Twitter by the #s: 25 things I learned at the 2 day 140 Conference in NYC on June 15-16, 2011

by Amy Baroch, PBS Station Products & Innovation

First things first, what is a 140 Conference? The 140 Conference is a concept created by @jeffpulver to provide a platform for the worldwide twitter community to: listen, connect, share and engage with each other, while collectively exploring the effects of the emerging real-time internet on business.”

The events are designed to keep things moving by having quick “sessions” with a variety of different speakers talking about various topics over a full one or two days. The conferences have taken place in cities all over the world including Barcelona, Los Angeles and Tel Aviv with smaller theme specific conferences like the #140edu or Fashion 140 events in New York.

Last week’s conference featured 139 speakers in 91 sessions over two packed days. The registration, a mere $100, is almost unheard of these days and the content is presented in such a fast-paced yet digestible way that makes the 140 Conference stand out from other social media events.

And here’s the kicker...

The event wasn’t about the technology of Twitter, how to tweet, policy or best practices. It was about the power of Twitter to tell good stories, connect people on a personal level offline, and how to leverage this powerful communication avenue to help people discover things about the world in which they live – something truly valuable for local PBS stations.

Video streaming by Ustream

All in all, the 140 Conference is a fresh new concept that should be imitated. I wouldn’t say I learned anything spectacularly new, but I did learn enough that the following 25 things are worth considering as you and your station continue to venture into the “Twittersphere” – and if you are planning to attend or have attended any of these conferences, we want to know about it. Please let us know in the comments below or contact us anytime.

  1. Listen. Stop tweeting, emailing, playing on your iPhone, typing, and just listen. Close your computer. Sit still. And listen.
  2. There are some really good stories that can be told in only 140 characters.
  3. Twitter can save lives – just ask @LAlupusLady
  4. Credibility comes from known sources but some anonymous blogger on a new blog would have to work just to attain the level of "no credibility" via @dangillmor
  5. Be careful what you tweet – it’s all public, all the time.
  6. Americans pay more per megabit for high-speed Internet than users anywhere in the developed world via @Rasiej
  7. Friendly interaction directly correlates to success via @jeffjarvis
  8. Don't take no as no, take no as not today via @monahamouly
  9. It takes more than a bunch of pizzas to produce a live Internet broadcast via @stevegarfield
  10. Ann Curry has good taste in shoes.
  11. Come out from behind the curtain to connect with people – be more authentic and don’t hide in the shadows via @lizstrauss
  12. Be prepared to be unprepared via @thewarrenreport
  13. Innovation means looking outside of yourself via @pergam
  14. Shhhhhhhhhhh, it’s ok, you’ll get there via @angelashelton
  15. Social media makes things easier but it also heightens expectations because people expect you to deliver RIGHT NOW via @marciliroff
  16. Because of technology, the future is dependent on us via @deepakchopra
  17. In Kenya, some people don't have running water but they do have 3G mobile access via @ajleon
  18. The first connection you have to make is with yourself via @cathybrooks
  19. Foursquare is not profitable right now, but being profitable is not the point right now via @dens
  20. Everyone has a story to tell, and that's one of the things that bring us together via @andydixn
  21. Instead of tweeting just to tweet, become the king or queen of the next big idea via @themarketingguy
  22. Focus on what you are sharing and what value you provide to your audience, not just the fact that you are on Facebook and Twitter via @weewelcome
  23. Two-way conversation and authenticity are crucial in being successful in social media via @starzan
  24. Forget ROI, it’s all about the ROR = return on relationships via @TedRubin
  25. Everyone but me seems to have an iPad

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