This is massively overdue post but with the assistance of screen clipping tool Skitch I think I'm ready.
Ok, context first
I have been live tweeting at events since 2008 and its always been a conversation and connecting tool. Who is in the room and who is not, is important. If you are not its quite nice to see photos of the speakers but all the 'hey look at me, don't you wish you were here too' photos and who's up next tweets... STOP!
Thats a bit hash... what I mean is they are great for 'your' networked audience but the audience following the hashtag IMHO want what all the 'on the ground' audience want, to learn from the wisdom of the programmed speakers, draw insights from discussions and panel plenaries. Oh and network.
OK So photos are welcomed to put the 'in the cloud' audience in the picture. For us in the digital audience its a common frame of reference to be able to empathise with the activities you are participating in at a distance online. If I'm commissioned to tweet my objective is to visualise the audience as a whole within the twittersphere and communicate with them. Present or remote isn't important. My challenge is always to generate a coherent stream of activity, a stand alone stream containing all reverent content, chatter, user generated media and the official event voice. I am not necessarily the 'official voice' but the conversation laser's focus operator!
Now... I'm getting to the point I promise! Networking conversations 1-2-1 are part of the experience at any conference but most of the time it's dialogue between groups or one person introducing two people to one another and is rarely binary back and forth ie @name to @name.
There is a dialoging feature which was present in the pre twitter ownership days of Tweetdeck that made my role as connector and stream curator easier. It disappeared and never came back.
Here's how it works - I have found a little known Tweetdeck alternative, Janetter that has the feature.
Its about responding to multiple people in one tweet in the click of a mouse, logically compiled as I, the curator reads the activity in real-time. I hope these screen shots illustrate my point.
First the tweets and colleagues I wanted to engage.
Tweets from my Firefox side panel column displaying Twitter
It was responding to them that helped me break down the long felt frustration of the missing feature in to a blog. So thanks Kate and Jen if you read this. Do let me know how your trips to Edinburgh turned out.
Kate @BustingFree and Jen @jennifermjones are not in the same networks as far as I know. I met Jen several times after she attended MediaCampNottingham and, forgive me if I'm wrong Jen also as part of the Amb:IT:ion program roadshows. Kate on the other hand sat on Equity's Independent Theatre Arts Committee with me for several years and I follow because she had the awesome idea of building a theatre in a bus. Both are always interesting reads and following their activities on twitter over the years gives me a sense of where they are at professionally always wanting to find time in my calendar to coincide locations to meet up. I remember a time when everyone I knew were numbers in my mobile phone now in the social media age they are status updates in a constantly moving stream of activity, my home twitter feed. Better but thats another post. I digress! This is about illustrating this lost feature.
Bare with me! It is a long lost feature and you are probably nonplussed by my indignation. I want to communicate when d0ing this dynamic dialoging at events and not have to faff with the interface.
Best way I could think to illustrate my point was with screenshots.
Original Tweets in Tweetdeck
Hitting Reply to Kate
Clicking the Reply icon creates a message to either Kate (above)
Hitting Reply to Jen
OR Clicking the Reply icon on Jen's tweet
I can send send a reply to Jen (above)
It never used to be this way you could build replies.
Yes I can Reply by typing/pasting both @names into a new tweet or hope the autocorrect offers them up to me. But on the fly, in an event thats not really an option. I did explore Hootsuite for this 'reply building' feature and I had resigned myself to its absence. It changed the way I tweet. So what happens in Hootsuite? (it was this reply building feature that led me to favour Tweetdeck over Hootsuite back then)
Original Tweets in Hootsuite
Tweets displayed in Hootsuite
Hitting Reply to Kate on Hootsuite
Hitting Reply to Jen on Hootsuite
Just as before with Tweetdeck I'm forced to reply to one person at a time. As I'm writing this it seems so minor but it fundamentally changed the way I interact with Twitter. I like Twitter less since the change happened and I have bemoaned its loss ever since. I kept an old install of Tweekdeck to keep this feature but finally it was closed down and the browser based version we have today superseded it.
OK... THE FEATURE
I discovered a little know, or so it seems twitter client called Janetter.
Original Tweets in Janetter
Tweets displayed in Janetter
Hitting Reply on Kate and Jen's tweets
With Janetter clicking a reply icon builds on the tweet being composed, it included all the other @names in the tweets and the hashtags. These replies can be from different columns or accessed by scrolling further down the stream. Once all the @named people are included you can tidy up the hashtags, remove any @names you don't need in this tweet and write the tweet... of course then SEND.
And thats it the missing feature.
Another unique (a word to use with caution but I haven't seen else where) is the ability to change the font used in the app. This means the OpenDyslexia font can be used making it super stable visually for me to read.
So... What do you think?
Do you use Janetter too?
Have I missed another platform, tool or service you think I should look at?