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It’s Biz Stone! And more! Attend 140/The Twitter Conference in LA: free UStream

September 22, 2009

As much as I would like to be, no I’m not there live blogging at the 140/The Twitter Conference LA being held today and tomorrow at the Skirball Center in LA. (You kidding? $429??)

But I’m listening along and sometimes even watching using UStream right from the comfort of my own home drinking tea from my own cup and, you know it, still in my bathrobe. I might even listen to it while I do some yoga or go soak in my hot tub.

The best part? I didn’t even have to get in the car for the 50 mile, two hour morning commute drive from Ventura to LA. But honestly, I would rather be there. For me, a conference is one of the most exciting places to be. If they invited me, I would show up tomorrow. In clothes even. I really love live blogging (for evidence see the live blog posts from WordCamp 2008 and 2009, from the Wine Bloggers Conference 2008 and 2009, MacWorld or the Cultural Tourism Symposium!)

Right now it’s twitter leader Biz Stone talking about “what we’re doing with twitter.” Who’s Biz Stone? He co-founded, Twitter, Inc. “the real-time, one-to-many network that is changing the way people communicate around the world.” Before that, Biz helped build other popular social media services Xanga, Blogger, and Odeo.

And I figured if I was going to take some notes, I might as well live blog it for you. Up to a point. I do do other things than blog, believe it or not.

According to Biz Stone, Twitter is about the triumph of humanity, not the triumph of technology.

Some examples like Mumbai and Iran.

Wonder why twitter has a 140 character limit? Biz says you got 160 characters like with a text message minus your user name. But that was confusing so they standardized it to 140 characters.

Twitter is partnering with various charities. For example, an organization that teaches people to read.  Which actually benefits twitter in the big picture–heck, how can you tweet if you can’t read?

Sounds like they’re having a hard time getting everyone connected even though they “threw a ton of money at this.”

So I’ll add to this post when they have something of interest to say. Or watch it on UStream. When I started, there were under 400. Now it’s nearing 500 and climbing by the second.

bitly.stream140tc takes you to the video feed

Now the session is “Growing Your Brand on Twitter,” moderated by Guy Kawasaki. Guy Kawasaki, Managing Director Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm and a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. Guy is the author of nine books.

Growing Your Brand on Twitter: Strategies and Tactics from the Trenches Panelists: Brad Nelson, Mari Smith, Mike Prasad, Mark Suster, Andrew Blair, Moderator: Guy Kawasaki

When you brand, what should be in your tweets? asks Guy.

Mostly @ replies, answers Brad Nelson who is the head tweeter for Starbucks, having a conversation with people. He’s trying to add value to their Starbucks experience.

Mari Smith says what she suggests people tweet is different than what she tweets. She wants to be “the voice that’s remembered than heard. Always be me, always be marketing. I’m always marketing, even in an @ reply.”

Someone else (who? Mark?) disagrees. “It’s about listening as much as it is talking. There’s a danger to ABM marketing, lacking a sense of conversation and authenticity. You can have a brand and still have a 2 way conversation. The most powerful thing is link sharing.”

I missed the intros–listening to Radiohead on KCRW. It would be nice if they had placards in front of them. Organizers also didn’t make it easy to find and use info about the sessions, like being able to cut and paste the title of this session and the panelists. And I love it when they link to the panelists…

Mari uses twirl & hootsuite so you can preschedule. On her phone she uses tweetie.

Mark uses ubertwitter on his blackberry, and he likes seesmic.

Guy uses tweetdeck on his Mac, tweetie on his iPhone, and another app I didn’t catch the name of (definite disadvantage to being at home and not there!) He tweets the same info more than once if he thinks it’s really great and has found it drives more traffic (than annoying his audience). Different audience at different times.

What to do when someone badmouths you?

“When you wrestle with pigs, you get dirty,” says Brad Nelson of Starbucks quoting the Seattle PI. They also direct people to a Starbucks site where people can voice their opinions.

Someone cited Jason Calaconis who says, “Fight up.”

Guy Kawasaki says he blocks people who attack him but he can’t block seeing their @ messages.

Several panelists have their iPhones out and they’re tracking the conversation on this panel on twitter.

Who do you tweet as? People are getting canned for what they’re saying.

The Starbuck’s guy points out it’s their logo and name in the twitter name. Makes it easy to find them, and they’re clear about who is tweeting for them. Companies can put the name of the person in the bio.

Twitter is the new Yelp. It’s another conversation mechanism.

The panelists are asked: Do you auto follow people? Most agree that the best reason is to get DMs for people. Yes, if they interact, if they want to have conversations. Mari follows every bonafide people in order to open the doors to DM.

Last question: What do you delegate and what do you do yourself? Getting help sourcing good content, but Mari writes the tweets herself. Getting good research gets outsources someone said.

One of the panelists is from ComCast. Ay yi yi, sorry folks–it is too hard to track who these people are without more help on-line from the conference website.

I can tell you that the Skirball Center is an awesome spot. What a beautiful place to hold a conference.  It’s up near Sepulveda Pass and Mullholland drive, practically swallowed by the Santa Monica mountains. Unfortunately, for folks there, they continue to have problems getting online! Another advantage to being home in my bathrobe…

Later today, a music panel. I’m taking a break from this–time to get some other work done! I plan to continue tomorrow.

HAHA!! I just figured out that BELOW the schedule here is the descriptions of the panels, the panelists, links all I could ever ask for to live blog like wild (If I had the time!) I just needed to scroll down!

PS If you need a live blogger, let me know! I really do love doing it and certainly could imagine transitioning into doing it for YOU professionally. Leave a comment or email me gwendolynalley (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

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