Eight years ago I entered a bright and shiny world called Twitter.
In 2010, I compared Twitter to a cocktail party, and I think the comparison still stands. Lots of people weave in and out of short conversations and content, with comments sometimes ricocheting like Pokéballs. About 47 of the 313 million active users “tweet” via smart phones, so Twitter’s 140 character limit makes it doable. Chatting in 140 character tweets isn’t the easiest way to carry on an extended conversation. Still, meaningful relationships can form, and when you discover a kindred spirit, it’s great!
Today I think the average person joins Twitter and feels lost. It’s not obvious what to do once you get there. I found the game changer is engaging in conversations. Once you start chatting with people, the clouds part and the Twitterverse opens up. You can pose a question and get immediate answers, and almost always find interesting people for banter or discussions. And there is an endless bounty of content to consume 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Jeff Pulver, founder of the #140 Conference, created and produced the first #140 Brands Conference in New York City on Dec. 2, 2010. As a graphic designer who works with businesses and branding, and being a social media aficionado, I was excited to learn how brands were navigating the social media sphere. It featured dozens of speakers and panels on myriad topics.
The opportunity to meet virtual friends face-to-face was fabulous! I’ll never forget the snow along the sidewalks as I walked from the subway to the venue, and the thrill of meeting for the first time, Debra Cincioni, Lori Moreno and Jessica Northey , fellow Bitrebels — Twitter #BA75 sisters.
L-R: Jessica Northey, Debra Cincioni, me, Tommy Geraci and Sueanne Shirzay, Dec. 2010, NYC
Past #140 Conference events have featured a series of 10-15 minute presentations and 10-20 minute panels that have provided attendees with knowledge, perspective and insights into the theme of the conference. The format has been fast-paced, so if there is something you’re not too interested in, it quickly moves on to the next topic.
The SOCIAL part of social media is super special. And for first-timers, the opportunity to meet many Twitter friends in one place, in real life, is undeniably exciting.
But the educational part is equally special. The #140 Conference provides access to some of the most knowledgable people in a variety of sectors, representing a huge depth of expertise.
Fast forward to July 25 in Los Angeles
I had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and for the first time, meet Marsha Collier, Michele Meiche, Henie Riesinger and many others. I can only describe the moments of our meetings as pure joy!
L-R: Calvin Lee and me
Over the past two months, Michele and I have been chatting on Twitter about our fond feelings for the #140 conferences. We weren’t just waxing nostalgia, although being in that place at that particular time in history was very special. Twitter has evolved and now there are many more people, and the way people and brands use Twitter (and social media in general) has changed. There is always more to learn, even for long-time users, so we concluded there is definitely a need — and isn’t it time — for another #140 conference?
At the LA event, I was hoping to talk with Jeff to see if I could convince him to organize another #140 conference. I had no idea he was aware of the conversations between me and Michele. So it was a surprise when, midway through the event, Jeff made the announcement that indeed, another #140 Conference is underway and slated to occur in Los Angeles this November. I was thrilled!
Anyone interested in Twitter, and social media in general, would benefit from attending. And some of us could find ourselves falling in love with Twitter all over again. I’m looking forward to learning what’s new, and I’m especially looking forward to meeting many new as well as long-time friends.
Earlier I mentioned how great it feels when you discover a kindred spirit on Twitter. Getting to physically meet your kindred spirit and hug them in real life is THE BEST!
Jeff invites interested sponsors to participate, and extends an invitation to all to attend.
Details to come! See you there!
A crowd gathered around Jeff Pulver as he announced the coming #140 Conference.
The quality of the photos of the #14oconfLA gathering, shot in very low light with my Verizon Samsung Galaxy S7, impressed everyone.
And trust me when I say it’s not easy to impress a group of social media mavens!
I’m proud to participate as a member of Verizon’s social media team. My posts are about my own personal experiences. No compensation is provided, nor are favorable comments promised. All opinions are my own.
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