A little birdie told me

As anyone who follows me on Twitter would know, I’ve been to a few conferences and seminars lately. You’d also know I keep up a steady (some might say overwhelming and annoying!) stream of tweets about what I’m hearing, seeing and learning.

Now I’ve been doing that for a while, maybe two years or so. Until recently, I was often the only one doing it, or one of a lonely small band looked on by others as a bit odd and nerdy. I do it partly to help me take out messages from the content, and also as an easy way to store those observations. And partly to let others know.

For some reason, that has changed at the conference I’m tweeting now – the Planning Institute of Australia’s National Congress in Canberra. It seems Twitter’s time has come. Just check out the hash tag #pia2013 to see how many people are tweeting, and the level of interaction going on with people who are not here. in a minute, I’ll be asking a question on behalf of someone who responded to a tweet. For those who don’t do Twitter, a hash tag is something you use as a unique identifier that you can search and follow.

So what’s changed? Buggered if I know. Maybe because the very engaging President of the American Planning Association, Mitchell Silver (tweets under @mitchell_silver) is a big user of Twitter? Because our Australian President of PIA, Dy Currie, is now on Twitter? Or maybe it’s just cos it’s a neat way to follow something you can’t be at, or because those tweeting are getting good feedback from those not there?

Who knows, but it has definitely changed, and tweeting conferences is heading towards being de rigueur. I reckon that’s a good thing!

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