How to Live Tweet a Conference

How to Live Tweet a Conference

My friend Ariel asked me on LinkedIn to make a quick “how-to” for live tweeting a conference. I’m going to give two examples. One conference that I think I did exceedingly well live tweeting, and one that I didn’t do exceedingly well at (and reasons why, and work arounds).

Why Live Tweet?

  • I have rheumatoid arthritis and writing at conferences/taking notes is difficult, but tapping on my phone is much easier.
  • It allows others not in our field, those in allied fields, and lay people to comment on our scholarship and to be exposed to our work and research. Greater transparency builds trust and is crucial to trauma-informed work and integrity in scholarship.
  • It works, in some small way, to reduce the inherent inequality in conferences by disseminating information to those who can’t attend either due to socio-economic barriers, access barriers, language barriers, childcare barriers, etc.

Sample Data

So first here’s a Thread Reader App (an easy to read collection of tweets) link to a conference that I live tweeted exceedingly well: ‪

And here’s a Thread Reader App link to a conference that I lived tweeted not so great: ‪‬.

What Makes One Better Than The Other?

  • Generally speaking the first is better than the second because I was only receiving information, rather than actively participating in workshops.
  • A conference that is largely presentation based is easier to live tweet because you can share key points easier.
  • It’s hard to do the same in conferences that are either workshop based, or that are very interactive, or have lots of moments that require small group participation or where they ask for repeated audience feedback.

General Rules/How To:

I follow the following guidelines when I live tweet a conference:

  • I tweet out anything that I’d bullet point in a handwritten note/that I’d find useful later.
  • Credit where credit is due. Put quotes in quote marks. Link to speakers twitter accounts through the @ feature.
  • Take photos of important slides and share them. Provide descriptions for Blind twitter users (I’m working on getting better at this).
  • Add in your own thoughts on important findings, implications, how you will use data/information presented.
  • Share useful links and resources mentioned in real time. Google then in your phones browser and then link them directly in the tweet.
  • @ colleagues who may find information useful.
  • Use conference hashtags. Find out what they are beforehand.
  • Think of this as your conference notebook that your sharing openly and working on collectively. Use the @ThreadReaderApp to Unroll when you’re done and make a PDF of your notes 🙂
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