Recently I participated in the McMaster Class in Advertising. I was one of the remote participants. That meant that I followed the #MacPirate hashtag on Twitter, but there was no live-feed of the event itself, so I was relying on classmates and other participants to post informative tweets. Perhaps a tall order…
As I reflect on my experience of the event, I’ll answer 4 main questions.
What was it like to participate or monitor what was going on at the event without being there?
In a word: eep. Have you ever read the entire script of a TV show episode? Well I have. I’ll tell you it’s much easier to just watch the episode.
I sat (comfortably in my PJs, mind you) refreshing my Twitter feed. I tried to read every #MacPirate tweet as it came across my screen. Not too tough. And I had a couple of questions ready to ask via Twitter.
Frankly, it was kind of boring. And ultimately, I wish I could have been there, but that’s how the cookie crumbles.
Did you feel like you were connected to what was going on? What would have helped improve the experience?
I had seen Terry O’Reilly speak at a Speaker’s Spotlight event, so I had some sense of what the presentation might be like. Of course, reading a ticker tape of 140-charactered sentiments wasn’t the most engaging experience.
I think my one wish was to have had a webcast of the event itself. It would have been much easier to follow. There were more tweets leading up to the event (expressing excitement for the speeches to begin) than there were tweets during the event. I understand though. You were watching the speeches and trying to listen and engage. Tweeting isn’t the most ideal activity when we have our listening ears on.
During the Q&A period, it would have helped to have been tweeted the questions that got asked of the panel. I sent a few questions into the Twittersphere without knowing if any had reached the stage. I think one of my questions (regarding social media) might have been asked but I can’t be sure.
What role did you take on Twitter? (Resource person, inquirer, observer, etc.)
I was definitely more of an observer. I read the tweets as they popped up and I was pretty bored. But I’m also a visual learner.
I did ask a couple of questions but, again, I just wasn’t sure if they were going anywhere. I suppose I could have tweeted specific people at the event, but I felt that might be intrusive to their experience.
I certainly appreciated those who tried to act as resource persons during the event. Some very thoughtful and informative tweets stood out while others were just quote-splices of advertising song choices (I think).
From your perspective, when it comes to using Twitter at events like this one, what would you stop, start, and continue doing to improve the experience?
Stop: I wouldn’t really stop anything. There were no issues with offensive tweets or anything like that. I’m not sure if it would be helpful to give some instruction on what it’s like to follow a Twitter feed. And, with that, have examples of good, bad and ugly tweets.
Start: I would recommend, if it’s possible for the event you’re running, to host a webcast or video stream of the presentation. That would cut down on the “unnecessary” tweets and help those remote users engage more effectively.
Continue: A Twitter hashtag for the event was a great idea. Although it wasn’t the most epic Twitter experience, I did get to participate in some way. And, all in all, it was kind of interesting to see what people chose to tweet about. A study in anthropology…
To those folks who tried to keep me engaged: thank you! I did sincerely appreciate the tweets. Without the feed, I wouldn’t have been able to participate at all.
Until next time!