Lessons from live-tweeting an event

  1. Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Religion Newswriters Association conference (Oct. 4-6, 2012). I won’t attempt to summarize the actual content of the conference here; instead, this Storify post highlights what I thought were some of the most effective #RNA2012 tweets.
    Heads up: I let my followers know I’d be live-tweeting and explained the hashtag I would be using. Nothing annoys me more than seeing an acronym in a hashtag and having no idea what it stands for.
  2. aprilburbank
    I’m happy to be attending the Religion Newswriters Association conference today through the weekend – tweeting with #RNA2012

    Thu, Oct 04 2012 06:59:58
  3. ColumbiaFAVS
    What happens when a bunch of #religion reporters get together? Check out tweets from #RNA2012 (Religion Newswriters Association conference).

    Thu, Oct 04 2012 20:03:28
  4. Introducing a session: I thought it would be helpful to introduce a panel on Mormonism by naming each panelist’s basic job description. Wes Gentry did it by naming the organizations each panelist was associated with, while Menachem Wecker did it by mentioning the panelists’ Twitter handles.
  5. aprilburbank
    Starting a panel on Mormons in public life, feat. professor Terryl Givens, blogger/author Jana Riess & author Darius Gray #RNA2012

    Sat, Oct 06 2012 07:13:08
  6. westongentry
    Mormonism #RNA2012 panelists:
    -Terryl Givens, University of Richmond
    -Jana Riess, Patheos Press
    -Darius Gray, Tesla Corp.

    Sat, Oct 06 2012 07:08:56
  7. mwecker
    next panel on Mormonism in the spotlight #RNA2012: Terryl Givens (of @urichmond), Jana Riess (@janariess), and Darius Gray

    Sat, Oct 06 2012 07:05:36
  8. My most successful tweet: This was my most retweeted and favorited post of the weekend. During one of the sessions, a panelist read a 6-point list, and most people hurried to write it down. I figured that the list must be available online somewhere, and — lo and behold! — I was able to tweet the link.
  9. aprilburbank
    Here’s the list of reporters’ mistakes on Mormons that Jana Riess used: http://www.religionnews.com/blogs/jana-riess/the-top-six-mistakes-reporters-make-about-mormons1 #RNA2012

    Sat, Oct 06 2012 07:43:02
  10. Value-added tweets: Rather than merely paraphrasing information from the sessions, some attendees tracked down relevant links online. These links were worth the extra time and effort.
  11. msweas
    Here’s more about what she’s taking about with Christians seeking government benefits: http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/politics/5834/caste_first,_christ_second,_for_some_indian_christians/ #RNA2012 @hinduamerican

    Sat, Oct 06 2012 06:15:56
  12. cascheller
    What Darius Gray didn’t say is that other religious groups used “mark of Cain” scripture to justify racism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_and_mark_of_Cain #RNA2012
  13. Photo tweets: Panel discussions are notoriously difficult to photograph well, but the DeMoss Group tweeted this photo, which helped followers to understand what was going on.
  14. DeMossNews
    Our founder @MarkDeMoss on a panel discussing faith at politics at #RNA2012 yesterday afternoon http://yfrog.com/nvl34uej (via @DeMossGroup)

    Sat, Oct 06 2012 13:21:59
  15. Concise statistics: Numbers and facts work well for tweets if they’re simple and couched in enough context so that people outside the event can understand them.
  16. pattondodd
    DeMoss: At that much ballyhooed Texas mtg & straw poll of evangelical leaders last spring, Romney got 4 votes (of 150). #RNA2012

    Fri, Oct 05 2012 12:17:06
  17. Ptsbrian
    Top 5 Long-term life goals? Gen X, Boomers #1 answer is “To get married and have family.” Millennials #1 is “get close to God.” #rna2012

    Fri, Oct 05 2012 10:41:10
  18. cascheller
    Darius Gray says less Mormon racism now than in past, esp. since 1978 priesthood change. Continuous black LDS presence since 1832 #RNA2012
  19. aprilburbank
    Q: Can you be evangelical & in favor of gay marriage? Robert Jones: only 58% of evangelicals under 40 oppose it #RNA2012

