Learn effective ways to tweet from an event to share with others.
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I find myself live tweeting events now that I'm so engaged on Twitter. Live tweeting is when you attend something and tweet entirely in the moment referencing what is happening at a meeting, workshop, keynote or other type of event. Some people tweet direct quotes from speakers and panelists, others editorialize, and still others upload photos on the fly.
Live Tweeting an Event
There is no single right way to live tweet an event. Most of the way you live tweet is based on how you tweet in the first place. If you're interacting with your Twitter followers, you have a sense of what they expect from your tweets.
Live tweeting an event can be a mixed bag. The positive side is that you're sharing a concise version of what is happening with others who might not be able to attend the same event or session. The negative side can be that live tweeting sends more constant messaging to your followers that can bombard their Twitterstreams and turn some people off.
Here are my quick and dirty tips for live tweeting an event to capitalize on the positive and minimize the negative.
1. Consider using TwitterSnooze. TwitterSnooze is an application that let's people unfollow you temporarily while you tweet a lot and then refollow you once you're done. There are mixed feelings about this application and know that you'll get an email alert when someone unsnoozes you so this could be burdensome. But giving your followers an option to turn off your tweets while you're at an event could also be a courteous thing to do.
2. Use hashtags. Many events these days actual supply official hashtags for the overall conference and even individual sessions. A hashtag is a keyword with the pound or hash sign before it. For example, the South by Southwest conference for 2009 used #SXSW2009 as their official hashtag. By using hashtags, anyone's live tweets from the same event can be gathered by searching Twitter by the hashtag or using a Web-based service such as Hashtag.org, TweetChat or TweetGrid. You can also do a search using your favorite Twitter desktop app like Tweetdeck.
3. Reference who you're quoting. If you are quoting someone and you know their Twittername, definitely use it with the "at" sign (@) in front. Otherwise, you should still cite the source of everything you quote. Some people think you should put quotation marks around a quote, however, given the character limit, I think you can be obvious that you're quoting someone without having to put additional symbols.
4. Don't expect retweets. Unless the tweets you send are both compelling and short enough to retweet, most people may not retweet what you are posting from an event. Don't sweat it.
5. Keep an eye out for responses. Some people may respond to your event tweets so don't fail to acknowledge them and interact, particularly if people are asking questions. Twitter is far more than a one-way broadcast medium so don't get too caught up with tweeting tasty quotes while starving the conversation.
6. Be discerning. While it's hard to do a lot of editing in the heat of the live tweeting moment, you need to take care not to tweet a lot of superfluous and unimportant messages. Realize that anyone who hasn't silenced your live tweeting might still feel a bit bombarded by your tweets. A frivolous message during that time could send them over the edge and push them to unfollow you permanently.
7. Consider archiving. Because tweets can seem to disappear over time, pull your tweets into a compilation blog post as a more permanent and readable republishing of your concise missives.
Bottom Line: Live tweeting an event is not for everyone. It can be challenging to do and even more challenging to your followers to follow. But if you are great at distilling large amounts of information into salient points, and if you're known for relaying useful information, live tweeting can be an immediate and exciting way to share with others.
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1. Twitter - http://www.twitter.com
2. Tweetchat - http://www.tweetchat.com
3. Twittersnooze - http://www.twittersnooze.com
4. Tweetgrid - http://www.tweetgrid.com
5. Tweetdeck - http://www.tweetdeck.com
Twitter.com image courtesy of Shutterstock