200 Tweets in 2 Days: Live Tweeting a Conference

The Academic Librarian 4 conference was held at the Hong Kong University of Technology on the 2nd and 3rd of June 2016. Three HKLC contributors live-tweeted the conference, both from their personal accounts and by sharing the HKLibConnect account.

In this post they will share their experiences. 

I have live tweeted at conferences before, but never from a shared account, and never from two accounts at the same time! I knew I wanted to tweet from my personal account as well as from @HKLibConnect, but it was a bit of a challenge to move quickly between the accounts. I was using Tweetdeck during the conference, but I have since switched to Hootsuite, which so far is easier for 'acting' as multiple profiles on Twitter. 

For me one of the best things about tweeting at conferences is the chance to virtually chat to presenters you admire, and connect with other tweeters in the room - or anywhere around the world! Many of the tweets from both my personal account and @HKLibConnect were liked, retweeted or replied to not just by conference attendees but by Twitter users from Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States. 

The concentration required to intensely live tweet for an entire day meant that I was pretty mentally exhausted, but it was great fun and I would love to do it again. Perhaps at the next conference we will have a range of people taking over @HKLibConnect

Chris - @chris_HKBU

Twitter has never quite caught on in Hong Kong. I signed up for an account ages ago, but have never really made much use of it. I learnt a lot from sitting next to Jo while she tweeted the first day of the conference, and took over on the second day. I am pretty sure the tweets I sent out on the day exceeded my previous lifetime total number of tweets!

As Jo says above, live tweeting for a whole day is quite draining mentally, however I found that it really required me to engage with each presentation, which was a great benefit. I'm sure that anyone who has attended a conference is guilty of occasionally losing focus and drifting off (especially after lunch!). But if you are tweeting, you're constantly parsing the speaker's presentation for a unique nugget of insight that fits into 140 characters. The livetweeting experience certainly helped me get more out of the conference.

I have since started becoming much more active on Twitter. I'm hoping that @HKLibConnect will prove to be a catalyst for some great library-focused tweeting in Hong Kong!

Chloe - @Clovolution  

Jo and Chris summarized the tweeting experience very nicely above! The point that resonates with me a lot is the fact that the live tweeting helps me to focus in a conference! I felt so awake throughout the sessions and was so ready to tweet the next smart thing that the presenter would say! 

My Twitter account has been on hiatus for quite some time, and I am really glad that my fellow HKLC contributors made me start again for a good reason! The tweeting "duty" really made the experience of attending a conference so much more worthwhile. 

It is not too often that we host an international library conference in Hong Kong, and I really hope that by tweeting it, we are helping to get the words out about these amazing things that Hong Kong library professionals are doing, and how they are contributing to the international discourse of librarianship. 

See you on Twitter! #tweetingkeepsmeawakeinconferences

Thank you to all the tweeters at the conference for creating an engaging and fun back channel, and thanks to all the presenters for giving us such great content to tweet about! All the tweets from the conference have been collected using Storify, a social tool for curating stories using social media updates: 

All the conference abstracts and presentations are available on the Academic Librarian 4 conference website