I’m sitting back stage today at The Singularity Summit, enjoying the presentations and doing my best to stay out of the way. My chief responsibility (self assigned) is to tweet and twine the event has it happens. I’ve not used these two tools in conjunction before, but I am finding that they have an amazing synergy for recording both the fleeting zeitgeist (al a Twitter) and the enduring data (Twine).
Both are social tools. Twitter enables a group to socially instant-message and share their thoughts and perceptions of the moment. In the case of an assembled group of twitterers (tweeps? tweeters?) attending a conference, the medium becomes a method for creating a “back-channel” of conversation that floats through the aether parallel to the one-way message of the speaker.
Last spring at South by Southwest, the Twitter back-chanel flexed it’s muscle during the keynote conversation between Mark Zuckerberg and Sarah Lacy. (See Zuckerberg Keynote Descends Into Chaos as Audience Takes Over
Tweets at The Singularity Summit have been less inflamatory (for the most part). We’ve adopted a hashtag #SS08 which allows people to easily find Summit comments. You can see the most recent tweets here
. We used the same hashtag yesterday at the Emerging Tech workshop, and several of the panel moderators monitored the twitter feed during their panel to incorporate feedback.
The second tool that we are using at the Summit is Twine. (Twine is a financial sponsor of the event). Twine is a bookmarking tool + discussion forum augmented with semantic intelligence. As presenters discuss topics on stage, I can find a representation online and “Add To Twine”. (Twine requires a free subscription, you can see the Summit twine here.
) Once I submit content to Twine, the service pulls keywords, summary data, and relevant context from the posting and creates a relationship model that links postings to other relevant content. Twine, like Twitter, is a collaborative tool. Anyone who subscribes to my Singularity Summit twine can add their own content which will semantically get mixed into all other contributions.
What I am finding most fascinating today (aside from the speakers) is the interplay between these two tools. A speaker’s comments will trigger a posting to Twine which in turn causes someone else to post an item to Twitter. Conversely, Some feedback on Twitter will trigger a post on Twine. It’s possible that we can see a recursive feedback loop between these tools from both the speakers and the audience that will last far beyond the speaker’s 15 minutes of fame on the stage. It would be a great benefit to Twine to integrate a Twitter feed so that semantic relationships within Twine could reference tweets and vice versa. I’m optimistic that these two tools will work together to create a very powerful offering for managing the short term and longer term wisdom of the crowd.