This statement may mark me as an old person to some people, and borderline crazy to others, but here we go: I remember when there was no twitter. And even then, when there was twitter, I had to post via text since I had a non-smart phone. In a very small, very unimportant claim, I remember being the only person to tweet during the AOTA conference. It was 2010, the hashtag was the incredibly formidable #AOTAconference2010 and I was very much tweeting to myself.
Wow, we have come so far, in such a short time!
2012 should be known as the year that social media came to conference in a BIG way. The sheer number of users has increased so much, and the willingness to use these tools in the midst of the conference has never been matched. I think that we were helped by having many of the OT4OT professionals present, and that the AOTA staff had a good online presence too.
The biggest boon was Karen Jacobs' Slagle lecture. Not only did she give the audience permission to tweet, she encouraged it, had her own live-tweeter, and brought her own hashtag. (wouldn't it be hilarious to be a time traveling OT and take that sentence back to AOTA 10 years ago? no one would have any idea what it meant!) Her message on promoting OT was excellent, and I hope someone recorded it so that it can be shown to students and practitioners everywhere. Interacting with others during the speech was really beneficial for remembering key ideas and getting great views on what was said.
I loved the tweeting from my co-presenters and our audience during our social media presentation. It was terrific to get a feeling of who was in the audience before actually meeting anyone. We were able to stream our presentation live and even got a tweet from an OT in England who was able to watch! Twitter was a great way to connect with the crowd and the world at large and hopefully it will start some new discussions about the future of the conference.
Twitter is an excellent tool for coordinating members of an event. It was great to meet and reconnect with so many of the online crew, and get real-time reactions to the events at hand. If you're not already on twitter, I would encourage you to start. Here was one good recent article about the value of twitter. Hit me up @otnotes and hopefully we can tweetup IRL at some point :)