On December 16th Christoph Trattner held a talk about “Twitter as Backchannel in Academic Conferences: Two studies and some interesting findings”.
Find the abstract here:
Twitter is often referred to as a backchannel for conferences. While the main conference takes place in a physical setting, attendees and virtual attendees often socialize, introduce new ideas or broadcast information by microblogging on Twitter. In this talk I will present work-in-progress of a recently started project, that aims at understanding how research communities use Twitter during academic conferences. As a first step in that direction, we manually classified the users of 4 conferences into 5 user groups and investigated the extent to which they communicate, how much they contribute to the Twitter stream and how much attention they receive from their peers. In second step we analyzed 16 Computer Science conferences over a timespan of five years. Our primary finding is that over the years there are increasing differences with respect to conversation use and information use in Twitter. Furthermore, we find different factors that contribute to the continuing participation of users to the online Twitter conference activity. These results have implications for research communities to implement strategies for continuous and active participation among members.