“Conference 2.0” – Twitter For The Masses? Get Real…

Posted: March 13, 2008 in Conferences, Emerging Media, Social Media, Society & Culture, The Marketing Industry, Trends, Web2.0
Tags: , , , , , ,

Ok, I’m back after taking a few weeks off the blog. Hated to do that, but my crazy schedule made it necessary. It’sTexting sometimes hard to live a busy and successful life and still find time to blog about what’s going on…I do what I can!

I also wish I was kicking back in with something that I’m less jaded about, but here it goes…

What’s with all the hoopla over Sarah Lacy’s interview of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at the annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival? Big deal, she did a bad job…um, hello…how many conferences can you say that all the panelists, moderators or featured speakers did a great job these days? I am bored out of my wits at most conferences.

The “Twittersphere” was on fire you say? Ok so SxSW Twitterites united and got the word out to the 10 people that read each of their Twitter postings…(insert sarcastic tone) well that’s damaging. The use of Twitter at conferences is nothing new, nor will it change the marketing or content worlds.

According to many reports, journalists, and bloggers, this “phenomenon” equates to the integration of real time social media merging with conference activities, thus changing conferences forever?  Give me a break! First of all, I can’t see the average conference attendee using Twitter. Besides – anyone with a blog or Facebook profile can update it from their mobile device or their wireless connected laptop (god bless the wireless card). My jaded comments about Twitter aside, I do use Twitter…although I haven’t quite figured out why yet. It’s almost fun, and definitely not quite useful yet. If you want to follow my Tweets, I’m JasonDPG on Twitter.

So again, what’s all the fanfare about? A boring conference is a boring conference, and a bad moderator is a bad moderator, period. We don’t need Twitter to help us out of that bind. Thank god for smart phones! I spend more time reading and sending emails from my phone, and walking in and out of conferences to make phone calls, than actually listening to most of the mundane, overly simplified, self serving or otherwise useless content at most conferences.

Note to conference organizers, moderators and panelists — Stop catering to the lowest common denominator and cater to the upper echelon of thinkers and you’ll automatically have a good conference. Let the masses catch up, because the innovators won’t dumb down!

Ok so maybe conference content and activities do hit the social fabric of the web with a level of immediacy never seen before – but what doesn’t?  Social media immediately captures and reflects the going-ons within society and fragmented pop culture, and of course Twitter happens to be sitting on the edge of that immediacy curve.

I don;t want to perpetuate the hype around this issue, but in reading a few Tweets, I discovered this BitStrips piece about the Zuckerbeg interview at SxSW that was pretty funny. Bitstrips is a new service that has an interesting potential future (Bitstrips.com) so I figured I’d share…if you got one thing out of this entire Lacy/Zuckerberg media circus, maybe this is it – enjoy.


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