Conversations on the 'Back Channel"

If you’ve been to a conference recently you may have noticed
attendees typing away furiously on their laptops or using their mobiles
during the sessions. Chances are that they were not actually off task
but participating in rich conversation online relating to the
conference sessions they were in. Often known as the ‘back channel’
participants use web 2.0 tools like twitter  or coveritlive 
to connect and share their thoughts and reflections in real time –
often with people from around the world who are not actually at the
event as well as those in the same room.

This year’s QSITE conference will be no exception. As well as having an ‘unconference’ strand participants will be invited to share their thoughts and reflections
online through out the event using many different devices. In this
issue of Insite we outline the tools of twitter and CoverItLive.

Twitter is a popular microblogging service where using update their
status or share a thought or question through a ‘tweet’ which is a
message that is limited to 140 Characters. Users choose who they
‘follow’ to receive tweets from these users and can reply to the tweets
from others by adding an ‘@’ before their username. Tweets relating to
a particular topic or event can use a hashtag by adding a ‘#’ before a
word. When a user searches for this take or clicks on it in a tweet,
all of the tweets with that tag will be displayed. For the QSITE 2009
conference we will be using the hashtag #qsite09 
Twitter in Plain English
Follow @qsite on twitter

Picture_13.png CoverItLive is a live blogging tool where notes
from bloggers and other participants are shown in real time and
automatically updated. It is often used at conferences and to cover,
discuss and comment on live events such as sporting events or TV
broadcasts like EuroVision. You can embed a live blog in another
webpage such as a blog or conference website as well as using the
coveritlive site directly. At the end of an event, a coveritlive
session can be played back in real time so that you can catch up on the
parts that you missed, reflect on the event or visit the links that
were shared in the session.
CoverItLive Demos

Check out how it was used at the recent JPC conference 

Why not explore these back channel tools right now in preparation for this year’s QSITE conference.

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