A couple of months ago, I had an idle thought: Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a conference that brought smart people together to figure out what Twitter means for businesses of all sorts and all sizes? The folks at Modern Media took my question and ran with it, and today TWTRCON SF 09 happened at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco,. I’m biased, but I thought it was a hit; lots of folks who attended said they had a great time.
The day was cohosted by Modern’s Tonia Ries and Gina Smith, and was packed with guests: prominent twitters like Laura (@pistachio) Fitton, MC Hammer, Guy Kawasaki, Dave McClure, Stefanie (@adventuregirl) Michaels, and Steve Rubel; journalists and writers including Shel Israel, Rafe Needleman, Jeremiah Owyang, Paul Saffo, and Kara Swisher; folks from Boingo, Cisco, Comcast, Dell, eBay, Intuit, Wells Fargo, and other major companies; Twitter companies such as CoTweet and HootSuite; Twitter’s Anamitra Banerji, and more. (That’s Hammer, Adventuregirl, and Gina in the photo at right, by Marie Domingo.)
I had the interesting duty of being the conference’s official twitterer, and spent the day trying to convey the flavor of the event to those who couldn’t attend in person. I quickly discovered that I had lots of help, though–scads of folks inside the room and around cyberspace used the #twtrcon hashtag to share their thoughts on what the speakers had to say. The conversation was so spirited that our hashtag became the #1 trending topic on Twitter (see proof st right).
What did I take away from spending my Sunday thinking about Twitter? Lots of things, but here are some highlights:
- It’s pointless to participate in Twitter unless you’re willing to be authentic and honest. And maybe a little funny, too.
- For a business, participating in Twitter is an obligation; don’t do it unless you’re willing to dedicate the resources needed to do it right.
- You’re not going to make money directly from Twitter. But you might engage your consumers (and mend fences with folks who don’t like your company) enough to see an impact on your revenue.
- Twitter should ignore all the hubbub over whether it can make money and concentrate on growing, growing growing.
- A few years from now, Twitter-like services may be so fundamental to communications that the notion of a conference dedicate to Twitter seems quaint.
Thanks to everyone who made TWTRCON a blast–organizers, speakers, attendees, and those who attended virtually via Twitter. Thinking of it was easy; you’re the guys who made it such a useful, engaging reality.