09 August 2012

Tweeting Your Notes

I'm moderately active on Twitter...other than around conferences, when I am a profligate tweeter.
What's that all about?

I use Twitter to take my conference notes.

Colleagues have, in the past, asked me to explain how I do it, and with the ASAE Annual Meeting about to kick off, it seems timely.

What I do is not fancy.

Tweeting my notes, laptop version:

If there are outlets and wi-fi, I use TweetDeck on my laptop. I add a column with the conference hashtag (in this case #ASAE12). I look up the speaker/s in a given session so I know their handles. Then I summarize their main, key, salient points in less than 140 characters so I can append the conference hashtag and hopefully a /via @whoever said it.

Tweeting my notes, iPhone version:

If there is a lack of wi-fi or outlets (or both), I use the Twitter app on my iPhone. I go to Discover and search for the conference hashtag and the speaker/s handles. Then, once again, I summarize the main points and tweet them (which is a little more challenging to do when I'm typing on the iPhone virtual keyboard rather than my trusty MacAir).

Taking notes during a session keeps me focused, so my mind isn't wandering to my email or Facebook or I Can Haz Cheezburger. Taking notes via typing rather than writing ensures I'll actually be able to make them out later (my handwriting is terrible). The 140 character restriction and the fact that I'm often on the slower iPhone keyboard force me to dig for the meat rather than just transcribing everything that's said. And the sharing benefits the community of people watching the hashtag.

After the conference, I go back into my own Twitter profile and do a simple copy-n-paste on my tweet stream, then run a few simple Word find-and-replace jobs to clean things up a bit. I suspect there are more sophisticated ways of dealing with the tweets post-event, but I haven't spent the time to research them, so if you have advice on that count, share it in the comments.

That's it.

How do you capture content you want to remember at conferences? What tech tools and tricks do you use?

2 comments:

Adrienne Bryant said...

Agreed, Elizabeth. I've never understood people who don't take notes during a session, then again, I'm sure they don't understand me.

Like you, I'm much faster (and let's face it, better) on my laptop. I've just received an iPad from my Association to bring with me so we'll see how that works.

Cecilia Satovich said...

Hey there,

I'm a big note taker/tweeter too - my process has been to type, copy, and paste in different windows from my laptop (so that I don't have to go back later)

This year's ASAE Annual iPad app has some changes to the note taking screen to help facilitate that, too, which I going to try to use.

From the "My Sessions" screen, the twitter stream for a given session has been moved to the upper left, so that as you have the notes area open and keyboard up, you can tweet, copy, and paste. (that way you can copy/paste other people's tweets from that session into your notes too).

Fingers crossed, that should make Tweeting and note taking easier - I'd love to get your feedback on it, if you happen to try it at Annual.