#140 Conference – Exploring the State of Now – Greatest Hits

by Bradley Jobling on April 25, 2010

Jeff Pulver’s #140 Conference held at the 92nd Street Y in New York City on April 21st was two days of non-stop, action-packed, touchy-feeling Tweets of possibility, business accomplishments, and attestations to the effects of the real-time Internet on business and “we” the people.

The panels, limited to 10 minutes each, focused on how Twitter is affecting almost everything in the world. An attempt to cover this would take pages. I have therefore distilled what I can remember into some “Greatest Hits”. Where possible, I have attributed these to the person or panel where they orginated.

  • Twitter is the new phase of the Internet. Your voice matters and you can stand up and change the world! Business is changing. This is a great time to make money. The news about the most recent CA earthquake took 40 minutes to show up on Google News. Before this, online news articles had eclipsed the newspaper in timeliness. Now Twitter provides the quickest insight into what is happening in the world.- @JeffPulver
  • The media industry needs to start using Twitter instead of trying to analyze and understand it. Birds fly before they really know how it all works. – @DaveWiner
  • News is older than journalism. We used to rely on word-of-mouth for our news. As the world become larger, we relied on news gatherers. Some of these information was kept private for personal advantage. With the advent of Web 2.0 we are back to word-of-mouth for our news. – @jayrosen_nyu
  • @JohnBorthwick of Betaworks provided us with some facts and figures on Twitter. Twenty percent of Tweets reach the entire 140 character length. The average length of a Tweet is 77 characters. Fifty percent of Twitter accounts have more than 100 followers. The half life of a Tweet is 4 minutes, a blog post is 81 minutes. Every 8 minutes 740,000 bit.ly links are clicked. Only 1/2 percent of Tweets talk about the weather. The most talked about subject on Twitter is Barack Obama.
  • From the Real Time News Gathering panel discussion we heard that smaller television stations do a great job of gathering and spreading news via Twitter. @acarvin mentioned a case where a television channel discovered that Democratic supporters of Obama were being kept from a town hall meeting by a Republican-supporting fire marshal. This was discovered only through the Tweets of people who could not get into the event.
  • Eric Kuhn says that @cnn takes the approach that the Twitter feeds it displays or writes about are “monitored, but not endorsed”. CNN found out that in some cases, location based sources such as foursquare are not good. Notifying someone of your location could put the journalists or their sources in danger.
  • The most telling story of how Twitter can have an affect on the world was discussed during the Fixing America’s Voting System, One Tweet At A Time panel. The Robert Mugabe election was held accountable when pictures of local tallies from election “huts” were posted on the web. When the combined local totals did not coincide with the national total, the entire election was brought into question. Videos of the protests and violence surrounding the election were made available to the world with video cams sneaked into Zimbabwe in sealed cereal boxes. Almost everyone today is aware of the effect that the real time web had on the Iranian protests of their elections.
  • @JeffreyHayzlett, the CMO of Kodak said that social media marketing should look like, and collaborate with the marketing your organization does in other places. All marketing should tie in together. Also, there is always an overreaction to how new media is going to affect old media for marketing and advertising. The new media does not got away, but settles into the mix.
  • If your into using social media for hook ups, or hopefully for more lasting relationships @AndreaSyrtash the author of He’s Just Not Your Type says that social media and dating should be about listening to others. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability on social media and in dating. People don’t feel comfortable around people who are too polished. People want to be challenged and not changed. What’s the difference between the two… RESPECT! Social media like dating should not confuse long term fulfillment with instant gratification.
  • Television is changing today as discussed on the Interacting with the television audience in Real Time panel. Many television programs such as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and CBS Backstage at the Early Show are starting to live stream Q&A sessions after their guests or program topics have been aired on broadcast television. For Obama’s State of the Union Address, questions were submitted online and then presented to the President.
  • In the Real-time web and Reality TV group, @myrealitytv admitted to mining Facebook for reality tv show contestants. So instead of trying to pull stunts with your kids, work on your Facebook Profile.
  • @AnnCurry talked about how Twitter could be a boon to journalism. It brings real time messages to places where it might have been difficult to communicate with in the past. Look at the difference between 9/11 and the earthquake in Haiti. It took hours for citizens and the government to find out what was actually happening during 9/11. If Twitter had been available back then, it might have been easier to stop the other planes. In Haiti Twitter gave people a way or distribute information when other lines of communication were not working. In many cases of disaster Internet connections although weakened,are still available, sometimes by satellite
  • @garyvee felt that the more followers you have the better chances you have of making money. Also Facebook credits are going to be dominate the future. As far as privacy issues, Gary feels that those who are concerned, underestimate the goodness of people.
  • @carr2n said that you can tell more about people on Twitter than on Facebook. Additionally, since your avatar is your credibility, you are not going to do anything to discredit that. Twitter helps to increase traffic to web sites.
  • @HankWasiak said that television changed the advertising business and so will Twitter. Due to the interactivity of Twitter there will now be a 5th “P” in the product marketing mix, “People”. It’s difficult to do a personal voice when Twittering for a company and not always necessary in that case.
  • In the Real Time Communication and Education panel, the teachers within this group felt that there isn’t a need for a class on social media. There isn’t a class on using a pencil. Yet a pencil is used throughout the curriculum and so should social media. There is some push back from teachers because of the dangers of the Internet. Yet a video conference with teachers or students in another place can provide invaluable education experiences.
  • @XavierJernigan of Motown, talked about how Erykah Badu could not get clearance for Paul McCartney clip in one of her songs. As it came down to the wire, she was finally able to reach him via Twitter within 12 hours. The song made it on her album.
  • @ryanleslie an R&B artist will hook up his Twitter followers with back stage passes to his shows. Upon celebrating the accomplishment of completing an album he Tweeted that he would buy anyone an iPod who meet him at 3:00 AM in the morning in the Apple store. He had several takers

