Splendid Streaming at IWMW

We’ve had a go at streaming the plenary talks at the Institutional Web Management Workshops for the last 5 years now. Allowing people at home to watch the talks is all part of the amplified conference role that we see IWMW playing.

The AV unit and one camera at IWMW, by Mindfieldz

The AV unit and one camera at IWMW, by Mindfieldz

This year was no exception and the University of Essex did a stirling job of live streaming talks for us and hosting them on the University Web site.

They had 3 video cameras (with female camera people as Liz Azyan pointed out!) filming the main area and pushed out some really great quality content. We also pulled this content into Nevibes so we could offer it along with all the other IWMW2009 resources (like tweets, slides and live blogging using CoveritLive).

The University of Essex have now added some statistical data about the streaming viewers including a map of viewer location and a time graph of viewers. Numbers peaked at almost 60 viewers during the second morning plenaries.


Map of streaming video viewers


Timings of streaming video viewers

Twitter Comments on the Streaming

There were a lot of Twitter comments on the streaming which were on the whole really encouraging. They also helped us maintain good quality during the three days by pointing out problems such as the mikes being too loud.


The streaming that we currently provide is usually courtesy of our host institution so it can be difficult to offer different outputs and support all users (e.g. Linux users had a few problems). We are aware of these type of issues and do our best to offer as many solutions as are within our means.


What Next?

An archive of each of the plenary talks will be made available soon. Watch the main page video page on the IWMW 2009 Web site for updates.


Tweetastic at IWMW2009

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.

Desk tweet

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?

Amplifying IWMW2009

iwmw-logo-transparentThis week is a busy one for me. I’m co-chair of the Institutional Web Management Workshop, an annual 3-day event for Web site creators/managers working within Universities and Further Education Institutions. We are a touring workshop so this year are at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus, from Tuesday 28th to Thursday 30th July 2009.

While the event is ‘my day job’ and not necessarily relevant for remote workers (though there will be some great sessions including ones on using mobile devices, QR codes and using the social web to maximise access to resources) I’m sure how we propose to amplify the event will be of interest. This year we want to try to make sure remote participants feel as included as those actually on-site! Some of the amplication techniques that we will be trying out will be new for us and you might just want to tune in.

Live Video Streaming

There will be live video streaming of main plenaries given at the event. The video service will be hosted on the University of Essex Web site but the best place to get started is the IWMW Video Streaming page on the IWMW Web site. This page contains further information about the video streaming and the accompanying live blogging (which will be provided by the iwmwlive Twitter account and a CoveriItLive service).

Live Blogging

We’ve actually got a proper real person (Kirsty McGill) whose role will be to live blog the event! Kirsty and I will also be running around with our cameras and video cameras snapping anyone who comes near us! Photos will all use the iwmw2009 tag and go up on Flickr.


We’ll make every effort to get as many of these up before people present. They will be on Slideshare (under the IWMW2009 event) and available from the site.


There are a couple of Twitter accounts on the go:

  • IWMW is a more general account for information posts related to the event, also good for alerting you to blog posts
  • IWMWlive will be the live blogging of the event.

If you are tweeting about the event use #iwmw2009 in your tweets. This will mean that tweets will be aggregated with others containing the same tag. There is more on IWMW and Twitter on the Twitter page on the IWMW Web site.

We are also going to have talk specific tags e.g. #iwmw2009-p5 which will relate to the fifth plenary. This will allow us to make use of a Twitter Wall (software to be decided) and show tweets relevant to a particular talk.

Remote Delivery

One of the speakers found out late in the day that they couldn’t attend so have pre-recorded their talk. Their session will be run by a facilitator who will play their talk alongside a Twitter wall. The facilitator will interject the talk with questions and comments from the audience and hopefully the speaker will be able to reply from their remote location using Twitter or SMS.


We’ve now got a IWMW2009 blog on the go which is for use in the run up to the event, during the event and for the wind down afterwards. There is loads that will be of interest to remote participants, from information on talks, discussion topics and BarCamp information to interviews with delegates, and maybe even interviews with remote attendees!

Anything else…?

There is probably something I’ve missed but here are some other posts around on what we propose to do:

I’ll write more on how it’s all gone when I’ve had time to catch my breath!

Wish me luck!