3 Ways to Use Social Media to Crowdsource and Blog a Conference Backchannel

conference backchannel
conference backchannel

One of the goals of my blog is to research, curate and effectively share information with my audience. Conferences are a great aggregator of expertise and information that have inspired some of my most popular blog posts. Here’s three strategies that I’ve used to crowdsource my research and harness the conference backchannel. All three tools employ hashtags – the popular practice where conference attendees include a common tag in their tweets. Typically conference organizers will designate an official hashtag – some combination of letters / numbers prefixed with a hash symbol “#.”

Use Twitter Visualizers

Wiffiti There are many great Twitter visualizers that can be set up to automatically gather specific Twitter #hashtags. Two of my favorites are Wiffiti and Twitter StreamGraphs. Wiffiti displays entire tweets, while StreamGraphs graphs frequency of keywords within the tweets. Both are interesting visualizations of the conference backchannel. Each tool is free and can be embedded on your blog. And neither requires you to attend the conference. 

Here’s how I used these visualizers  to cover the 2010 ASCD conference. 

Streamgraph For some fun, I used StreamGraphs to blog “comparative coverage” of two conferences that were in session at the same time in this post, “Humanities Conference Smackdown! AHA vs MLA Twitter Visualizers.”

 

Use Prezi

Itsc11-prezi Prezi is a presentation tool that adds a dimension of space and scale to information. It can be displayed both as a stand alone presentation and embedded on a blog. Here’s how I used Prezi at the ITSC 2011 conference in Portland Ore, where I had been invited to attend as a guest blogger. My onsite tools included my MacBook, iPhone and Flip Video.

During the conference I attended sessions to gather photos / video and tweeted my observations along the way. I also gathered content from other attendees by following the conference hashtag #ITSC11. The finished Prezis can include – tweets, images, video, YouTube video, PDF’s, screenshots, text, hyperlinks and clipart.

Periodically I gathered all the content and created a Prezi. (BTW – I used the same Prezi technique to blog the San Antonio ASCD in 2010.)  

 

Use Storify

Storify Storify is a new platform that allows users to quickly tell a story using material from the social web. Recently I received an invitation to try out their beta and I’ve been putting it to use as conference blogging tool. 

The Storify web-based interface divides your screen in two columns. On the left (screenshot – to the left) are a variety of social media feeds – Twitter, FaceBook, Flickr, YouTube, RSS feeds, Google searches, SlideShare as well as any URL you select. It also has built in search tools that allow you explore your sources using hashtags. My favorite feature is that the Twitter search allows you to exclude RTs. As you find your content,  you drag it to the right side of your screen where you also have options to add text, delete or re-order content. When your Storify finished it can be embedded in your blog. To help you get the word out Storify sends out a Tweet to anyone you have quoted. 

Here’s how I used Storify to cover the recent 2011 ASCD conference in San Francisco. I received many positive comments from viewers who thought I gathered some of the best social media being posted from the conference. I saved them the time of wading through all the RTs, side comments, and promotional tweets. BTW – I did not attend the conference. 

Stay tuned for may ongoing conference coverage – I’m sure there’s a new tool being created that I’ll get to take for a spin!

 

ASCD 2011 Conference: Social Media Highlights – Friday

Golden-gate I'm following the ASCD conference in San Francisco via the social web. Here's the best of the feed from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and SlideShare.

Be sure to tag your posts with #ASCD11 so I can include your content in my daily updates.  (Hint: how about posting some photos and videos!) Stop back, I'll be updating through the day. Have a great conference. … Sorry I can't be there! Image credit: flickr/-ratamahatta-

Vermont is Yemen and Hong Kong is Egypt: A Comparative GDP Infographic Map

Us-comparatives Effective infographics enable us to see information in new ways. The Economist recently posted these two interactive maps that offer insights into the distribution of GDP and population in both the US and China. Click on maps or follow links to original maps with full functionality.  

Which countries match the GDP and population of America's states?
Original Map

 

Which countries match the GDP, population and exports of Chinese provinces? 
Original Map

Posts navigation

1 2 3 4