As I have been talking about and showing Live Tweets to people since it launched last week, many of them ask what exactly it is, how it works and what is the advantage of using it. Since it seems to be such a common request, I thought I would go into it here on my blog.
Live Tweets allows a meta conversation to occur amongst event attendees. By having it at an event, it allows communication amongst people aren’t near each other and opens new lines of communication. People at events tend to cluster in small groups around the room, but if there is a live Twitter feed, they will glance at it occasionally, and if they are interested, they will stop to post a reply that can be seen creating a conversation that envelops all the attendees.
At the NYC Twestival, I decided to try an experiment. I tweeted to the Live Tweets screen that any of my Twitter followers who came over and introduced themselves to me would get a free drink at the event. This was no small thing when the biggest complaint about the NYC Twestival was the drink prices. In response to my tweet, Adorkable Geek tweeted back to me to find out where I was. He and I had never met before, but we were able to connect with each other for the first time in person because we were able to connect through Live Tweets.
My friend Biana was also at the NYC Twestival. She tweeted out to the screen and was able to connect with someone who had a similar background as her because they started communicating through the Live Tweets screen. Their on screen and online conversation led to an in person conversation which further led to her being hired to do online marketing for him. She went from unemployed party goer to a fully employed because of Live Tweets.
There are times when Live Tweets should not be used. When panelists are talking at an event, Twitter becomes a back channel for conversations during the panel, but it can be distracting and remove the attention of the people watching the panel, creating uncomfortable situations for everyone on stage. It isn’t completely discouraged during a panel, though. A moderator can watch a Live Tweets stream during the panel to see what the attendees are saying and can lead the conversations to what people want to know about or take questions that attendees may have and ask them of the panelists.
These are just a few case studies that show how Live Tweets has been used in the past and can inspire ways to use it for upcoming events. If you have other ways you think Live Tweets can be used or have any other features you’d like to see included in Live Tweets, please let me know.