DRMacIver's Notebook

Notes on Tweeting Too Much At Conferences

Notes on Tweeting Too Much At Conferences

Well, PyCon UK, the best conference, is over for another year. Sad face.

This year I ended up doing something with a surprising amount of impact on my and others’ experience of the conference: I tweeted a lot. Yes, I know, even by my standards. I essentially became the unofficial scribe of the conference. I won’t even attempt to embed them, but here’s a search query that will give you everything I tweeted on the conference hash tag for this conference.

Each day:

Why? Well, I’d been talking recently about how conference organisers put up with a lot and a point that got made in response to this is that a really helpful thing for attendees to do is tweet about the conference - it helps get more sponsors next year, promotes the ideas of the conference, and generally raises its profile. This seemed an easy enough thing to do, so I decided to give it a try and got a little bit carried away.

People seemed to really like me doing this. Especially the organisers - I heard from a lot of them that the running commentary helped them feel more in touch with the conference. So if this achieved nothing else then I’m happy with it. It also was appreciated by people who weren’t able to make the conference, and in a few cases to those who would never have come because they weren’t even programmers (though I of course still think they should come)!

People have asked me how I did it, but it’s not really complicated: I had a laptop, I touchtype really fast, and I’ve wasted far too much of my life on Twitter. I had not previously thought the latter was a professional skill, but apparently.

I did have a couple of problems with doing it:

On the whole though, this level of live-tweeting seems to have been popular, and I will probably do it again at future conferences I attend.