Curbing Your Comments At Conferences

A Twitter backchannel caused quite the stir at the Web 2.0 Expo this week in New York. As Danah Boyd, social media researcher at Microsoft Research New England, spoke about “Streams of Content, Limited Attention: The Flow of Information through Social Media,” the crowd tweeted their critiques of her talk. Many complained that she spoke too quickly and read her speech, as opposed to connecting with the crowd. Others quipped about dating Boyd. The audience chuckled as these tweets appeared. Only Boyd wasn’t in on the joke. She had her back to the screen and couldn’t receive the feedback needed to tweak her presentation.

Ironically, she talked about curating content and said, “We need technological innovations…tools that allow people to slice and dice content so as to not reach information overload. This is not simply about aggregating or curating content to create personalized destination sites. Frankly, I don’t think this will work.” I wonder if she might feel that curating the content behind her would have worked.