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!

 

2 Twitter Visualizers: Follow the Backchannel at ITSC 2011 Conference

Nametag_logo_itsc11 I’m pleased to be invited as a guest blogger to the Instructional Technology Strategies Conference 2/20-22 in Portland, Oregon. To help live and virtual attendees follow the backchannel here’s two Twitter visualizers based on the the conference hashtag #ITSC11.      

Also – here’s my Prezi intro to Portland.

Wiffiti Screen
(2/27/11 Note) Since this visualization is time sensitive, I have posted a short video screen shot. 

Twitter StreamGraph 

Flowing graph of the words most frequently used in the latest 1000 tweets marked with the hashtag #itsc11
View full screen

(2/27/11 Note) Since this visualization is time sensitive, I have posted a screen shot. For the next few weeks you can click on link to live versions.

Itsc11
 

Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Twitter Stream Visualizer

I posted this Twitter StreamGraphs visualization that displays a flowing graph of the words most frequently used in the latest 1000 tweets marked with the hashtag #SOTU. (#SOTU is a Twitter code for Tweets about the State of the Union address.) It was a great way to follow the backchannel Twitter chatter during (and just after) Obama's speech.

Because the level of Tweets using the hastag #SOTU has dropped way off – here's screen shot of what it looked like when it was live. Click to enlarge.

SOTU-tweets
But since there are still a few people tweeting with #SOTU, click here for full screen of the live graph.

Navigation tips: Click on a word to highlight and see included tweets below.
Scroll to right for the latest keywords. Scroll down to see the full Tweet.
If you see a large spike in one time period that hides the detail in all the other periods, click in the area to the left of the y-axis to change the vertical scale.

Hat tip to Twitter StreamGraphs – @JeffClark

 

Humanities Conference Smackdown! AHA vs MLA Twitter Visualizers

What a weekend for humanist scholars – two big annual conferences under way – the American Historical Association (AHA) Boston and the Modern Language Association (MLA)  LA. I thought it would be interesting to create two visualizers to follow the key words being used in Tweets from both conferences. Watch the memes emerge! The first shows the word frequency of tweets using the hashtag #aha2011 and second follows the hashtag #mla11

(1/13/11 Note) Since these visualizations are time sensitive, I have posted screen shot versions of each. For the next few weeks you can click on link to live versions.

AHA Twitter Visualization
Direct link to a live visualization

Aha2011


MLA Twitter Visualization 
Direct link to live visualization

Mla11

Hat tip to Twitter StreamGraphs – @JeffClark


Twitter Visualization: What are the Key Words being Tweeted at ASCD Conference 2010

I was excited to receive a media invite from ASCD to be a “guest blogger” at their upcoming conference in San Antonio TX (March 6-8, 2010).  To get started, I’ve posted this Twitter StreamGraphs visualization that displays a flowing graph of the words most frequently used in the latest 1000 tweets marked with the hashtag #ascd10. 

Note: Since the conference closed I’ve updated the graph to show tweets using #ascd.  Click here for full screen graph.  Twitter StreamGraphs is designed @JeffClark

Check out my other Twitter visualizer – a Wiffiti screen which gathers Tweets marked with the hashtag #ascd10. It’s a great way to read the latest comments about the conference. Check back at my blog for my ASCD posts and follow me at Twitter / edteck. And see you at #ASCD10.

 

 

Navigation tips:

 

 Scroll to right for the latest keywords. Scroll down to see the full Tweet.

If you see a large spike in one time period that hides the detail in all the other periods, click in the area to the left of the y-axis to change the vertical scale.

 

 

Posts navigation

1 2
Scroll to top
%d bloggers like this: