Event Hashtag Etiquette: Overheard @ #SMXWest

<FACEPALM> In the past we’ve attended major industry conference-shindigs as one big live-blogging family. But dude, the AIMCLEAR team is expanding. Our 2010 conference agenda and travels to and fro might damn near pull us apart at the seams if we all went. In this quarter alone some of us will be returning from SXSW while others ship off to SES NY, some will fly back from the 140 Character Conference as Marty jet-sets to Sydney to speak at SMX… You get the picture.

Instead of falling prey to exhaustion-induced spontaneous combustion, we decided to send out a few members at a time to cull coverage from different conferences. Why, at this very moment our own Matt Peterson is covering the final day of sessions at SMX West 2010 in sunny Santa Clara, California. Meanwhile, back in Duluth- AIMCLEAR (like so many others) is living vicariously through tweets featuring the #SMX hashtag. All this hashtag monitoring really got us thinking: which conference tweets were useful and which… not so much.

As per usual, there are those who know how to successfully leverage Twitter for valuable session coverage and  those who casually tweet unrelated stuff which dilutes the tweet stream.

Since the folks at home can’t exactly tune out the noise when monitoring an all-encompassing conference hashtag, we decided to put together this DO and DON’T “suggestion list” for those in the field. :)  We mean no offense to any attendee mentioned here. We love your tweets, too. Everybody is beautiful in their own way.  This post speaks to what served our needs as we consumed the conference from afar and nothing else.

DON’T turn into a twelve year old girl at a Britney Spears concert:

DON’T actually answer the question, “What are you doing?”:

DON’T tell us you’re in a session and then leave us hanging:

Oy. Now, onto the goods. These folk take the time to tweet and retweet coverage that’s actually of value to the stuck-at-home search marketer. They serve as successful contributions to the stream of SMX tweets.

DO tweet session details (i.e.: Who spoke? Was it good?) to accompany links to coverage
@Echwa | Damien Anderson
@pcmguy | Larry Bruce

DO tweet a gem from the session along with a link to the coverage:
| Ian Lurie

DO tweet links to places where we can get a collection of your conference coverage:
| Bruce Clay, Inc.
@bbille | Brian Bille

DO tweet breaking news!
| Kevin Pike

DO tweet tips and tidbits even if you’re without a link to coverage:
@lookadoo | Dana Lookadoo
@ProminentPlcmnt |Prominent Placement
@ravenpratt | Taylor Pratt

DO recommend valuable sessions for us to check out (before, during or after):
@balibones |
@Jeff_Martin | Jeff Martin

DO directly quote the top dogs even especially if it’s vulgarly hilarious:
@jordankasteler | Jordan Kasteler

And let us not dismiss the less conventional but still useful alternative ways to employ a conference hashtag.

DO wish well to those in the trenches:
@SusanEsparza |
Susan Esparza

DO bring us along after hours (so long as it’s PG-13):
@jillwhalen | Jill Whalen
@lookadoo | Dana Lookadoo

Well, even if it’s not 100% PG-13:
@sheigh | Sheigh

DO use it as a geo-locating device to reach out for help:
| Michael Gray

DO share on-going jokes about screaming CEOs with the rest of the class:
@jtyost2 | Justin Yost

In a perfect world, we’d all be right there with Steve Ballmer as he wowed the crowd with the volume of his voice. Instead, we have to hope those fortunate enough to be at an event like SMX West will treat the hashtag with reverence… or, at least, a sense of humor that actually, well, makes  sense.

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