I survived!! I think this year’s Institutional Web Management Workshop went really well but as one of our local organisers Keith Brooke put it “it’s a bit hard to gauge when you’re in the thick of things“…and I certainly was in the thick of things! Anyway all the feedback I’ve received so far has been very positive.
There is a lot to be said about the event but there are some fab resources available (for example the IWMW2009 blog and the IWMW2009 event on Slideshare) so on this blog I just want to concentrate on one aspect: What it was like to be a remote attendee?
Now this is a tricky one for me because I wasn’t a remote attendee, I was physically there, but I am trying to get some remote attendees to come forward and talk about their experience – hopefully more on that in another post.
I want to start off by looking at the use of one particular technology as a remote attendee aid….Twitter.
There were a hell of a lot of tweets during the event. A few stats…Twapperkeeper reports 1,614 tweets in the archive and the number is still rising. What the hashtag reports 1,462 tweets, 162 contributors with 43.7% coming from “The Top 10”, only 4.4% are retweets and 36.1% have multiple hashtags. An archive of Tweets and further stats are available from the IWMW 2009 Twitter page on the IWMW Web site.
What is tricky to know is how many of these were remote attendees. A bit of data mining might be possible.
However what is clear is that Twitter helped support remote attendees in quite a few ways:
- Providing information
- Delegates and remote attendees alike benefited from following the iwmw and iwmwlive accounts. The live account, facilitated by Kirsty McGill, provided live blogging on every plenary and was extremely useful.
- Asking questions
- On a number of occasions remote attendees asked questions using Twitter. Kirsty McGill, our live blogger, did a great job of asking for and monitoring tweets from remote people. She then asked them at the appropriate moment. Karine Joly has blogged about her experience of asking a question.
- Giving Feedback
- In a 3 day event there is always bound to be technical mishaps. Twitter was an easy way for remote attendees to keep us informed when things weren’t working exactly as they should. For example when I held a lapel mike a bit too close and deafened everyone! They also pointed out the need for question askers to talk into the mike.
- Tweeting on the wall
- We gave tags to different sessions which allowed us to pull relevant tweets up on the Twitter wall (we used Twitter Fall). This meant that the ‘remoteness’ of an attendee was invisible.
- I linked the IWMW2009 blog to the IWMW Twitter account using Tweetfeed. This allowed all posts to be automatically sent out to the Twitter feed and to everyone interested (not just people attending). No worries about spamming people because these were people who had registered because they were interested. In the past we probably would have used the IWMW delegate email for this and missed all remote attendees.
- Taking photos
- The use of Twitpic meant that photos could go out very quickly and in response to questions. Helpful for those unable to see exactly what was going on.
- Creating Community
- After the event Chis Gutteridge set up a Southampton developers group using the #sodev tag. There has also been talk of using #iwmc as a tag for the Institutional Web management community.
We also used Netvibes to pull all the IWMW2009 resources together and pulled the tweets in too through CoveritLive.
What was your experience of Twitter like at IWMW?