Internal Communications at TweetCamp

‘TweetCamp’ was a ‘BarCamp’ like UnConference held in Richmond on Saturday 27 June.

I realise I’ve just opened with three geeky nouns that may make no sense to half my readers; I’ll start again.

‘TweetCamp’ was the name of the Twitter get together that I attended and participated in on Saturday. It was hosted by GumTree in the GumTree / eBay / PayPal offices in Richmond.

As it was a ‘Camp’, the day was fairly unstructured, with a good deal of the content being provided by attendees, who were all active participants, rather than passive ‘attendees’. The organisers had worked with various sponsors to provide food, drinks and treats for everyone, so there was a good buzz going right from the 9:30am breakfast with mymuesli.

We were all there to talk about our use of Twitter; I first heard about TweetCamp on Twitter (tickets arranged through EventBrite) and I signed up without really knowing what it was all about. I was excited to think I might meet some of my friends and followers from Twitter.

TweetCamp Circle

As it turned out it was a privilege to meet four Internal Communication professionals that I dutifully follow on Twitter.

@AbigailH had volunteered to help out during the day, and it was great to hear her thoughts in the various conversation circles we shared.

@DanaSML and I had expected to meet, and it was so good to see her face to face and learn about her Canadian background.

@JenniWheller advises Blue Ball clients on Internal Communications, so it was fab to hear how companies can and should use social media with staff throughout a business.

@AbiSignorelli dropped in too to see what was going on, and reminded me of how important audio communications can be for a workforce.

So that was us, all Internal Communications professionals of one sort or another, having a chat about Twitter and social media from behind the firewall. For my part, I was curious about policies and guidance, as my company doesn’t feel the nebulous (to them) value balances the high (to them) commercial and reputational risk. I know that sounds bleak, but let’s agree that it’s easier for high tech and media companies to embrace new media, while older, less tech orientated companies still like to feel that all they need is a good relationship with ‘the Press’ and a few dull press releases…

Later in the day (thanks for lunch guys) we arranged further conversations, and again people would flit from group to group, participating as they felt able. For myself, I was a ‘little rough’ from a team night out the night before so I don’t think I participated as best I could, but I listened intently and spoke to several individuals. I only wish I had more to bring to the group discussions. I did try to help facilitate discussion, I think, as we were of course mostly strangers to one another, and we were a diverse bunch.

TweetCamp Paper WikiThe organisers took a lot of feedback about the structure, and you can bet that if they were to host TweetCamp again it would flow a little easier.

For me, the benefits were meeting people I follow on Twitter, and people who are involved with Internal Communications. I enjoyed the day, but I’m unsure what I got out of the discussions. Of course I learned a little as people shared news, views and ideas (I’m a fan of Audioboo and I learned of a wider system called Ipadio) but I’m unsure what I took away from the day other than a good feeling and some better relationships with people I listen to and admire.

You can learn more from TweetCamp’s blog.

TweetCamp T ShirtYou can read people’s TweetCamp conversations using the #tweetcamp hashtag on Twitter (Search). yes, people were tweeting through the day, and nobody was worried that so many people’s heads were down, staring at their iPhones while others were talking!

Find photos from TweetCamp on Flickr.

Here’s a few blogs about the day – @Wedge if you have another to add:

Many thanks to the organisers:

@BenjaminEllis @cyberdees @farhan @jonin60seconds


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Photo credit:  Benjamin Ellis, used under licence.

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