I doubt this post will come as a surprise to many social media gurus out there, but it is something I fully realized only last week. I've posted to Twitter more regularly from meetings lately. It is decidedly a skill which I'm still working on mastering. I think it is a very powerful tool to use while in a meeting to connect with those in the room with you, and also to disseminate information with those not at the meeting. However, I didn't really get that it could also be useful to me as a self-reflection tool. I've seen Twitter used more intentionally as a self-reflection tool in an education setting as discussed in this very nice slide presentation posted by Dr. Noeline Wright. I'd also seen twitter chats put together using Storify or similar sites. I always thought these things were for the people who weren't in the room, and weren't posting live.
Then I was sitting at the Pacific Northwest Basal Ganglia Coterie (Parkinson's doctors and scientists) meeting this last weekend next to a fellow conference goer. He was getting preparing to jot down some notes, and looked at my laptop which was open to Hootesuite. I had presented about my Twitter account to this group before, so he figured out pretty quickly what live Tweeting from a meeting would entail. But then, he made the assumption that I was doing the Tweeting primarily for myself as a record that I could go back to look at later. Again, maybe I'm just a dunderhead, but when I've live Tweeted meeting updates before, I usually didn't think it was for me. I was thinking about those that may read my stream and learn from it. I've seen data that reflection is better for retention of lecture material, and yet I didn't put that together. I went back through my stream at the end of the conference, and hopefully more of the information will stick because of it.
Now that I've figured this out, and I plan to go back through my Twitter feed intermittently as a reflection tool. The Twitter feeds from meetings may have other valuable information to mine including using it as a a way to prove that you were actively mentally participating in a CME event. I could be used to evaluate the CME, and also if an presenter has a rich group of streams to look at, it can give them loads of information about the audience for future talk planning. Who knew all this could come from live Tweeting at a meeting?