Over the last few days, a big debate over the appropriateness of live-tweeting conference panels has taken place over Twitter under the hashtag #Twittergate. Participants shared concerns of bad backchannel behavior, the accuracy of tweets, and whether tweeted research will be able to find a publisher. On the other hand, others raised points about how livetweeting conference panels increased access to research for those unable to travel to these conferences, and that tweets could work to increase visibility for scholars. Readers may be interested in
- my early Storify of #Twittergate,
- Tressie McMillan Cottom’s (@tressiemcphd) blog post about the subject,
- Roopika Risam’s (@roopikarisam) blog post,
- Jessica M. Johnson’s post on race and #Twittergate,
- a report from Inside Higher Education on #Twittergate, and
- Alexis Lothian’s (@alothian) response.
While the concerns of #Twittergate have made for intense debate, many of its issues are not new. Bethany Nowviskie (@nowviskie) blogged about using Twitter at invitation-only events in 2010 in a blog post that was later published in Hacking the Academy, and Dr Davis (@DrDavisTCE) blogged about some of the issues she ran into live-blogging conference talks.
This week, we ask: what kind of protocol for live-tweeting should conference organizers develop? What guidelines would you put in place to create a productive, collegial backchannel? Where should they be distributed–at the panel level, at the conference organization level, or both? Kelli Marshall (@kellimarshall) has a helpful guide to tweeting at conferences as does Ernesto Priego (@ernestopriego). Kathleen Fitzpatrick (@kfitz) has also posted some thoughtful advice for junior scholars who are blogging, tweeting, etc. at conferences.
What would you add to this? What should some of the best practices for livetweeting conferences be, both for organizers and participants? We look forward to hearing your thoughts.