these limits would be broken up into multiple events.

Searching on #hashtags (This does not work on all services)

  • #ajaxworld: return everything about ajaxworld
  • #ajaxworld09: return everything about ajaxworld in 2009
  • #ajaxworld09NY: return everything about ajaxworld in 2009 New York
  • #ajaxworld09NY04: return everything about ajaxworld in 2009 New York related to the iPhone Dev Track
  • #ajaxworld09NY040502: return everything about ajaxworld in 2009 New York related to the iPhone Dev Track on iPhone/E 2.0

The current twitter tools seem to search for the hash tag followed by an empty space.  A search in some services for #ajaxworld does not always return results that contain #ajaxworld09NY.

#Hashtag Thoughts

Using a hash tag for an event is a common practice.  A standard that software developers could understand will help users take full advantage of the power that hash tags provide.  A simple hash tag that identifies the event and its parts should support the ability for user filtering.

What are your thoughts about hash tags and their structure?

What do you think about using twitter and other social media tools during events?

Thoughts about this post

I hope more people will think about putting their content into shareable content objects and leverage the work of others.


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