I spoke at iStrategy some time back in Melbourne and was blown away by the level of engagement from the Audience via Twitter, by far the most hash-tagged tweets I have ever seen. My iPad twitter ap was alive the entire time I was speaking with real time commentary about my presentation, can’t beat good-honest real-time feedback!
Only, it wasn’t.
I felt the entire time that Twitter and particularly the use of a hash-tag had lost its mojo. Previous when I have been speaking there has been a real balance to the Twitter feedback, some great, some not so great, and some just plain old brutal. But not this time. In fact, I don’t think there was a single tweet that could be euphemised as “brutally honest”. I suspect the medium is just too prolific.
In a conference of the size of iStrategy, which numbered around 300 delegates, there’s nowhere to hide and worse still there is a very good chance that the speaker you have just appraised will know what was said and by whom. And no one wants a possible confrontation!
As a speaker at the conference I wanted that brutal feedback, and I was looking for it real time to make adjustments to my session. But it didn’t come. I’d appreciate any suggestion that my talk was perfect, however I saw some sessions that were quite poor yet no negative tweets emerged!
I think we need to bring some anonymity back to twitter, at least find some other way to harvest the ugliest of commentary. Or accept that feedback is a gift, good, bad or ugly!