A long time ago I made a choice to try to always live in the moment. A friend told me it was German heritage that we were worriers. (All the Germans can correct me if you want.) But it is true that living in the past (things you’ve done or left undone) or in the future (worried about what might happen) is a no win situation. I’m also puzzled at all the people on vacation who are diligently videoing everything rather than experiencing it. Will they have time to ever watch all that video?
Liz Strauss at the “Successful Blog” (or Successful and Outstanding Bloggers – SOBs) asks, “Do you Twitter at Conferences?” Got me thinking about living in the moment. Do you experience the conference or worry about twittering it? There was a lot of tweeting at Emerson Exchange, and I contributed some to the noise. It did help people not in Orlando to get a feel for what was happening. But I’m a reporter, so I suppose it’s partly my job. But I didn’t have time or technology to easily read all the tweets in real time (supposedly the value of twitter).
I’m still learning about Twitter. What have been your experiences? Does it help you to see what’s going on at conferences you can’t attend? Or is Twitter better as a real-time conversation enabler?
This past weekend my daughter competed in a cheerleading competition. I had nabbed a sweet spot in the top row of the bleachers and had my tripod and video camera dutifully set up. After a masterful (if I do say so myself) job of balancing a well framed portrayal of the team with strategic close ups of my daughter I had to turn to my wife and ask, "How did they do?"
So your point of missing the greater point by concentrating on the details is real. Having said that, I think it’s interesting to watch from afar as people highlight the highlights. There are some events that I’ve looked into attending simply because of the chatter generated on Twitter.
Gary, You’re right that it is a dilemma of both trying to be in the moment and trying to digest the moment and share with others. I’ve been to conferences like Austin’s SXSW Interactive where it was really cool to see others tweeting their impressions in real-time as I was listening in real-time. Everyone brings their unique experiences which impacts the filter they apply to what they hear.
I found myself switching modes from listening only to following the real-time notes that were unfolding. Overall, I found the experience richer than a listen-only mode filtering through my experiences. I also agree with Jon that it definitely creates interest in conferences I’m unable to attend in person by doing real-time searches on the designated event hashtags.
My guess is that we’ll see more of this rather than less, especially as the generation that has been immersed in this practice continues to enter the workforce.