  • #twitterkids said that “Twitter is important for making the voices of the unheard, heard”. Africa is not as remote as what everyone thinks. There are Internet connections available. A new backbone in East Africa has connected the continent to Europe. This will increase the speed of traffic to Europe and North America. The first backbone was connected to India. Internet traffic had to go through the Middle East first.

  • In Twitter vs. Telecom: Friend or Foe? Twitter can be a good customer service tool for telecom companies. Yet, what this does to the technology end of communications, no one is really sure.
  • @corbett3000 in Wonky and Geeky DC talked about how the crowd-sourcing of applications using government data has drastically reduced the time and costs of creating software. There are crowdsourced applications being developed for the military. Many of these applications could not be developed nor would be envisioned without using crowd sourced development methods.
  • Best Buy asked employee volunteers to be on their @twelpforce customer service team. Light on the sales, the thinking is that a customer service inquires dealt with on Twitter, and seen by more than one person, will prevent multiple service center calls for the same thing. Best Buy created an in-house application to help manage the messages. Since there are Best Buy stores around the world, @twelpforce is available around the clock.
  • The Veterans Association is using Twitter to answer questions about the new GI bill. Since many of the veterans that would need information about this are younger, this is a good communication tool for that purpose.
  • To a small businesses, network is important. Twitter is a network that at times will promote close online and even person-to-person relationships. This can help small businesses. –@smallbizlady
  • In the The Future of Communications: A look at the evolution of presence, directory and the effects on the communications industry panel it was said that Facebook is so big that it could become a phone directory. Communications is about getting people to connect where ever they are and in whatever form may be the most convenient. Right now the phone companies are the connectors for the networks. Will they still play this role in the future?
  • In a different panel on Remembrance in the Real-Time web, @ozsultan discussed how social media is being used for remembrance. Pages and sites are being developed to remember those who have passed on. The ‘social” aspect of the web has been support line for some during times of grief.
  • In the second panel for Real-time web and Education, we learned that the discussion about Internet use with children is the new “sex” talk. Young people need to be guided on the dangers of the Internet and how to protect themselves. Educational media companies, as we all have already noticed, are extending their brands online. The education system should worki on powering kids up with interactivity when they get to school.

  • In the Social Media for Social Good panel, the I learned that the UN has a Twitter campaign to raise awareness for malaria. Through Twitter, the UN is raising money a few dollars at time for repellent-treated nets. This is a goal the UN felt can be accomplished by the organization of people and resources through social media.
  • In The state of the ecosystem, a developer’s perspective panel I learned that Twitter is going to be adding more notations to your Tweets. This is in addition to the current location. This was described as super charged hash tags with more information about the users and message. Twitter is starting an @anywhere program to make it easier to incorporate Twitter into your web site. There were some concerns as to whether the new promoted Twitter program is going to violate “Net Neutrality” ideals.

The entire conference or particular sections can be watched on the ippio.com Web site. Many thanks to @jacobLpeck, @thismomknows2, and @ckieff for the companionship at the event.

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