Twitter Feeds — Good or Bad?

More than two years ago, I participated in a social media conference during which there was a live Twitter feed. As a speaker, I found it a bit distracting because there was so much chatter from the audience around the Twitter stream. The audience members were newbies.

Twitter feeds keep audiences engaged during conferences.

Twitter feeds provide real-time information during a conference.

Today, I don’t think twice about a Twitter feed when I’m speaking. In fact, I find it useful after I speak to go back and see what
audience members tweeted. I can see if my messages hit home or if I need to further refine portions of the talk.

As an audience member, I find the Twitter stream helpful. At a recent social media conference the speaker’s words generated an idea I wanted to capture. As I typed on my netbook, I realized I had lost the thread of the conversation. Not to worry, I just had to look up at the screen with the Twitter feed to see what key points I missed.

Twitter feeds also are great to keep the room engaged and present. And in between speakers it’s a good way to start a conversation with a colleague. At the social media conference you would expect strong engagement. What was particularly helpful was if a speaker quoted someone or referenced a book or movie but didn’t have all of the details. Invariably, someone in the
audience found the information and either tweeted it or tweeted the link so that everyone else could follow-up.

The National Federation of Press Women is gearing up for its annual conference, and we’re considering a Twitter feed – most likely for the social media seminars. A recent LinkedIn post generated many comments. Response has been mostly favorable with a few worried about the distraction of it. On the other hand, many members have not experienced a seminar with a Twitter feed
so this may be a good way to provide that exposure.

What do you think about Twitter feeds during a seminar?