The Value Stream of 140c: The Why and How of Sharing Good Ideas

In NYC this week, #140conf is pulling back the covers on “meaning” in the social context.  Over at #e2conf in Boston, they’re taking a hard look at Enterprise Social, aka #e20.  It’s a unique opportunity to take a checkpoint.

What is our intention for engaging via social media?  Why are we here?

Sometimes it can feel like a very large echo chamber, but I think that’s self-inflicted. In short, we’re not focusing on the value in front of us. Here’s my take:

The value of social is linked directly with our content equity .. our ability to recognize, expand and share good ideas in the marketplace.

Sounds like a mouthful, but its easier done than said.  The best way to accomplish this in Twitter is to be focused and intentional in what we tweet about, putting thought to what we’re saying and who we’re trying to reach.  And it starts with a well designed tweet.  A powerful tweet has 5 primary elements, to drive maximum value:

  • Your opinion. This is the value add that you provide to the content. It’s the essence of social media. Without this, you’re simply passing the raw idea on “as is” without benefit of your experience.  You play a HUGE role in interpreting the content.  I think it should appear first in the tweet, for maximum impact. Often saying “YES” or “AGREE” or “+1” is enough.
  • Idea Frame (aka the Headline). What is the big idea?  Be creative.  Succinct.  Relevant.  If you’re RTing a poor headline from another source, now’s your chance to fix it.  I try to put it in quotes, so it’s clearly the main focus.
  • Link to long-form content (use a shortener, like There must be a link to valuable content, even if (and often especially if) it comes from someone else. It’s possible to deliver meaning in 140c, but it’s easier to deliver it in a 350-word blog or white paper, then amplify/discuss it in 140c.
  • Credits. Who is behind this great idea?  Use their Twitter-IDs.  I use “by” for the author and “via” if its a referral.
  • Context (aka the Hashtag). Without relevant connection points, the content in question lacks context. Who cares about this idea? What communities or thought streams need to know? A tweet without a hashtag has a significantly shorter half-life. This is perhaps the single most under-utilized aspect of effective #140c engagement.

And you’ve got 140-characters to do all that.  Get to work :)

As T.S.Eliot said, constraints force the mind to its maximum creativity.  All these elements matter.  This is both art and science, really.  The most valuable and meaningful tweets reflect the DNA of good ideas.

In the social space, many, many smart people are out there, and they’re eager to share their great ideas.  That means we have an almost limitless opportunity to drive/extract/expand value by participating in the exchange.  Our role in the social marketplace is about connecting on quality content and bringing it forward, enhancing it, making it better, more relevant, more useful .. and yes, #140conf folks, ultimately making our collaborations more meaningful.

I’m in the back channel for #140conf (NYC) and #e2conf (BOS) this year, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a part of the fray. If you want to discuss this further, you’ll find me at the event hashtags as well as my home collaboration tag: #cdna.

See you online.

Tweetcasting: the Virtual #CONF Connection

[A special thanks to DEAN MEYERS for guest posting this week, part of the framing for our Q26 discussion at this weeks’ SMCHAT.]

Some INSIGHTS from Dean Meyers

My first involvement as someone actively Twittering (or tweeting) a conference was at Jeff Pulver’s SocComm in February ‘09. The use of the hashtag made it a trending topic, and as Jeff has added the #140Conf (the State of Now) conference to his schedule, his inclusion of “official” Tweeters (usually 25 people or so) has pushed his conferences into Twitter trending topics quickly, often within the top 3 positions. I’ve tweeted while at a conference, watching it live streamed, and just watching the hashtagged stream, often in that last case to ask questions.

I believe the best tweets from conferences come from those who can:

  1. summarize key points quickly-without personal editorializing
  2. prep the audience following the hash tag with other info, as in who is about to speak, their topic, their twitter name
  3. convey the level of involvement, describing engagement by panelists and the audience, acting as our eyes and ears.

So, the basic rule: it’s really about good journalism. That means clear concise tweets, careful use of personal voice rather than overwhelming opinions about each speaker’s content, and focused attention on what’s going on in the room all make for a good tweeter at a conference.

There’s a new a trend of using the hashtag stream within a conference to allow both conversation with the speakers and content added by the audience. Here’s a blog post from a terrific blog about presentations in general. Olivia Mitchell is the source. She’s really offering good insight and raising good questions.

To sum it up: if you choose to “report” from an event to provide twitter coverage, great. If you choose to share your personal experience from a conference, as in telling us how awful the wifi coverage is (a routine problem) or how the panel chair won’t shut up, that makes it a very different experience; it becomes more about the person tweeting rather than the conference. Perhaps a combination of the two might become the new standard, a hybrid way of tweeting from a conference.

But you can be sure there will always be tweets about where to meetup before and afterwards—that’s a part of twitter activity that’s been used at conferences from the getgo.

[You can follow Dean on Twitter @DeanMeistr and check out his blog, which can be accessed via]