Twitter at the DevSummit

2009 was the first DevSummit where people really used Twitter
to talk about the event. I followed the tweets from here in New York and it gave me enough insight into the event to whet my
appetite to attend this year.

With the incredible growth of Twitter since then, we all
stepped it up a notch for the 2010 DevSummit. The official @ESRIDevSummit
account kept people up-to-date on announcements while a number of us, ESRI
and the developer community alike, broadcast their thoughts and photos of
the proceedings.

The inevitable backchannel
All this tweeting provided real value to those of us who
couldn’t make it in person, and many people thanked us for providing so many
updates. I felt the tweets communicated not only the content of the DevSummit,
but also that it was fun, that people were busy and enjoying themselves.

With thousands of tweets
in total the sheer size of the backchannel was fantastic (there was even a day-by-day favourite tweets series). In fact, some people were able to write summaries of
the plenary and other sessions based off it. I checked out some of those posts
as they were published and they were pretty spot on.

To Tweet or not to Tweet?
Many people still question me on the value of Twitter
(because I’m a geek and have a twitter account, not because I claim to have an
opinion), and I don’t blame them. It’s not right for everything. But the DevSummit is a great example of just how Twitter can work really
well: People were tweeting announcements, commentary, opinion, conversation,
troubleshooting, and behind-the-scenes, all of which made for great reading. But twitter also often provided practical benefit. A big part of the DevSummit is about being in the same room as ESRI staff – the whole “grab a red badge” thing. With twitter, people were able to do that without getting out of their seats: we got projectors corrected, firewalls adjusted (or else we explained why they couldn’t be), features confirmed, and so forth.

It was a tremendous event, and even with the videos being made
available online and the informative backchannel over Twitter, I wouldn’t miss it. Getting together with your colleagues and our teams in a dedicated environment where
everyone’s mind is on software is such a rich experience. Nothing gets close to replacing that, but Twitter makes up for some of not being able to make it.

Thank you
The DevSummit organisers and the EDN team in particular would like to thank all the geo-tweeters for doing such a great job. It was a pleasure meeting some of you in person at last. And here are some tweets of gratitude from people who couldn’t make it:

  • @ikendoh: Thanks to all at #devsummit for interesting tweets. Couldn’t make it there myself but still learning from you all.
  • @amandahstaub: Huge thank you 4 their coverage of #devsummit: @sathyaprasad @geeknixta @Taliesn @JimBarry @Kirrilian @davescheirer @dbouwman @cageyjames
  • @storm72: Thanks to all who tweeted #devsummit. It’s very much appreciated out here in the #geohinterlands.
  • @mattpriour: Just closed the #devsummit pane in Seesmic. Sad not be there so thankful for all the tweets. Excited about ArcGIS X !

With that, I give you a top-20ish list of DevSummit

- Nick


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