Apparently Conferencing via Twitter is a Thing Now

by Christine Neilson
Information Specialist, St. Michael’s Hospital
Toronto, Ontario

Back in April, I saw a blog post about holding an entire conference – The World Seabird Twitter Conference (#WSTC2) – over Twitter. I know there’s usually tweeting happening at conferences, but holding the conference itself via Twitter? The conference was set up so that participants were given 15 minutes and a maximum of 6 tweets to present their work. Naturally, the audience could tweet their comments and questions, too. It blew my mind. And it got me thinking about the benefits and drawbacks of such a plan.

The first benefit of this form of presentation seems obvious; with no travel and a platform that’s freely accessible, participation is free. The downside with this is that – I think – conference content is only one of the reasons people go to conferences, and the face-to-face payoff is missing. Yes, you can theoretically “meet” new people via Twitter, but meeting new colleagues at social functions, having coffee with old colleagues you haven’t seen in a while, visiting vendor reps, and having an excuse to travel are all important parts of conference-going.

In terms of the format, WSTC speakers were allowed 840 characters and six images to get their message across, and that isn’t much. If you have a lot to say, that could be a problem. So perhaps a Twitter presentation is more like a poster presentation of sorts. The format is restrictive, but I think that could be a good thing. Presenters are forced to be clear and concise, and make use of meaningful graphics: all good things in my opinion. Also, not everybody is made for public speaking so this kind of venue might appeal to people who are intimidated by speaking to a crowd, or who aren’t particularly skilled presenters. And unlike webinars where if an audience member misses part of the presentation to deal with e-mail or other distractions, it’s easy to catch up if something draws their attention away. The tweets are also easy to retweet if they resonate with the audience, so we can hopefully say goodbye to ultra-vague tweets referencing conference presentations.

Would you be up for this kind of conference? I would be very disappointed if I never went to a real, in-person conference again, but I’m intrigued by the idea of having a conference via Twitter. One thing I do wonder about is what it would be like organizing such an event. You wouldn’t have to book a venue and order coffee, but you would still have to have a process in place for putting together the program and organizing the presenters. Would it be just as much work? More? Less? Perhaps this is something the EBLIP community might consider testing out for the “off” years between the international EBLIP conferences. I don’t know about you, but I’d participate.

Christine_tweet
Example of a tweet from the World Seabird Twitter Conference (#WSTC2), April 2016 https://twitter.com/Nina_OHanlon/status/720567956934148096

This article gives the views of the author and not necessarily the views of St. Michael’s Hospital, the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, or the University Library, University of Saskatchewan.

How Evidence Informed Practice Changed My Life… Or at least how I think about Twitter

by Christine Neilson
Information Specialist, St. Michael’s Hospital
Toronto, Ontario

And now for something completely different. Well, not COMPLETELY different. I was inspired by the C-EBLIP Fall Symposium – all those library professionals talking about their research, what inspires them, the highs, the lows – and decided that even though I couldn’t attend in person, I have the perfect opportunity to share my thoughts with everyone right here. I give you, How Evidence Informed Practice changed my life… Or at least how I think about Twitter. In cartoon format.

Hopefully I’ll see you all in person at a future symposium!

This following video gives the views of the author and not necessarily the views of St. Michael’s Hospital, the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, or the University Library, University of Saskatchewan.


Audio software: Audacity 2.1.1
Presentation software: Powtoon [http://www.powtoon.com/]

All a-Twitter: #librarian #discovery

by Tasha Maddison
Saskatchewan Polytechnic

I recently started as a #copyrightlibrarian @saskpolytechlib. With a new job comes change; from organizational culture to strategic direction to the educational mandate. What I had not anticipated was that the methods used to communicate with colleagues would be so dramatically different nor how I would learn about my new field and the ever evolving world of copyright.

In my past life, I lived and breathed by email. You might say it bordered on addiction as I was constantly checking my email; sick days, evenings, weekends, vacations, whenever. My experience @saskpolytechlib is that my colleagues don’t rely on email in the same manner. The communication options vary, perhaps because the campuses are distributed across the province. We use email, phone (seriously, people call one another), Microsoft Lync and Twitter. Lync was new to me, but so was the fact that others use Twitter to post their whereabouts, note meetings and conferences they are attending.

I have been on Twitter since participating in @CPD23 (the ’23 Things’ program). I was originally a reflective tweeter, completely defeating the purpose by tweeting several days after an event. At times, I just didn’t see the point. Too concise, too cryptic; anyone can follow you and you can follow anyone – that all seemed wrong, #notfacebook.

My experience with Twitter changed upon arriving @saskpolytech. I discovered individuals like @mgeist, @relkatz, @copyrightlaws, @howardknopf, among others who tweeted almost daily about important copyright issues like #TPP, @googlebooks #fairdealing, #happybirthday, #beatlemania, to name but a few.

