How To: LIVE-Blog or Tweet From A Global Event/Conference!


Whiles in Johannesburg, South Africa; Live-blogging from the “Sub-Saharan Africa Freedom of Expression & Internet Workshop”; a colleague whom I’ve known for a long time, joined twitter not long ago and I’m sorry to say; not too ICT-inclined sent me a message on Facebook asking;

What are those stuffs you keep saying on Twitter? What is RT? Where do you get your links from? Do you have any special protocols that you use? Is this very difficult to do? How exactly do you go about LIVE-blogging from global events? I’m sorry to bother but I really want to become like you. Thanks.

 

@MacJordan & @dotKwame Live-blogging from #TEDxYI

This isn’t the first time, I’ve received such a message; therefore I took it upon myself to write a post covering: LIVE-Blogging from Events/Conference and Workshops/Seminars.

CEO & Founder of Web4Africa; David Ajao once said;

“It looks like; Twitter was specially made for him (Mac-Jordan) because; the speed with which he tweet/update is just too awesome.

I won’t call myself a PRO in this New Media field yet as I’m still learning from my mentors (Erik Hersman, Jillian C. York & Ethan Zuckerman). I’m just very passionate for anything new media that helps in information dissemination in real time. Below are some ideas that should get you started to LIVE-blog from any event or workshop you find yourself.

Pre-Event Preparations

  • Get Accreditation / Press Pass: In recent times, more PR & Media companies are beginning to treat and recognize bloggers & social media activists as “New Media Press”. If your intention is to cover the event for your online audience; be sure to emphasize your reach, influence and network effect.
  • Wi-Fi/Cell Coverage: Be very sure to check on the presence of Wi-Fi at the venue. Ask whether the venue has either free Wi-Fi or strong cell reception. Make necessary provision for internet modems from any of the Telcos in case there is no Wi-Fi or internet connectivity.
  • Confirm The Hashtag: As opposed to creating your own, ask the conference organizers if there is an official Hashtag e.g. (#MFA10Maker Faire Africa 10; #BCGhana Barcamp Ghana; #FC_Org – Future Challenges Org; #GVOGlobal Voices Online) for the event. If they don’t understand the words coming out of your mouth and think a “hashtag” is some sort of drug label, feel free to get creative.
  • Configure Your Applications: Whether you intend to use your laptop or smart phone, please be sure to pre-program your tools (such as TweetDeck, HootSuite or Twitterrific) with the appropriate hashtag.
  • Bring Your Charger & Power Plug(s): I know this one is painful and it’s happened to me more than once. (I traveled to  Casablanca, Morocco on the invitation of a friend to attend & share my views on New Media & Development in Africa; & I totally forgot my chargers. That is not happening ever again). Do not forget your charger(s). Make sure, you bring all of your gadget chargers from laptop; Digi-cam & smart-phone.

Live At The Event/Conference

The keynote is about to begin and it’s time to get to work. The Chair of the event is ready! What’s the best way to cover the event?

  • Be A Back-Log Flower: Like it or not, most traditional conference attendees will think you’re being extremely rude by clicking away during the presentation. Shy away from the front tables and instead choose a spot toward the back of the room. You’re more likely to find power plugs and won’t disturb those around you.
  • Set The Stage: Just like BBC/CNN, your followers may tune in to your Twitter stream at various points throughout the day. Level set with a tweet or two every few hours that describes the event’s purpose, location and name. e.g. (Tweeting LIVE from Bar-Camp Ghana in Accra. Follow us for more with the hashtag: #BCGhana)
  • Share Live Photos: There are various photo sharing apps on the micro-blogging platform these days. Take a snap of the conference whiles in section and attendees; share it on Twitter via either Twitpic, yFrog or Plixi
  • Use Attribution: If someone says something interesting, either use “– per [name]“, actual quotation marks and/or a reference to their firm. If you don’t explicitly state the source, your followers will be confused and may take the statement out of context.
  • Follow Others: Check the hashtag with some level of frequency to determine if anyone else in the room is covering the event as well. This is a good way to connect in real life and potentially divide and conquer across simultaneous tracks.
  • Perpetuate The Conversation: Although this can be difficult, watch for those statements that triggered interest among your followers. To the extent possible, reply to their comments, re-tweets and thoughts during breaks or the sessions themselves.

Post-Event Wrap Up

The curtain drops and another event is in the can. Now it’s time to head home and make sense of it all. What’s next?

  • Measure Your Success: Use sites such as What the Hashtag?! to find some amazing statistics on the event, including the number of tweets, contributors, tweets per day, re-tweets and the like. This helps to justify your impact the next time you ask for a free conference pass.
  • Blog Content: For the past three events I covered, nearly every cogent thought and worthwhile nugget was tweeted. Upon my return I used tools like Twitter search to revisit the hashtag driven-content as source material for my blog posts.
  • Thank Your Hosts: If you want to be invited back, but sure to tip your hat to the hosting organization. This is another no-brainer that I have seen my new media colleagues neglect time and time again.
  • Thank Your Followers: Also thank those who participated in the conversation and helped get the message out. Remember that without them you wouldn’t be there at all.

If you follow these simple rules I’m confident that conference organizers, your fellow attendees and online followers will be pleased with the results.

Did I forget anything? I’m very sure; there are other wonderful ideas with LIVE-blogging from conferences/events; please share your tips and tricks and let’s keep the conversation going.

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Re-blog: BarCamp Kumasi #bcksi – A Huge Success!


