Twitiquette: A Short but Helpful guide to Twittering Conference Meetings

February 3, 2009 at 7:36 am 8 comments

Man oh man was there a lot of twittering going on at ALA midwinter. Ain’t it great that so many librarians are using Twitter to shed light on the decision making going on in Committees and let the rest of the organization know — in real time — what’s getting a thumbs up or a thumbs down, who’s arguing for what, and why.


As Karen Schneider brilliantly put it, (ALA) “Council may not be interested in transparency, but transparency is interested in Council.” All good. All good.

Since this radical real-time transparency thing is all still kind of new to some of us I thought a short guide on the etiquette of live twittering of committee business might be helpful:

  1. Twittering the real-time decisions of your committee: GOOD
  2. Twittering snide, insulting, remarks about your fellow committee members while they speak: NOT GOOD
  3. Twittering snide, insulting remarks about your fellow committee members while they speak and marking it with #ala09 hash tag to ensure that the widest possible audience sees your comment: REALLY VERY NOT GOOD

Yes, this really happened. No, I’m not naming names. I can tell you this though: My respect for the committee member that was twitter-slagged remains in tact intact. My respect for the slagger is in the toilet and I’m reaching for the handle.

I’m still deciding how (or if) to address what happened. Any suggestions are welcomed.

Photo courtesy of:


Entry filed under: Twitter. Tags: , , , , .

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  • 1. Anonymous  |  February 3, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    did you perhaps mean to use a word that means “with nothing missing or injured; kept or left whole; sound; entire; unimpaired”

  • 2. Peter Bromberg  |  February 3, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Yes, i did mean intact. Thanks for the gentle correction 🙂

  • 3. Lisa Coats  |  February 4, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Ooo, I like the word “twitiquette”. I may end up having to check out Twitter sooner rather than later. Slowly but surely I’m getting “technofied”. 🙂

  • 4. Bill  |  February 4, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I’m sadly never surprised at the depth of ability humans have to treat each other sloppily. I appreciate the simple example of how not to use communication forums, we need to keep the reminders present.

  • 5. Cynthia  |  February 5, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    This is where transparency meets chilling effect. If people realize that others in a meeting are Twittering about what is happening, there is a shot they will not talk (I wouldn’t).

    Some meetings should be closed so participants can speak without fear of retalliation for thoughts in progress. That does not mean this is always bad, but it is this type of thing that makes it hard to feel comfortable speaking openly about difficult topics–the chance for ridicule, mis-quotes, etc. is simply to high

  • 6. julanna  |  February 8, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Trashy people. Being the bold person that I am I’d probably walk up to the offending person and simply say ‘your twitter feed is visible to everyone’ and walk away

  • 7. jislsnhd  |  February 12, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Yesterday, my boyfriend gave me a lot of cheap Asda Story gold and I buy Asda Story Gold as the gift to return him.

    The Asda Story gold is attractive and I have plenty of the Asda Story money.

  • 8. iblee  |  March 10, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Aptly put. Going to build on these solid 3 points for a future post -good stuff!


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