My information seeking behaviour has also changed in regards to conferences, including those that I am not even attending. The University of Toronto recently hosted a one day conference on copyright. I followed the conference with great interest, #CopyCon2015. I then started following pretty much everyone who shared their thoughts throughout the day. Later in October, I attended #ceblip2015 and totally broke out of my shell. I always take comprehensive notes during conference presentations, #keener. Since attending my first library conference as a librarian, I have shared those notes on my blog, #lessonslearned. I occasionally tweeted about a conference but it was either reflective (see above) or it was to note my general excitement about an upcoming event. At #ceblip2015, I took notes on my iPad and tweeted about each presentation on my iPhone simultaneously. This enabled me to file away information for future review. I found like-minded librarians in the audience who I didn’t necessarily speak with in person, but started following on Twitter. I expanded my knowledge and my #social network.

As a presenter, I have always felt apprehensive at the thought of real-time comments via Twitter. I was always slightly scared to later check the audience’s reaction (or lack of) to my presentation. Recently, I have used Twitter to see what resonates with listeners. I am curious and delighted to see what the audience believes are my key takeaways. Twitter is useful at conferences to start a dialogue with presenters or audience members as they share their experiences. You can clarify points, share thoughts and impressions, as well as seek further information.

Three months into the job I don’t check my email as often outside of work hours. I do however frequent Twitter. I retweet quite a bit. I follow with great interest the evolving trends in scholarly communications, open access and the wonderful world of copyright.

This article gives the views of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice or the University Library, University of Saskatchewan.

What I’ve Favourited on Twitter Lately, pt. 3

by Virginia Wilson, Director
Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP)
University of Saskatchewan

This is the third in my series (and I use that term loosely) of posts dedicated to what I’ve favourited on Twitter lately. Wow, that title up there is self-explanatory, isn’t it?! You can also check out part one and part two. I find Twitter to be one excellent way to keep up professionally while networking at the same time. And when I favourite a tweet it’s usually because I’d like to go back and read the link in more depth or I think it’s a brilliant small piece of narrative.

Here’s what spoke to me the last while:

@facetpublishing released a new book edited by @benshowers – Library Analytics and Metrics: Using Data to Drive Decisions and Services. That’s on my list for when ordering opens up again as I select for our LIS collection here at the University of Saskatchewan.

@ESRC, the UK’s main organization for funding research and training in economic and social sciences (from their Twitter bio) tweeted a link to their guidance for researchers which could help to build your Twitter presence: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding-and-guidance/impact-toolkit/tools/interactive-media/twitter/index.aspx

@Write4Research (an awesome Twitter account, btw), tweeted a blog post from the @LSEImpactBlog. Jenny Lewis writes about collaboration and how it “holds great promise for social science disciplines” but we must be wary of just doing what STEM does. An interesting read! http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2015/04/02/collaborate-or-die-disciplinary-differences-in-the-social-sciences/

@ThomsonPat has some timely advice as we head into conference season, linking to Mark Carrigan for how to live tweet effectively at academic conferences: http://markcarrigan.net/2015/04/24/how-to-live-tweet-effectively-at-academic-conferences/

@acrystelle: [@zaana and I are published!] Exploring the use of evidence in practice by Aust special librarians – http://www.informationr.net/ir/20-1/paper657.html#.VUE37Cezo7t #eblip #lis

Here are a few of my favourite tweets that don’t include links. They can be thought provoking and/or hilarious all on their own!

@kayla_hollatz: “Please stop waiting for a map. We reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them.” – Seth Godin

@thiagi: Have passion for your topic. Display this passion and conviction during your presentation.

@DonnaLanclos: Thinking about how vague I can be in the abstract so that what I produce in 4-6 months matches what I said it would be.

@USASKCOWS: There’s a tall man in the parking lot across College smoking cigarettes & watching Captain Kangaroo. Now don’t tell us there’s nothing to do.

@GreatestQuotes: Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow. – MA Radmacher

And my absolute favourite tweet of the last while is this one from @Cmdr_Hadfield. I know he is travelling in the States, but I pretended he was greeting me: Hello Virginia! I am giving a talk and signing books tomorrow evening, 7PM at Tysons Corner Center in McLean http://chrishadfield.ca/events/

If you haven’t explored Twitter yet, I can personally recommend this particular bandwagon. I tweet as @VirginiaPrimary and I also tweet for the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice @CEBLIP.

This article gives the views of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice or the University Library, University of Saskatchewan.

What I’ve Favourited on Twitter Lately, pt. 2

by Virginia Wilson, Director
Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP)
University of Saskatchewan

I first did a post of my Twitter faves back in on August 12, 2014. It was summer. There was no snow, no cold…there were birds and insects and warm soft breezes. Perhaps I just want to recapture those feelings here in frigid November but I figured I’d dip into my Twitter faves and see what I need to catch up on.