    Fri, Oct 05 2012 05:56:52
  20. Selective tweeting: Some people, like Cathy Lynn Grossman, didn’t tweet during the sessions, but tweeted the most interesting fact(s) afterward. This helped to simplify cluttered Twitter feeds.
  21. CLGrossman
    Learned a lot from #RNA2012 #Mormon epxerts panel. Mormons’ Doctrine Covenants require to believe Constitution is inspired document.
  22. The two-parter: I couldn’t fit these linked facts into a single tweet without cutting them down too much, so I tweeted them in succession. I tried to add enough context to the second tweet that it could stand on its own. I’m not sure how effective this is… There’s a reason tweets are limited to 140 characters!
  23. aprilburbank
    Sally Steenland: 2 stories not being told: 1- What does rapidly changing racial demographic mean for religion in US? #RNA2012

    Thu, Oct 04 2012 10:59:04
  24. aprilburbank
    Steenland: 2 – We also need stories about religious liberty and Muslim Americans #RNA2012

    Thu, Oct 04 2012 11:00:27
  25. Direct quote: It’s hard to tweet accurate quotes, so I usually tried to paraphrase the speakers as accurately as possible. This was the one direct quote that I used.
  26. aprilburbank
    Gray: “There are answers without having to run and hide” on LDS church and race #RNA2012

    Sat, Oct 06 2012 07:38:23
  27. Color commentary: I enjoyed reading tweets like these from other people at the conference, especially during the less-interesting sessions:
  28. janariess
    Fashion alert: Both Dem advisors have blue in their ties. DeMoss has a red tie. The journalist has no tie. #rna2012

    Fri, Oct 05 2012 11:30:18
  29. jon_fitzgerald
    Looking around the room at people typing, tweeting, tagging, juggling multiple windows and tabs and I feel very much at home. #RNA2012
  30. Recruiting and common interest: It made sense to use the hashtag for topics that would be of interest to people at the conference. Sarah Pulliam Bailey used the hashtag to promote a job opening:
  31. spulliam
    People of #rna2012, I am hiring an online editor. Please apply to come work at @Odysseynetworks http://odysseynetworks.org/jobs
  32. Put down that phone: Although Twitter was an integral part of this conference, we were encouraged not to tweet during two sessions: (1) A panel that revealed embargoed poll data…
  33. leslieps918
    Not allowed to Tweet about next session. Mum’s the word. #RNA2012
  34. CLGrossman
    No deep conspiracy at #RNA2012 no-tweeting session. We’re just getting data we need to write responsibly when the embargo lifts on Tuesday.
  35. mwecker
    #RNA2012 panel is embargoed. “———,” says ——-. “————————–!” that was a great point, trust me…

    Sat, Oct 06 2012 08:24:39
  36. … And (2) while we were listening to a conversation with Eckhart Tolle, when we were told that Twitter would distract us from the “now.” We all probably got a lot more out of the session because we weren’t constantly trying to find something to tweet.
  37. leslieps918
    Is Tweeting OK if you’re trying to live in the now? #RNA2012
  38. pgfaith
    Tolle doesn’t synthesize well into tweets. #RNA2012

    Fri, Oct 05 2012 13:06:32
  39. Ptsbrian
    On second thought, I am concluding this conversation isn’t conducive to live-tweeting. I’ll be in the now after all. #rna2012

    Fri, Oct 05 2012 13:08:19
  40. Watch from home: One of our sessions was streaming live online, so Religion & Politics tweeted a link to the website so that people could follow along using more than just Twitter.
  41. ReligPolitics
    Panel coming up at #RNA2012 with campaign reps from Romney and Obama faith outreach teams. Watch here: http://ow.ly/efW8L
  42. I learned a lot about live-tweeting from #RNA2012, and — even better! — I met a lot of great journalists by following the hashtag. Check out more tips about live-tweeting events in these articles:
    12-step guide on how to live-tweet an event
    What every young journalist should know about using Twitter
    14 Tips to Live Tweet Events Effectively

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