NYC 140 Character Conference

Living here means I get to attend at the last minute amazing conferences that just wouldn’t be run or have the attendance in New Zealand, although this conference was very like one of a series of Ignite conferences we went to at the Paramount the night before we left Wellington to come here.

So for 2 days in late April I attended the NYC 140Conf – a conference about social media – aptly named 140 Characters (that’s how many characters are available to you in a tweet) where 140 people spoke for 10 minutes only, or took part in a 15 minute panel, over 2 days. A very engaging format – sure some people were a bit boring and by the end of it we were starting to hear the same things again and again – but still a very cool way of presenting a conference.

It was an extremely full on 2 days – 8am-6pm both days with a half hour lunch slot each day otherwise people just came and went and got coffee and networked out the back – unless you were me and didn’t know how things worked so stayed rooted to your seat, nervous of drinking too much water in case a toilet stop was needed and then what did you do with your bag and how did you make sure your seat in the overflowing 500+ auditorium would still be there when you got back given all the networking comings and goings?

Miss America opened the 2-day conference!

110 - 20 April 2010

Aaaaaanyway, some notes I took/things that people said that sparked my interest, for me to look back on, and some of you might be interested in (I think I’ve captured every speaker’s name (as in their Twitter name) correctly so apologies if I’m incorrectly attributing people):

  • @JohnBorthwick: currently the average length of a tweet is 77. So people aren’t using all the characters they have available. People are thinking shorter. Night before his talk, the most mentioned person on Twitter was Obama and the most used hash tag still Michael Jackson
  • @acarvin: it’s all very well having a large Twitter account with millions of followers, that’s good for broadcasting but you get more conversation and better relationships with people when you have a smaller account – if you can manage your user base you can more easily let your audience get to know the face/person behind your account.
  • @TheKotel: poeple can tweet their prayers and a team of people via Twitter voluntarily co-ordinate the printing, spooling into scrolls and delivery of the prayers to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where the original tweeter can’t go themselves. An old sewing machine has been turned into the prayer spooler! One guy started out doing it by himself, just an idea, not his job and now he’s seeing it pay forward as other people are approaching him to help.
  • @Donny_Deutsh: don’t sell out your brand by leaping into new media trends. Never lose your brand and stay true to it. Everything is changing but fundamentals like your brand shouldn’t change on a whim. You’ve got to give something – everybody wants something so don’t just broadcast hard sell.
  • @IvankaTrump: if you’re trying to build a platform or a personal brand you must be consistent. If you’re direct and honest, then be that way always, across all your platforms and personas.
  • @1000TimesYes: Chris Weingarten – “good writing is dying at the hand of search engine optimisation” [GREAT point!] People can’t write well any more and Twitter contains a lot of rubbish as everyone is basically stringing together keywords and mentioning things that will get good search results or clicks because everyone simply wants to be first. In the context of bands, good musicians are basically no longer artists, they have to be keyboard (as in computer keyboard) geniuses. Musicians don’t want to worry about being viral, they just want to be good musicians!
  • @AndreaSyrtash: we should worry less about trying to impress people and take time to let people impress us. We need to be present and alert, people can’t connect with you if you aren’t. Don’t try and change people, it’s OK to challenge someone but don’t expect them to change. Don’t confuse immediate gratification with long term fulfillment – ask yourself “am I a good version of myself online?” – don’t worry about the number of followers you have, worry about who you are.
  • @lizstrauss: monitoring and listening aren’t the same thing – monitoring just flattens the data we have where as listening is gathering intelligence. Using the example of a traffic camera at the red lights – monitoring the data might show that x number of people ran the red light where as listening might show a good reason some ran the red light.
  • @jeffjarvis: why do we only allow comments after we’re done what we’re doing? [I especially liked this point as it relates to work, as a late-comment-bloomer myself I can see that when you’re building a product that permitting your customer base to communicate with you is going beyond pure lip-service to their feedback.]
  • Lots of discussion and commentary on various industries using social media to get out there and spread the word for doing good in real-life communities and in times of crisis. Lots of ‘keeping it real’ – social media despite common belief is still about meeting people and people online aren’t in fact hiding there.


There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment