I was leading a conference, and I asked a question. The people in the room answered it, and an academic guy twittered the question to his followers.
His wife hit him. Just on the arm. Then, she told him to put the iPhone up because he was being rude.
Academic guy came up to me during a break, and asked if he was being rude. Although I don’t often like taking sides in marital disputes, I had to say. “No.”
I like it when people twitter during conferences, and even worship. This is why…
There is always a bit of tug-of-war going on with me when I’m doing presentations. Especially when they’re short ones. You see, it’s proven that most people don’t really remember things unless they have had a chance to talk. Think about it, the next time you attend a lecture or a workshop. The facts that I always remember the most are the ones that I have engaged with, through discussion or even an argument.
So I try to make sure that there’s a bit of space for people kick certain topics around. Discuss them, explore how they apply to their situations. I usually encourage disagreement.
But then I can get feedback that people did not come to hear the pastor down the road talk, they came to hear the presenter talk. If I don’t get through the material, participants get frustrated and feel cheated.
But, twittering gives people an opportunity to write down what I say, ask me questions, talk to other people, without necessarily disturbing the flow of conversation at the moment. So it’s like we can have the best of both worlds: discussion and the processing of information, as well as a presentation.
Not only that, but many events use hashtags (that’s # plus a code), so anyone who might be interested in the event can read about. I love searching hashtags. When I can’t make it to something, I follow the highlights, find out what people are saying.
But there are plenty who don’t agree with me. They still think it’s rude. In fact, most people who don’t Twitter can’t comprehend why it’s so fascinating. After all, “The one thing you can say for certain about Twitter is that it makes a terrible first impression.”