• August 28 saw the retirement of Carleton University Librarian, Margaret Haines. @CU_Discovery tweeted an awesome photo of Margaret living her final wish: to drive the library tunnel cart!
• @ALA_ACRL tweeted a press release for their new updated version of the ACRL Scholarly Communication toolkit. You can find the toolkit here: http://acrl.ala.org/scholcomm/
• @slwalter123 tweeted a link to a book review that looked at two books related to academic freedom. The first book is by Stanley Fish. In Versions of Academic Freedom: From Professionalism to Revolution (University of Chicago Press) Fish claims that faculty have been perpetuating “academic freedom creep” over the past decades and outlines his four academic freedoms. You can check out the review here
• One of my favourite blogs, The Impact Blog from the London School of Economics and Political Science blogged about how faculty learning communities are a positive way for libraries to engage academic staff in scholarly communication.
• @JMBurns99 tweeted a link entitled What is Critical Research? It goes to an interesting and informative page from the University of Strathclyde, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Here are a few of my favourite tweets that don’t include links. They’re helpful (and sometimes funny) all by themselves!
• @LitAtLeddy: At a great #UWindsor writing retreat where many of our best researchers model the secret to productivity: sit in your chair and do some work
• @GreatestQuotes: Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. ~ Aristotle
• @NeinQuarterly: Mid-life Crisis: The sudden realization that you’ve been dying all along. #TheNihilisticDictionary
• October 15 saw the first annual C-EBLIP Fall Symposium: Librarians as Researchers. @tmmaddison tweeted: #ceblip2014 Throughout the day, I found it hard not to run out of the room and immediately start researching. So many interesting topics!

I continue to find Twitter useful for CPD, as well as interesting, informative, and fun! If you haven’t made a foray into the Twitterverse yet, try it! I tweet as @VirginiaPrimary and I also tweet for the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice @CEBLIP.

This article gives the views of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice or the University Library, University of Saskatchewan.

What I’ve Favourited on Twitter Lately

by Virginia Wilson
Director, Centre of Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

I click on a lot of stars on Twitter. Clicking on the star marks a tweet as a favourite and the idea is that I will go back to these favourites and read whatever it is that first interested me in more depth. Most often, these faves include a link to a blog post or an article that I don’t want to lose track of. What I’ve found is that while well-intentioned, I rarely go back to these stars and explore further. To that end, I’m going to dig through my Twitter favourites and include some of them here. This will serve as double duty: I can get a look at these fascinating links that sparked something in me when I first saw them and I can share them out to hopefully spark you as well. Here we go!

• @Write4Research posted a link to the LSE Impact Blog with the following tweet: “Focus and credibility will help academic blogs thrive but negative perceptions must be challenged.” Turns out this tweet is the title of the blog post and I find it very interesting especially as C-EBLIP has just embarked on this academic blog. I believe there are many good reasons to blog from our own professional perspectives and the author of this post, Achilleas Kostoulas, a Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Manchester, lists quite a few of them plus lots more interesting tidbits. Here’s the link to the LSE post: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/08/04/focus-credibility-academic-blogging-kostoulas/

• @EBLIP8 posted the call for conference submissions. I’m particularly excited about this as the 8th International Evidence Based Library and Information Practice conference is going to be held July 6-8, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia and I’m going! I’m hoping to have something to present and I’d better get at is because the call for proposals closes on October 13, 2014. http://eblip8.info/2014/08/03/call-for-contributions-now-open/

• @dededawson, a colleague of mine at the University Library, U of S, posted this tweet: More evidence of the OA citation effect. OA articles viewed & cited more than subscription articles. Here’s the link: http://www.nature.com/press_releases/ncomms-report.html DeDe writes an Open Access blog and you can access that here: http://words.usask.ca/openaccess/

• A list of all Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) on Twitter. Twitter allows for the creation of lists and Kitt McGoveran (@kittmcg) created a list of CARL libraries that post on twitter. Here’s the url: https://twitter.com/kittmcg/lists/carl-libraries

• @LibrarySherpa posted “How to be a social media team of one: 7 tips.” These are 7 powerful tips! http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-be-a-social-media-team-of-one-7-tips/

Here are a few of my favourite tweets that don’t include links. It’s amazing how helpful a 140-character (or less) post can be!

• @MariaJGrant: Writing Tip: The *perfect* word/sentence isnt essential to communicate ideas but words/sentences are. Write them down & start communicating!
• @bfister: I think librarians can and should be awesome themselves, not just invisible team members.
• @LibSkrat: I’ll say this as often as I need to: judging a person’s career by the JIF of the journals they publish in is unethical and stupid.
• @ChristineWalde: What’s one of the best things about #librarians doing #research in #LIS? We get to lead the conversation about libraries
• @melioravit: “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” ― Christopher Hitchens

I find Twitter to be an excellent way to keep up professionally. I created my account in 2009 (@VirginiaPrimary) but it took me a few years of only tweeting at conferences to really jump on board and make it part of my daily routine.

This article gives the views of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice or the University Library, University of Saskatchewan.