Yesterday I attended and presented at one of the Cool Twitter Conferences at the Harvard Club in Boston. Arranged by @bobfine, it was an intimate conference in which I got a chance to meet and learn from a diverse group of smart people who are leveraging social technologies in novel ways, including: a filmmaker and activist, musical and fiction artists, a law enforcement social media strategist and a viral marketing scientist. We all know Twitter is hyped – but that’s OK. So was the Web. It was refreshing to see a wide variety of users interested in Twitter.
It could be said that Twitter is a sort of social protocol – similar in its fundamental nature as TCP/IP. It’s creating a network of human servers and it’s disrupting the traditional Web. Healthcare has a long way to go in exploiting this new organism, but it’s finally gotten interested. I’m hoping more healthcare professionals jump into the pool.
Speaking with @DanZarrella, we discussed Susan Blackmore’s Meme Machine. In a sense Twitter is a meme machine: it’s a communal mechanism of idea viruses. It’s the Web version of a black hole’s Accretion Disc, sucking in everything from the various places around the Web and spitting memes back out to other areas.
Here’s the list of the speakers and others I met at the conference:
- @FourthFiction – Constantine Markides, founder and host Fourth Fiction, the first blog-based literary reality show
- @fitzroy – Filmmaker, professor, internet media technologist & strategist, the New England Institute of Art
- @joselinmane – Internet Marketing Consultant
- @ericschoenfeld – Senior Associate, Boston World Partnerships
- @lawscomm – Lauri Stevens, Principal Consultant, LAws Communications and Department Chair of Web Design & Interactive Media, New England Institute of Art
- @bournesocial – Michael Bourne, VP Account Director, PR & Social Influence
- @dharmesh – Dharmesh Shah, Chief Software Architect & Founder Hubspot, TwitterGrader
- @DanZarrella, Viral Marketing Scientist, Hubspot. Author of forthcoming book: The Social Media Marketing Book
- @DavidGerzof – President, BIGfish Communication (spoke about differences between Twitter & Facebook)
- @AndrewConnelly – Director of Business Development at Glogster
- @7chrishayes – Founder & CEO of Simple Math Music, independent artist, concert promoter and label owner
My presentation was focused on the healthcare uses of Twitter, which was essentially a extemporaneous mashup of presentations you can view on SlideShare.
As silly as it sounds to have entire conferences and workshops on Twitter, they’re really are important functions. For as simple (almost idiotically so) as Twitter is to use, there’s a lot of discussion about its uses across a wide array of fields. We can have discussion online all we want, but until we meet in person to hash out these things, we won’t get to where we need to.
Here’s the live Twitter stream via FriendFeed for the event (search hashtag is #ctc):