Live Twitter

The conference organizers for MWCA 2011 invite you to "Live Twitter" (or even "pre-Twitter") the 2011 MWCA Regional Conference. By twittering the conference, we hope to 1) build a growing sense of awareness and momentum as the conference approaches, 2) provide a means of extending conference conversations to promote the community of the conference, in a supportive and constructive manner, and 3) include in conference activities those who are unable to attend.

Getting Started

If you are new to Twitter, recognize that its ubiquity is due in part to its ease of use. In order to contribute to the live twittering of the 2011 MWCA Regional Conference, you will need to obtain a free account with Twitter (Twitter.com). A free account requires only that you enter your name, a username, a password, and your email. To access Twitter support, please visit Twitter help center.

How Does "Live Twittering" Work?

Live Twittering basically means that one or more individuals are twittering about a particular event as it happens. Those of you familiar with Twitter might be asking, "How does one follow the various tweets connected with a particular event? Does one have to "follow" everyone who might be twittering?" Happily, the answer to that question is, "No."

Instead of navigating the logistical minefield involved in getting all interested parties to be "followers" of one another, those of us live twittering the 2011 MWCA Regional Conference can use what is called a hashtag. A hashtag consists of the pound sign (#) followed by a brief keyword. For the 2011 MWCA Regional Conference, we will be using the following hashtag: #mwca11. If you post a tweet connected to the conference, simply append this hashtag (#mwca11) to that tweet. Anyone interested in following the conversation can do so by using the search function on Twitter and searching for our hashtag. We have also set up a Twitter search widget that gathers any tweets containing our hashtag through a Twitter feed. Thus, even if you're still deciding about Twitter and have yet to join, you can still follow all the tweets and keep up with all the events as they unfold via Twitter, just by following our Twitter feed. It's that easy, so immediate, and its' a breeze to Tweet, or just follow along for the ride.

Some Twitter Etiquette to Consider

Remember, all tweets, even those with the hashtag #mwca11, will be picked up by all of your followers: social media provides a democratic platform for engaging with others. Those of us new to Twitter are likely to have few followers and will, therefore, have few worries about spamming our followers with lots of tweets about our great conference. In your use of Twitter associated with the MWCA 2011 conference, however, we greatly appreciate your desire to promote lively discussion, support the community of conference participants, and we would ask all those tweeting to consider the constructive value of their contributions.

Veterans of Twitter, however, might consider their regular followers. If your regular followers won't mind receiving the controlled chaos of tweets related to the conference, then you can just Twitter using your regular account. If your regular followers might take issue with conference-related tweets, then you might consider setting up an alternate account to be used specifically for the conference.