Using Twitter to Cover Events

Last week I learned to use Twitter to help my blogging and to break even deeper into the baking world, especially in Boston. This week, I was able to use Twitter to cover an event.

Instead of my usual reporter’s notebook and pen or recorder, I went to this evening’s event with just my cell phone and my Twitter account. The event I covered was put on by Northeastern University’s Cinema Studies department, and featured NU HBO Artist-in-Residence Noah Stern. Stern, who is teaching a screenwriting course at NU this semester, screened his film “The Invisibles,” and then afterwards spoke briefly and took questions from the audience.

I was all ready to live-tweet this event, but unfortunately for me, I forgot that there is no cell reception or internet service down in the basement of Snell Library, where the event was being held. Without being able to tweet once I got settled in my seat, I decided to open a note on my phone and write down my would-be tweets there, which I would post to Twitter after the event.

This plan worked out well, though of course I wish I would’ve been able to tweet what Stern was saying live. Overall, the experience of tweeting the event was a good one.

I was able to listen for a few key quotes from Stern and tweet those, At the same time, I was also able to listen to his talk after the movie and really hear the overall themes of his message, instead of frantically trying to write everything he was saying to be able to quote it later. This is something I struggle with at times when I am reporting more traditionally. I also liked that I didn’t really need to have “transition tweets” – I could just tweet about the most important parts of the event.

Tweeting an event, however, does have its drawbacks. I felt a little self-conscious to be typing on my phone. I was worried that the people around me though I was texting, since I was the only person I could see in the room with a phone out. Though I wasn’t in the direct line of vision of the speaker, I worried Stern would think I was being disrespectful by being on my phone.

The specfic drawback to this event was that the space it was held in didn’t really lend itself to good pictures. The lighting was fairly dark, but I was able to get a good picture of Stern, though I would’ve liked to be closer. Besides a possible audience shot, I didn’t really feel that there was any other interesting picture to take.

These issues aside, I enjoyed my attempt at live-tweeting an event as it was definitely a refreshing change of pace from the usual.

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