Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Real-life lessons: How social media *really* works at meetings

While we're all still experimenting with using social-media tools at conferences and meetings, it's important to listen to and share real-world experiences.  Here are four viewpoints based on actual meeting experiences to help you wrangle a better meeting:
  • Spammers got hold of your hashtag? If you're using a tweet aggregator to showcase posts during your conference, check out how to keep your Twitter stream from being hijacked by spammers during a conference. Filtering's critical, and the post links to reviews of aggregators that will help you do that.
  • Trying to juggle seven kinds of social tech to share your meeting? This post on mastering the FlipCam for conferences and tweets shares experiences from the IT director for the National Wildlife Federation, focusing on a conference at which the social media A/V included Ustream, SlideShare, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and Cinch (the latter for audio podcast via a mobile Android app). A great hands-on post you'll want to save when planning how to capture and share your next conference.
  • Will the hotel wi-fi be enough to handle the load? Did you just win the lottery? You already know there's wi-fi overload at the conferences you attend, but in case you're planning a conference with someone who doesn't get it, share the New York Times coverage of this trend (at the link). Even Steve Jobs had to ask the audience to turn off their phones and laptops at a conference where he was trying (unsuccessfully) to demonstrate the iPhone 4.  As the NWF post notes above, look beyond wi-fi to power your social-media tools at the conference.
  • Can we make the meeting off-the-record in a tweetable world? Steve Buttry's post on NewsFoo Camp: Not fully open, but certainly not secret looks at how this worked in real life at a journalism conference which was by invitation only, allowed people to go off the record when speaking (even declaring things OTR after they'd been said). As a result, most tweeting or live-blogging was discouraged and no public report or summary was issued. The goal? More candor and sharing in person. This takes agreement between organizers and attendees, so don't take it for granted--make sure everyone knows about this policy before they show up.
Got some good tips based on your own use of social tools at a recent meeting? Share 'em in the comments.

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