(one funeral-goer to another, while a giant backchannel is projected behind someone delivering a eulogy) I'm just saying, not every event needs a backchannel.

Probably no need to mention that this cartoon was inspired by the Web 2.0 Expo debacle involving danah boyd, a Twitter backchannel projected onto a giant screen behind her, a speech that faced an uphill battle from the get-go, and a few audience members with some impulse control (and other) issues.

There’s a fascinating renegotiation going on between audiences and speakers. Twitter and backchannels are part of it, but I suspect something deeper is afoot. There’s a revolution sweeping all forms of communication – ask anyone who works for a newspaper or a record company – and maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that even something as seemingly timeless as public speaking would be affected.

But that doesn’t mean we have to be jerks about it.

17 thoughts on “Tweulogy

  1. cliffatkinson

    I agree Rob – there’s a revolution coming in the field of public speaking with the rise of social media. If you’ll send me your mailing address we’ll send a copy of my new book that’s hot off the presses, titled, “The Backchannel: How Audiences are Using Twitter and Other Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever”

  2. Rob Cottingham

    Hey, thanks, Cliff – I’ll definitely take you up on that! (Mailing address follows by email… which probably causes some recursive rift in the space-time continuum, but we’ll roll with that.)

    And rest of the world, if you don’t want to wait for my review, you can get Cliff’s book here.

  3. Emeri Gent [Em]

    This humorous interlude got me to read Dana Boyd’s transcript and I thought it was a pretty good speech. Backchannel has its purpose so long as it does not resemble Bruce Springsteen’s echo of 57 channels (And Nothing On).

    The word “silence” should be added to “noise” and “signal”, at least with “noise” we know that something is alive. Of course silence can also be a very good thing, for it can be the most thoughtful pathway back to signal . . . which I guess can be called a “closed loop tweulogy”.

    I guess this closes my loop for this year also, for I am looking forward to some well invested intelligent silence hence forth. Knowing how to finish is a part of starting but letting go is a beginning not an end, so there is a silver lining in everything including coffins. There is nothing to lay to rest here but prime wisdom and learning and that is a very good kind of service that anyone can or at least can choose to attend . . .


  4. gregorylent

    you are so smart recognizing that the entire arena of communication is changing .. (mystics know why, but that might not fly here)

  5. Pingback: Tweulogy: “Not every event needs a backchannel”

  6. Ken08534

    But please don’t be suprised if we ARE jerks about it – no one ever went broke underestimating the American people (also applies to other peoples, IMH (American) O.

  7. Pingback: Web 2.0 Expo: Don’t be Jerks

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Whaddaya think?