Thursday, May 7, 2009

AAM and Twitter Follow-Up

It was too easy to miss comments/tweets while actually at AAM, so I have just gone through all of the tweets tagged #aam09 and #aam2009. Yeah. Here's what I learned:

-- There were roughly 1350 tweets on #aam09.
-- There were roughly 90 tweets on #aam2009, most of which were cross-posted on #aam09.
-- There were roughly 220 tweeters, most of whom only tweeted 3 times or less.
-- There were probably only about 20 or so people who really made use of Twitter during the conference and populated the conversation.

-- Twitter could easily replace blogging as the preferred method for sharing ideas about sessions at conferences. Why? Because it is not reliant on the availability of free wifi! No free wifi in the conference session rooms means an increased incentive to text and tweet instead, despite the fact that the 140 character limit makes sharing in a substantive manner difficult and that the Twitter interface can make it difficult to follow ideas in a coherent fashion and increases the likelihood of losing information. Also, it is quicker and easier to connect with others through Twitter than through blogs--read a tweet you like, follow that person!

Trends from the AAM Conference:
-- Relatively few sessions were actually documented in a thorough or coherent manner via Twitter.
-- A few people were vocally following from home. It is unclear how many people were "lurking."
-- The number one top topic of conversation was the Muse Awards winners.
-- A lot of the tweets were about the host city, food or random facts/trivia from sessions or hallway conversations.
-- Vendors and session presenters used Twitter a fair amount to drum up business.
-- People promoted museums, exhibits and other fun places around the host city.
-- People made book recommendations.
-- Often sessions weren't tweeted, but instead links to notes and slides from sessions were tweeted.
-- I don't think any of the collections/registration sessions were documented through Twitter.

Hot Ideas Being Tweeted:
-- Using technology to engage/reach audiences
-- Content creation
-- Curating conversations
-- Responsiveness to communities
-- Collaborations and community building
-- Predictions for the future


  1. It rained all weekend during AAM so I kept an eye on the tweets for most of the run of the conference. Your analysis of the tweets runs true to my experience. That said, I was able to connect to tweeters, expand my community, link to some of the presentations, get a sense of some of the buzz, and in a small way be at the conference on some level from a very far distance.

    What I hope for in the future is that folks learn how to more effectively cover sessions for those on the outside. There are a few tweeters who understand how to send out messages that quote a speaker so you know whose voice is being heard. The best tweets not only cite but also add insights. Good messages are gifts.

    At the same time and really with no surprise my conference experience had huge holes. For example, the tech folks did dominate the tweeting. We will know that this platform has succeeded when content topics spread out to cover more of the field.

    I could go on...but if I did, I should craft my own blog post.

  2. Thanks for running these numbers, Allyson! I'm very curious how they will compare to next year's tallies.

    It was something of a wake-up call to compare the number and relative quality of the #aam09 tweets to those related to the Museums and the Web conference (#mw2009). Here's hoping that more museum professionals see the value of this tool and elect to use it liberally (though judiciously) at future conferences...