Conference Tweeting

First, a confession. Your intrepid blog editor doesn’t even know how to send a text message. I use my cell phone as a cell phone only. It doesn’t even have a camera. Imagine that!
But I did enjoy following the MLA ’09 Twitter feed last week. Wednesday morning’s exchanges were particularly informative (to someone thousands of miles away) and lively.
So I was pretty interested this morning when I snagged this post “Paper Highlights Pros and Cons of Twittering at Academic Conferences” from The Wired Campus blog in my feed reader. I clicked through to this draft copy of the paper “How People are using Twitter during Conferences” available online to get the details.
The multi-national group of researchers asked the question “Can Twitter (or any other microblogging tool) help to improve interactions among learners, and enhance their learning experiences?” They surveyed 41 conference attendees of five particular conferences. They found that Twitter exchanges are useful for more than just following conference events and exchanging information. They facilitate communication about emerging issues and provide a forum for parallel “backchannel” discussions. The respondents noted that tweeting (gotta love that verb) enhances networking and community. So, yes, Twitter can add value to conferences.
Whaddya think? Should we try this at this year’s Midwest Chapter conference?

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