Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Twitter Brings Interaction to Events

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Great post Valeria!! It was well balanced and informative, as always.

I fully agree with Mitchell's argument. Tweets are limited to 140 characters so it’s not as if someone will focus all of their energy making updates as opposed to listening. I think of it as a new form of note taking; you jot down key points and quickly refocus back on the conversation.

In my opinion, the back channel is positive. I’d prefer an audience to leave with answers, not questions. Why not get everything out at once (as long as we do it within the allotted time)? It puts more pressure on the speaker to be extensively prepared but it’ll benefit the listeners, which is key.

I wonder what President Obama thinks of the Senators and Representatives who were twittering during his speech?

Perhaps it's acceptable, these days. I can't say I agree! Those Members of Congress who preferred their Blackberries to appearing attentive, respectful and competent, to the nation? (The man is the President of the United States, after all! Surely he deserves some respect?)

Personally, if someone were twittering while I was speaking to them, I'd consider them out of the conversation. If it were a personal interaction, I'd be quite annoyed!

It's not just a matter of respect, it's also impossible - no matter what anyone asserts - for the human brain to work on more than one task at a time. So you're either twittering, or you're listening. Just as in High School, if you're not paying attention - what did you miss? (Which raises an interesting point... Is it okay for adults to twitter away in a meeting, but not okay for students in a classroom?)

While I intensely dislike Twitter, this isn't about that technological wunderkind: it's about the very foundation of relationships: attentiveness and respect, which all lead to trust.

As Samantha Bee responded in that hilarious, sarcastic, and oh-so-accurate skit on the Jon Stewart show: she was so busy twittering that Jon Stewart was talking that she missed what he was saying!

Ah well. The world changes; apparently the concepts supporting personal relationships do, too. (Well, they don't - people don't change.) Twitter has become an ogre. It's sad, but probably true, that Twitter has become the desired means of getting to know someone. Because it's impossible to know someone in 140 characters, or less.

Carolyn Ann

Here is a cool account of us Tweeting inside big meetings at Best Buy:

Also checkout my simple tool 'spy' we've used to to project the conversation on walls and monitor various conversations...

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