One of the more surprising things to me at the STC Summit conference this year was the frequent use of Twitter. It was used for arranging informal and “official” Tweetups and for summarizing the content of various sessions. It seemed like there were a lot of different people tweeting, but I wasn’t sure how many people were involved and exactly what they were tweeting about. Although I didn’t conduct a rigorous analysis, I think the results are interesting.
Methodology and results
I set up an RSS feed in Google Reader prior to the conference so I wouldn’t “miss anything.” Google Reader provided the following Twitter frequency graph. (The orange bar is the number of tweets I had read.)
After manually exporting the tweets from the Google Reader RSS feed to a notepad file and removing the hash tags “#stc10” and “#stc11,” I produced the Wordle below. (And yes, I’m sure there was a better way to do this!)
Using the online word frequency analyzer and phrase analyzer at http://www.writewords.org.uk, I was able to get a sense of whose Twitter handles appeared most frequently at Summit.
Top Ten Eleven Twitter Handles (Occurrences)
63 sushiblu + jgillenwater87
Selected Keywords (Occurrences)
Negative Words (Occurrences)
Contrary to some expectations, “beer” was not the most commonly used word in the tweets appearing only 13 times. (I’m not sure if there’s any correlation, but “karaoke” also appeared 13 times.)
In my opinion, Twitter provided a sense of community and a “conference within a conference.” Most tweets were positive, implying that many of the Twitter users enjoyed the conference. Very few of the tweets were negative, and usually referred to specific sessions or problems with the site for the Tweetup. Personally, I found that using Twitter enabled me to make connections that I never would have attempted had they started face to face.
Prior to Summit, I had not been a heavy Twitter user, although I had tied postings from two Facebook Pages I administer, RIT Information Security and STC Rochester, to Twitter accounts. I look forward to using it at future conferences and seeing what new connections it enables.
The “raw” data is available upon request.