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Covering events live and the one-tweet rule

A couple of weeks ago I was at Reuters’ and Amplified’s #1pound40 conference on social media, journalism and the future of politics.

The event was billed as a ‘curated unconference’ e.g. some room for mixing up a gently-led agenda with questions for debate solicited from online, offline, inside and outside of the audience present.

One particular tip I picked up really paid off at a conference I covered for Journalism.co.uk a couple of days later.

At #1pound40 were were asked to send one tweet at the end of each session summing up what the most important thing we’d learned from that discussion was.

At the Society of Editors’ annual conference the following Monday, I decided I’d try out this one-tweet rule for live coverage of the event. Our level of tweeting from events has been criticised before – with good reason sometimes – and it can be a tricky thing to get right e.g. enthusiasm to spread a good soundbyte can make you forget that 20 other people in the room will be tweeting the exact same thing.

Instead I tweeted 1-2 times for each speaker – focusing on the most important point(s) of their speech and trying to include background links and strip out any unnecessary, narrative detail.

This left me with more time to take longer notes for news stories and blog posts – and hopefully was a better service to our Twitter followers on @journalism_live. Any other live-tweeting tips, do share.


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