Using Twitter for public meetings?

Definitely off the subject of the music biz, but in the realm of something I care about – accessible and efficient government. I think this could be a really cool use of Twitter technology, as a sort of large public meeting facilitation and feedback tool.

I have an idea public meetings. I read an article today  from Pistachio Consulting about how participants use Twitter during presentations to not only interact with the outside world, but to interact with people at the presentation to help them understand what is being said.

The quote below prompted me to wonder what it would be like to have this as part of public meetings at the county and city.

“The back-channel blurs the line between the presenter and the audience. Now everyone can be an active participant. Here’s an account from Gary Koelling of a twitter-fueled participative meeting:
And what struck me was the dynamic of this meeting. It was participatory. No one was talking out loud except the guy presenting the ppt. But the conversation was roaring through the room via twitter. It was exploding. People were asking questions. Pointing out problems. Replying to each other all while the ppt was progressing along it’s unwaveringly linear path.”

My concept is this:

• Each meeting is given a Twitter code and people at public meetings are informed of this
• A county or city employee sitting right near the commissioners is designated to monitor the Tweets during the meeting to get a temperature on the room and receive any questions.
• Relevant and important information is then summarized on the spot and relayed to the commissioners.
• People not at the meeting would also be able to monitor as the city employee could broadcast major milestones.
• Another benefit is that, as you know, meetings often get some people that continue to ramble, and often times off topic or too long. Well, by getting a real time temperature of the room, those people would be potentially asked to cease, leading to more efficient meetings/ less wasting of time.

I think there are some legs to this, though it would require a little more fleshing out for it to work effectively. It could create some pretty great participatory government.


3 Responses

  1. Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    Don’t pay for your electricity any longer…
    Instead, the power company will pay YOU!

    • Thanks Mike. Hopefully helpful to you. I don’t publish that often, but tend to pick and choose what is most important. You can find me on Twitter where I often find great tips and have dialogue with the people I follow. I’m @CrandallsCorner. Thanks again for stopping by.

  2. I’ve heard of using hashtags to identify tweets concerning a conference or meeting one org is using them to hold widespread conversations in a very similar way to what you suggest. It really is an amazing tool. I ]am hoping that twitter will be going strong at a conference I’m attending in DC in a couple of weeks. Should be interesting.
    @alexsteed is great resource for me regarding that type of stuff.

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