September 30, 2011

12-step guide on how to live-tweet an event

live tweeting at TED
Twitter co-founder Evan Williams live-tweets on stage at the TED conference.

Learn how Twitter can help you make the most of your next conference

This is part of our series on how nonprofits can get the most out of Twitter and the first in a series of guest posts from content partner

Guest post by Susannah Vila

twitter-essentialsWhether you are hosting an event such as a fund-raiser or a conference, or you are signed up to attend one, Twitter can help you to expand the event’s reach, grow your organization’s audience and connect with potential collaborators or partners.

One effective technique is to take advantage of Twitter’s viral power during an event or conference — your own or someone else’s. Here’s a 12-step guide on how to live-tweet an event.

1Choose a hashtag or find the hashtag that the organizers have picked. It should be short so that plenty of characters are left for the content of your tweets. People generally put the hashtag at the end of every tweet about the event. This way, anyone following that stream will see your posts and identify you or your organization as part of that event.

Tip: You don’t need to be at an event to join in on the hashtag stream. Many people follow along from a livestream and use the hashtag to share their thoughts, or point out memorable insights, to those who are both attending the event or watching remotely.

Tip: Which tool will you be using to engage with the Twitter conversation during your event? TweetDeck on your laptop? Use TagDef to find out what a hashtag means.

2Pay attention. It may seem obvious, but the whole point of tweeting from a conference or other event is to choose the statements made by speakers (or people asking questions) that are the most interesting to your followers. Not everything said at a conference is worth repeating, so don’t bother with platitudes and instead just highlight those thoughts that come out of the live conversation that strike you as worth thinking more about or worth relaying to your audience.

Twitpic3Know your audience. When at an event, it’s never a bad idea to remind yourself of who your audience is and how this event fits with their interests. If they are following you because you or your organization focuses on one issue in particular, then they will probably be expecting your tweets to relate to that topic. When choosing which ideas and comments to bring into the Twitter conversation, check with yourself to ensure that your tweets will be relevant to your followers.

4Use attribution: A big part of tweeting from a conference or other event is about curating the most relevant and important points that speakers make and sharing them with your followers. If someone says something interesting, use a format like “[name] says [their statement].” Whenever you can, use the speaker’s Twitter handle to attribute a statement to them — this allows an interested follower to immediately see their bio, picture and website. If you can’t find the Twitter handle right away, just search Google for “their name” + “Twitter.” Make it as easy as possible for your followers to identify who’s speaking — you don’t want to run the risk of people taking a statement or idea out of context or simply getting confused by your tweets and unfollowing you. Continue reading

April 19, 2010 Covering social good events Covering social good events from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

Nonprofits can take advantage of live-streaming events — on the cheap

JD LasicaAt Net Tuesday, I sat down with Arabella Santiago, founder and CEO of JustgoodTV, a network of curated stories about mission-driven organizations, social entrepreneurs and responsible businesses that have impact. The service provides nonprofits, NGOs, businesses and organizations with web production services, capturing and producing programming that is then distributed to a network of audiences from communities of purpose.

As the Web becomes more video-centric, nonprofits need to jump on board. Nonprofits of all sizes should be thinking about how to bring the events they put on to a wider community of supporters.

Live streaming is just not as daunting as it was back in its early days. Nearly half of the events and conferences I attend these days have live-streaming video coverage, and when I head out on the road with the Traveling Geeks, several participants, like Robert Scoble and Howard Rheingold, live-stream our interviews to their followers through their video-enabled cell phones.

LogitechAs Arabella points out, the entire set-up can be had for as little as $300. You may want to start with something as simple as a Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 Web camera, available online starting at $70.

Your mileage may vary, depending on the skills of your team, the kind of video and audio equipment you use and the kind of event you’re producing. If you’d like to hire an independent production team, JustgoodTV can provide a three-person crew for more than that — the rate varies depending on a number of factors, so contact Arabella on her site.

Though I expect we’ll see some consolidation in the marketplace in the next 18 months, all of the live-streaming services — Livestream, Ustream,, Kyte and Qik — provide free streaming and video archiving as well as higher-quality ad-free premium services. That means it’s likely that many more people who did not attend your event will be able to see it in the days and weeks afterward.

Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo Continue reading