My Twitter Class of '08 by mallix
Cate Huston's Masters research is all about Twitter, and she recently wrote a blog post on exploring conference hash tags. She grabbed data from the Eclipse Conference 2010 hashtag and visualized a few different things, including a Wordle and frequency graph on tweet content and various information about clients used to tweet. She also captured insights into the users participating in the chatter. I immediately thought about what information would be available from the CHI hashtag because of how useful it's been to me in the past few months.
One of the biggest things the hashtag did was make me feel like I was part of the community, even though I'm really completely new to it (I haven't even attended a CHI conference yet). Watching everyone panic together as the submission deadline loomed ever closer was actually kind of thrilling, for example.
The review period was a bit of a roller-coaster ride, with tweets about how great and how horrible the papers were - you never know if it's yours they are talking about! But when those reviews did come back, it was relieving to see how many people fared as well (or, more accurately, not-so-well) as we did. It was even more fun to see the exact complaints people were making about their reviews and how they would position their rebuttals.
And then there's the entertainment value. One of my favourite CHI tweeters is @SottedReviewer, who makes various witty and timely remarks in all-caps. A couple of my favourites:
IF YOU STILL HAVEN'T COME TO TERMS WITH HOW BAD YOUR #CHI2011 PAPER WAS ALL ALONG, SUBMITTING A REBUTTAL IS A GREAT WAY TO STAY IN DENIAL.
IF YOU'RE NOT STUDYING MICRO-BLOGGING TURKERS USING MULTI-TOUCH EYE-TRACKERS FOR SOCIAL GAMING, YOU'RE NOT GETTING INTO #CHI2011
FUTURE VERSIONS OF THIS PROMISING PAPER SHOULD INCLUDE LESS SUCK, MORE FLATTERING OF MY EGO, AND USE OF NETWORKED TABLETOP TURKERS. #CHI2011
Interestingly enough, I get the feeling this humour also gives me insight into some of the inside jokes of CHI, also making me feel more part of the community. Like that whole turkers thing. What's up with that?
It sounds like Cate's going to be doing some analysis on the CHI hashtag. I'm looking forward to seeing if any of her data gives me more insight into my reflections here. For example, am I getting only a small part of the picture because only some small cliques do most of the tweeting? How many more people use the hashtag close to the submission deadline, review release date, and rebuttal deadline?
What has your experience been following conference hashtags before, during, and after the event?