I’m torn. I appreciate and understand the value of live tweeting events and conferences, but I bring to question the overall value at stake.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there is incredible value to incorporating tweets around large national events such as the Inauguration where millions of people are looking for a channel to interact, engage and discuss. CNN and Facebook did a superb job with their combined live stream tweet function on Inauguration Day. A similar excellent effort took place on Twitter on Election Day.
BUT, I’m far more in favor of reading a thorough blog post the following day that carefully analyzes an event and adds constructive insight or criticism to what went down.
More specifically, I’m pulling off my experience a couple weeks ago at BlogWell when attendees were using the #BlogWell hashtag to live tweet about the presentations they were viewing. I admit that the hashtag was great for seeing who was attending the event and categorizing conversation, but sending tweets during a presentation was not top of mind for me.
Call me old school, but I wanted to soak in everything each presenter had to say. I jotted notes and listened intently so that I could later pull all my thoughts together. In addition, I wanted to use the conference to actually connect face-to-face with some people that I connect regularly with online.
David Mullen recently had a similar experience while watching the Super Bowl that I found spot on. I joined in on the live-tweeting analysis of the various ads being played during the Super Bowl before quickly realizing my mistake. I was spending more time firing off tweets than actually paying attention to the ads and chatting with friends in the room about the excellent game. I found it to be much more enjoyable once I put away the computer and opted to check out a couple ad analysis posts the following day.
I valued live human interaction and engagement more than online? Go figure. As wired as we all are, it’s still crucial to make sure we unplug and now and again.
So, I pose the big question…
Live event tweeting – is it worth it or are we wasting time providing 140-character updates that aren’t sufficient to contextualize the big picture of what’s happening?