I attended the Smalltown 140 Conference in Hutchinson, KS on Tuesday the 21st. I learned more than I could ever put into a blog, but here’s a list of 6 things (and I’m not mentioning names, Twitter handles or the like, as these are general thoughts – and if you see yourself in this, please do not be angry, this is just me being honest and open):
1. I don’t hashtag nearly enough on Twitter. In fact, unless I’m livetweeting an event I’m attending (like #140Conf or #NABShow), I rarely if ever use hashtags. And that’s sad because I even have Hashable. Woops.
2. It’s still right to speak out if you feel something is wrong – even if you disagree with a speaker – because it’s still possible to be polite. I caught some flak on Twitter when I tweeted about a speaker who talked about their Spanish vacation and threw out some Spanish words because I said it didn’t add anything to his presentation. Some people disagreed – and that’s fine. Caught flak about being negative when this is supposed to be a positive event. And that’s.. somewhat valid, however, criticism when you are asking for it, and it’s given clearly and politely is not negative – it is building. (But that can be argued at a different place.)
However… my point was made a few hours after the conference in a discussion where none of us could remember anything about his speech, but we sure remembered his pictures. Interesting, isn’t it? that leads into #3:
3. I needed to keep remembering 95% of the people I listened to have probably never taken a Public Speaking class, because more rules were broken than followed. (So, basically, cut people slack every now and again) But.. um. As a tip, to anyone thinking of speaking? I would suggest just checking out a basic speech book at the library and leafing through it. 🙂
(and before I get “WELL Y DIDNT U SPEAK” – I wasn’t sure if I was going, I actually hadn’t planned on it until last minute. It wasn’t out of not wanting to, it was not being able to devote the time to speak – plus, I’m not entirely sure what I would have spoken on.)
4. If you are speaking at a conference about Twitter, and I have more followers/activity than you, how am I supposed to listen to your credibility? If you have an engaging story, that’s how! There were some stories that were just flat out amazing, it wouldn’t matter if they still had an egg avatar and 0 tweets – because I’d want to hear more. This is the interesting part of #140Conf overall though – people of varied backgrounds all got the same 10-15 minutes.
But I question, if you have very little followers/activity, why are you speaking at a Twitter conference anyway? Not a slam – an honest question. It’s kind of confusifying.
5. Meeting people on Twitter is awesome. Meeting them in person is even better. I’m so happy that I went and got to meet some people I have been talking to for months.. and some I just met there. I definitely feel like I want to engage the people I’ve met because of this conference more.
6. Lest anyone thinks that I didn’t like this event – I loved it so much I’m kicking around the idea of trying to do a completely sports themed #140Conf. Food ones were mentioned, I could see a beauty 140, animals, activism.. the list is large, but as I use Twitter mostly for sports related things, I think it could be an awesome idea. So.. watch this space in a few months, if I decide I can devote enough to make it as kick ass as I know it could be. (When I want to do something, I want to do it right.)
and a bonus, for a few select people out there:
Every sheep is sacred.