The last line of yesterday's Twitter poem was a complaint that the association's "social media creds" were tarnished because "Angela Sinickas prohibits tweating during her session."
After I stopped chearing, I e-mailed Angela to get the background. She came back:
—Miss something important
—Distract their neighbors and make them miss something important
—not to mention being distracting and disrespectful to the speaker.
I don't see why people can't just take notes during the session as usual, and then tweet any interesting cool notes immediately after. Is there some contest to be the first to say "Angela Sinickas says you CAN measure communication's ROI"?
If there was a civil rights movement just for speakers that fought to make it illegal to tweet during sessions, I would march in it.
The speaker has learned about the audience, prepared and rehearsed a lecture, traveled to the event and summoned the fortitude to stand before his or her colleagues and present his or her ideas for evaluation.
Do we or do we not owe it to the speaker to sit still for the course of the talk and take the speech in in all its context before sending our glib little 140-character evaluations and raccoon insights out into the world?
I think civilized people will agree that we do. As for the rest of you: Tweet this.
David Murray says
Philadelphia communication consultant Fran Melmed points me toward a blog post that tries to extol the benefits of live-tweeting, to both audience and speaker.
I’d actually read the post before, and as I told Fran, I imagined its writer straining to keep a straight face as he wrote this series of preposterous imbecilities:
Oh – MY – GOD!!!! I just HATE this trend with the heat of a thousand suns!! David, your description of “this series of presposterous imbecilities” is absolutely perfect, but because I hate this so much, I wasn’t content to leave it there.
In the spirit of your “Ask the Murr” feature, I have taken excerpts of this idiotic BS and put my reaction to them [in the brackets] I don’t care if the author sues me for copyright infringement! I’m unemployed and I rent – what’s she gonna get? The cat? Knock yourself out!
1. It helps audience members focus. The more the presentation relies on the back channel, the more I focus
[Yes, moron – but you’re focusing on your own arrogant opinions – NOT the presentation!!].
Knowing that my comments are going to be seen by the presenter or live participants, seems to make me pay more attention.
[The presenter is PRESENTING, stupid!! They are NOT checking their blackberry for your rude, ignorant Tweets!]
Twitter allows me to add my perspective to what is being presented and that keeps me more engaged than just sitting and listening – even if no one reads it.
[If you aren’t engaged in the presentation, LEAVE!! And as for adding your perspective?? If you think you actually have something USEFUL to offer, then work up a presentation and pitch it to someone, instead of telling yourself you’re so smart, while sitting in the audience disrespecting someone who ACTUALLY wrote and sold a presentation!]
2. The audience gets more content. People tweeting during your presentation add explanations, elaborations, and useful links related to your content.
[Maybe, but WHO’S content is it?! Some yahoo that figures they are God’s gift to the room just because their ass is in a chair in the room?? What do I care about the opinion of the goof sitting next to me? If he was so smart, he’d be ON THE STAGE – not sitting next to me]
3. Audience members can get questions answered on the fly. In the past, you might have lent over to you neigbor and said “What did she mean by that?” or you remained confused. Now, audience members don’t have to wait to clarify things they don’t understand. And, Audience members who tuned out because they didn’t understand now stay engaged.
[HELLOO!!! That’s what the Q&A at the end is for. Again, why would you think the person next to you would know the answer to your question any better than you do?? And P.S. if you have SUCH a short attention span that you can’t remember your question for the 45 minutes tops most of these things last, then a) you shouldn’t be in Communications at ALL! and b) Duh! WRITE IT DOWN!!]
4. And what struck me was the dynamic of this meeting. It was participatory. No one was talking out loud except the guy presenting the ppt. But the conversation was roaring through the room via twitter. It was exploding.
[So, basically, what you’re telling us is that the presenter was talking to himself after the first comment that all you ignoramuses started Tweeting, because if all those people were Tweeting they were NOT listening to what the speaker was SAYING!!]
7. You can connect with people
[Um, no. Tweeting would be connecting with a laptop or a blackberry. If you REALLY want to connect with “people” at a conference, you INTRODUCE YOURSELF to another human.]
What about the speaker?
Yes, presenting with the back-channel is challenging. “Hey, I’ve had people sleeping during a talk before – I’d rather they were tapping away on their keyboards.”
[All those speakers who were quoted in this article as being just fine and dandy with people typing or tweeting during their presentation are LYING!!! Unless you are the crappiest presenter in the history of the world, you put one hell of a lot of thought and work into a presentation for a conference session. You DON’T do that if you expect people to all sit there with their heads down throughout. These people are saying what they think the rude, ignorant people want to hear. It is nevertheless an awful, AWFUL trend, and I maintain that only people who have never presented themselves and been subjected to this disrespectful rudeness would ever truly think it’s okay to blog or tweet while someone is speaking.]
Andrea S-R says
Not surprisingly, I agree with everything that Kristen says.
“Is there some contest to be the first to say ‘Angela Sinickas says you CAN measure communication’s ROI’?”
While I admit that I haven’t done much with Twitter, based on my experience in the online world, I’d say that yes, there IS a contest to be the first to say … anything. Ever read an article online where the first 5-10 comments are all from people saying inane things like “First!!!!” or “Beat you again!!” or garbage like that? (Granted, those may not be the most high-caliber articles to begin with, but that mentality permeates the internet, in my opinion and experience.)
David Murray says
But Andrea, I’m sure you agree:
It’s hard to imagine a less worthy use of human energy than timely twittering of communication conference sessions on timeless topics.
Erick Dittus says
Twittering during a speech is the equivalent of talking on a cell (and this does happen) about the movie you’re watching… in a theater, which guarantees: one, you’re not really SEEING the film yourself and two, anyone near you isn’t getting fully entertained (by professionals) either.
Twittering during a speech (or at a funeral — yeah I’ve seen it happen, too) is the optimum self-absorption. It’s an effort to turn oneself into a giant explanation point… And while it may appear to the twitter that they are adding value to somebody else’s knowledge base, their insipid analysis (as is the case with some many bloggers) detracts from others who are attempting to live in the moment…and as D.H. Lawrence put it “living moment is everything.”
I just love the term ‘back channel’.
Which is where most of Pistachio’s theories seem to have been pulled out of.
David Murray says
Daniel Penton says
Can’t say I agree with you David. My tweets replaced the notes that I would normally have taken offline. Plus I was able to add other people’s conference tweets when I’d missed something. I’ll be tweeting at the next conference I attend.
David Murray says
“My tweets replaced the notes that I would normally have taken offline.”
Daniel, this is not an argument for tweeting. It’s an argument for note-taking. And I’ve taken a lot of notes at a lot of conferences and I’ve never missed anything that I couldn’t ask my neighbor about–what did she say?–immediately.
How do you respond to all the other arguments above, about the incivility of tweeting. It seems you’re content to say (and you say even this unconvincingly), “This was helpful to me so I’m going to keep doing it.”
michael clendenin says
Twitter is teaching us all to thoughtlessly shoot our mouths off. Isn’t the most important principle in communications supposed to be listening?