There are many different ways you can follow the hashtag #ldsconf on Twitter. My preference is to use Twubs -- where we're able to filter out most of the unwanted tweets that pop up throughout conference by those who see that we are trending and want to take advantage of self-promotion -- and of course, our ever faithful anti-Mormon friends.
I also like TweetGrid for seeing a lot of things happening on Twitter at one time. When things really start moving during conference and those tweets start to fly, TweetGrid is a great way to keep up all the way around. I almost always have both these platforms up and running simultaneously.
I've been asked a number of times WHY I tweet General Conference on Twitter? Many concerns have been raised, -- one being that you can't get as much out of conference if you are focused on reading other tweets and deciding what you want to tweet. This can be true, if you look at it that way... but I don't.
I addressed the issue about two years ago in a Facebook NOTE, that I'd like to share:
Today, I left a comment on a blog post, entitled "Tweeting a Live Event: Mormons' #ldsconf on Twitter" Both the pros and cons of live tweeting by LDS members on Twitter, were presented. I thought it was a very good post, that brought out many legitimate concerns. Seeing as I have been asked by some of you, WHY I personally engage and use Twitter - I thought I would share my response...
You might want to read the blog post first: http://rhetsit.blogspot.com/2009/10/tweeting-live-event.html
First and foremost, my purpose for being on Twitter is to be a positive conveyor of LDS information, thoughts, teachings and principles to those who choose to follow me. It has been a great experience over these past two years. [now 3+] I have well over 3000 followers on Twitter, [now 5000] the majority of which are NOT members of the Church. And yet, because of my Twitter name * @LdsNana * it is made clear right up front, what I am all about.
I continue to be amazed at my followers overall willingness and kindness to allow me my passion, which is the Gospel. Many even retweet my religious blog posts in support. I've worked very hard to maintain positive relations on Twitter, only tweeting that which would be in compliance with our 13th Article of Faith. I find many like-minded followers, who care deeply about the family, marriage, etc... Many common bonds, aside from specific religious beliefs.
For me, tweeting #ldsconf is an opportunity to share my testimony with those who follow me, and allow me to do so. The interaction with other LDS members, is a side perk; which I LOVE. As far as being distracted... I tend to focus on the talks and tweeting my thoughts, as opposed to doing too much live interaction with other members - during speakers. On occasion I will retweet a comment, because I couldn't type fast enough! LOL In between speakers, I do enjoy engaging with other members.
With today's technology, we are blessed to have access to these talks, instantly. I have always found it necessary and desirable to re-visit General Conference, following the actual event. I see it no different now, only that I am able to share my testimony in a very unique way, that who would have ever thought possible:)
Joel Dehlin , Chief Information Officer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted this on his blog about the use of the hashtag #ldsconf, along with some impressive statistics: (I sure hope he doesn't mind that I nabbed his entire post:)
"For the last few years, Twitter users have been using the #ldsconf hashtag to have a global conversation during General Conference. In normal speak, a hashtag is a tag or a keyword prefixed by a hash (#) symbol that accompanies a Twitter post (tweet). The posts containing the relevant hashtag can be searched and indexed efficiently. Here are some stats for the conversation this General Conference."
- The conversation using #ldsconf was ranked as high as #2 on Twitter in the US
- There were 24,600+ individual tweets, made by over 2,000 different Twitter users
- 1,123,500+ Reach (Total # of Twitter Users who follow those Tweeting)
- Top Cities outside Utah that participated in the conversation in the US are the Washington DC Area, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Houston, Sacramento, Orlando, and Los Angeles
- Top Countries outside US that participated in the conversation are Canada, Philippines, Mexico, Chile, UK, and Guatemala
- The most discussed session was Sunday Morning with more than 6100 tweets
- Morning Sessions appeared to be a popular time to discuss
How's that for some impressive online missionary work? I can attest to a wonderful spirit that accompanies the experience of tweeting during general conference. I've felt it many times. I haven't always been able to participate in each and every session, as life happens. When I've had conflicts, and I'm not able to tweet live, I truly feel that I'm missing out on something special.
Along the way I've met so many wonderful members on Twitter that I didn't know were out there. If you've ever been on Temple Square during conference, I would compare it to that feeling of camaraderie -- with one addition -- knowing that you are holding up your light in a very unique way -- outside of your normal circle!
I think most members who tweet General Conference on Twitter, send out a friendly "heads up" to all followers that they will be doing so, and then a warm "thank-you" following conference. I think this is good netiquette to follow.
I'd love to hear some of your experiences in tweeting conference. And, if you haven't done it yet, may I invite you to join us in letting YOUR light shine?
If you're not on Twitter yet, what are you waiting for? Come join us!
Note: Keep your eye on the hashtag #twitterstake which is also becoming fun to follow during this time. Lots of good humor with this group:)
Filling the World With Light
Mormons on Twitter
You ARE What You SHARE online!