How to Use that Twitter Tag #EmrEx at Emerson Exchange

Most if not all the major automation suppliers have events for their customers to provide a face-to-face way to exchange ideas on applications, technology developments, and even more importantly, catching up with old friends. Emerson’s version of this is the Emerson Exchange, and the 2009 conference is quickly approaching–September 28-October 2 in Orlando, Florida.

I mentioned in an earlier post how other industries are seeing Twitter become pervasive at their events, because it works well with your cell phone. You can post messages through text messaging, through a mobile web page, or through a number of mobile client applications.

Twitter addresses several issues you may encounter at large events. Issues such as how do I contact someone whose cell number I don’t have? Or, how can I setup an impromptu meeting place for a group? Or, what do other folks in the audience think of this presentation I’m listening to?

These solutions all start with establishing a special tag for the event to denote that the content of the Twitter message or “tweet” is specific to the event. For the Emerson Exchange, it will be #EmrEx. From your mobile device, you set up a search, either by going to the Twitter search page from your mobile browser or setting up a #EmrEx RSS feed with something like mobile Google Reader.

So far so good? If so, here’s how I’d solve the three challenges above.

If I’m already connected in Twitter with the person I’m looking for (where we follow one another), I can send them a private, direct message. If we’re not, I can send out a tweet, such as:

#EmrEx Has anyone seen Mr. X?

I check my Twitter search or #EmrEx RSS feed and see if anyone sends a tweet out with Mr. X’s whereabouts.

On the second case, let’s say we want a group to meet at the lobby bar at 7pm. I’d tweet:

We’re meeting in the lobby bar at 7pm, join us! #EmrEx

For the third case, some of the presenters will set up their own tags. Deb Franke and I have not yet aligned on what our How to Thrive in Chaos presentation tag will be (perhaps something like #ThriveC #DebJim ). We’ll see if we can get an extra monitor to share any tweets that come in during the session. I’ll be on the lookout for ones like:

Not sure I get how this #ThriveC #DebJim tag works. Wish @JimCahill would explain it better. #EmrEx

I’ve been in sessions in other conferences where they did this, and the presenters changed their presentations because it was missing the mark with the audience expectations. It also gives folks in the audience a chance to see how others are reacting to the presentation in real-time.

I know if you’re not using Twitter, all this may seem like a lot. The baby step is to create an account and follow EmersonExchange, a number of other great process automation folks who use Twitter, and me.

Update: Deb and I landed on #DebJim as a tag we thought would be unique, have minimal characters to not crowd out the 140 character Twitter limit, and be easy to remember. I’ve struck the earlier thought and replaced it with the #DebJim tag.

Posted Friday, August 28th, 2009 under Emerson Exchange.

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