How twitter can help you crowdsource better ideas in your meetings

6 Apr

hashtag-beforeTwitter and its innovative followers have brought a new level of access and live coverage to events, conferences and other gatherings through the use of hashtags and live-tweeting.

In a nutshell hashtags were developed by the twitter community, and later embraced by Twitter itself, to monitor and share information on specific topics. Live-tweeting couples the hashtag tool with the immediacy and mobility of Twitter to provide live coverage of an event. For example, during the recent South By Southwest 2009, many Twitter users included #sxsw in their Tweets. Both attendees and non-attendees could then easily find and follow information about the sessions that at this event. 

Live-tweeting does not need to be confined to large events; it can be used on a smaller scale to crowdsource new ideas and solutions for small to medium sized companies. Imagine being able to add a second level of dialogue and contribution to your idea generation process.

Here’s how you can use Twitter to makes sure everyone in the brainstorm gets their thoughts on the table (rather than simply the one person speaking) and how you can bring in the power of crowds to stimulate new lines of thinking.

1. Prior to an event or brainstorm session let people know what the topic is about, who will be contributing in person, and the date and time along with the hashtag for the session. This can be done through Twitter, but also through other distribution channels such as your website or blog.

2. Designate several event attendees to LiveTweet the session by pulling out key nuggets of information from the conversation. Other attendees can tweet their comments, but these designees will insure that there is through coverage for those following the session.

3. Set up a screen that displays the event Twitterfeed (A Twitter Search page on screen that is filtered by your hashtag). Make sure that everyone in the room can see the screen, and ask participants to bring laptops or smartphones so they can contribute as well.

4. Designate one or two attendees to monitor the Twitterfeed and vocalize novel or intriguing tweets into the event conversation.

5. Set aside time after the session ends to have all participants continue the conversation post-event and contribute any additional thoughts that come to mind.

6. Summarize the session and Tweet a link to the summary (posted on your blog or website) to allow contributors to see the solution or outcome of the session, and provide feedback.

Live-tweeting a brainstorm is a great way to break the typical company groupthink and gain access to experts and individuals who you could otherwise have present in your meeting.

This is also a great way to build transparency between your company and your consumers and bring them into the conversation about your product/service offering.

So next time you’re having a brainstorm, set up a hashtag and let us know when your holding the session, we’ll happily follow along and Tweet-in.

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2 Responses to “How twitter can help you crowdsource better ideas in your meetings”

  1. iryder April 11, 2009 at 6:34 am #

    Can you explain what #sxsw is since it points to a useless page.

  2. Amanda Waye April 11, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    #SXSW is a pre-assigned hashtag that was set up so that people could track tweets that were relevant to the South by South West conference. Anyone twittering about the conference then included #SXSW in their message, making it easier for others to use Twitter Search (the link provided in the post) to monitor and follow along with the event or real-time conversations. Most social media events have a pre-assigned hashtag – #SXSW being an example.

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