Barcamp Kumasi came off successfully on Sept 18, 2010 at the College of Engineering auditorium at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi and was under the theme;

Collaboration: The key for Opportunity and Development.

Over 80 people attended, mostly students from KNUST. The program run smoothly and I followed all of it through the many tweets coming from some of the organizing team members and others there. Glad to call the first ever Barcamp in Kumasi a success.

The keynote speaker and moderator for the day’s panel was Dr Douglas Adjepong, Founder and President of the Leadership and Mentorship Academy.

BarCamp Kumasi 2010

The other panelists were Mr. Stephen Agyepong – Lecturer at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Eugene Oduro Birikorang, Acting Regional Manager, Millicom Gh Ltd (Tigo) and Daisy Baffoe – Meltwater Entrepreneurial School Of Technology (MEST).

The sponsors were Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), National Society of Black Engineers (KNUST chapter), GhanaThink Foundation, Google, IPMC Ghana, Fienipa Group, Leadership & Mentorship Academy, Mozilla Firefox, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School Of Technology (MEST) etc. The media partners were Kapital 97.1 FM, Focus 94.5 FM and ModernGhana.com.

See a couple of pictures taken by Mac-Jordan of AccraConscious Forever blog on his Flickr Page.

A lot more media from Barcamp Kumasi coming shortly. Congrats to the organizing team: Nana Kwabena Owusu of 233Tech, Teresa Lemaire, Kwamena Appiah-Kubi and Kofi Ulzen-Appiah for making this happen.

On Saturday, October 2, 2010; Barcamp Accra 2010 took place at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) campus.

BarCamp Takoradi is next on November 27, 2010. The national event, BarCamp Ghana in December, 2010 in Accra.
Get all information about all BarCamp events at BarCamp Ghana.

Follow  the BarCamp discussions of the various BarCamps on Twitter and Facebook below:

BarCamp Kumasi on Facebook and Twitter
BarCamp Accra on Facebook and Twitter
BarCamp Takoradi on Facebook and Twitter
BarCamp Ghana on Facebook and Twitter

Originally Written by Ato Ulzen-Appiah

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TEDx YouthInspire LIVE in Accra, Ghana


TEDx YouthInspire LIVE in Accra

TEDxYouthInspire has joined the rungs of the increasing number of African youth-focused development programmes to be hosted in Ghana. Other events recently hosted here that immediately come to mind are BarCamp Ghana and Maker Faire Africa.

The brilliant thing about TEDxYouthInspire, and other programmes like it, is that it is the initiative of private individuals and youth groups who are determined to inspire positive change on the African continent. In addition, local start-ups, corporate organizations and academic institutions have been quick to lend their support, resulting in tremendous success.

Consequently, bloggers have been quick to give rave reviews. Find interesting articles by Ghanaian bloggers here, here, here and here. This event is for you if you’re a young person between the ages of 14 and 25.

So what is TEDxYouthInspire?

From the event’s website:

TEDxYouthInspire is an open space for the continent’s youngest visionaries to collaborate and reevaluate the possibilities of creating a better global community. A one-day, participatory event, TEDxYouthInspire will use the theme “A Good Head & A Good Heart“, taken from a quote by former South African President, Nelson Mandela, to exhibit how extraordinary youth leaders combine radical thought and integrity of spirit to set in motion unlimited possibilities for a brighter future.

The event takes inspiration from the TED conference.

Who is behind this?

TEDxYouthInspire is being put together by Raquel Wilson (Event Curator), Sharon Brooks (Publicity Coordinator) and Worlali Senyo (Location Coordinator – Ghana). The trio are supported by a team of volunteers who have offered their time and expertise to assist in various aspects of the organisation.

Where and when will it be held?

The venue for TEDxYouthInspire is the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE). It will be held on 10th April, 2010.

Who and Who are Speaking?

Among the various speakers for the day are; Miss Esi Yankah; President & Founder of African Mentor Network Inc, Miss. Shirley Osei-Mensah, High School Student & Entrepreneur and myself; Mac-Jordan Holdbrookes-Degadjor, a Ghanaian Social Blogger. There shall be other pre-recorded talks from various TED Fellows amongst them; Mr. Patrick Awuah, Founder of Ashesi University and Ory Okolloh of Kenyan Pundit Fame

Why should I attend?

1. Listen, be inspired and get motivated

Event attendees will be listening to their colleagues, who have made significant impacts in various spheres, make the speech of their lives. By so doing they will be inspired and motivated to work towards their life goals. African youth will be shown that it is possible to make it in Africa.

2. Meet and interact with like-minded young people

Attendees at the event will be meeting other young people who are passionate about Africa and are hungry to bring change to the continent through technology, entrepreneurship and leadership. At TEDxYouthInspire, you will have the opportunity to interact with people who are brimming with fresh ideas just like you. Who knows? You may just meet the person with whom you’ll start your next project with!

3. Get challenged

At TEDxYouthInspire, attendees will be challenged to start working on ideas that they have just like the speakers have done. This will be the final push to get out of your comfort zone. The message to attendees is loud and clear: “the African renaissance is nigh, get on board!”

What should I do next?

Registration is opened for young Africans between the ages of 14 and 25.

Go to the event’s website to learn more about TEDxYouthInspire. Register at the website before 31st January on which registration closes. Keep your fingers crossed and wait for your acceptance email. 🙂

Credit : Gameli Adzaho; Member of Ghana Blogging Group and Author of the Gamelian World Blog

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