The Twitter #140 NYC Conference, The Vancouver Riots, And “Now”

“The Twitter #140 NYC Conference And The Vancouver Riots?” What? Yep. Allow this blogger to explain (and follow me on Twitter at Zennie62 ).

This marks my first “Technorati-first” blog post, as I’m now a blogger over at, as well as my main post at (and, and,,, and other places. (OK, with respect to The Examiner, they need to re-position my blog there.) But, because of the new “home” at, here, I felt compelled to do something different, and since it’s on Technorati, it’s got to be about tech – to start.

So, I thought about it. And thought about it. And figured time was passing by, so I’d get on with it, because the whole point of all of this, as the Capitol One guy says “Blogging, texting, networking,” is to communicate and connect.

As I’m blogging, I’m also watching the 140 Conference in New York. But, while part of me wishes I was there, I have to help my Mom, so I’m blogging here from Atlanta, Georgia, rather than Oakland, California. And I am realizing that if I were at the #140 Conference, I’d miss a lot in the process of meeting people.

I’m not blogging to lessen the importance of Jeff Pulver’s event, which, if you’re not familiar with it, is described as “The 140 Characters Conference: New York City (#140conf) is the largest worldwide gathering of people interested in the effects of the real-time Internet on both business and “we” the people,” according to it’s USTREAM page and it website.

But here’s the problem, and it occurred to me as I have been watching the wonderful speakers and thought on the difference between personal branding, and representing another brand on Twitter. (Er, lack of authenticity, basically.)

And which you can see here….

Video streaming by Ustream

That if I were there, in that conference room, spending time with people I know and love, like Tonya Hall and Sarah Austin, that I’d also miss the latest on the Vancouver Riots, as well as the 2 PM EST Anthony Weiner Press Conference. The one where he’s going to (reportedly) announce his resignation!

And it occurred to me that the beauty of Twitter, but also the curse of all of these conferences on, as Pulver says it, the “State Of Now:” You’re in that bubble, meeting people and socializing, yet all of this stuff is happening around you that you’d normally not miss if you were where ever it is you do your online connecting.

Yes, we have smartphones and people are using their iPads and MacBooks at the #140 Conference, but it’s not the same. Because of the conventional design of the conference, you’re forced to watch one person talk, while the thing that got all of you to be there – Twitter – is at work pushing out all kind of tweets on the “State Of Now.” (Love that term.)

There has to be some kind of way to be able to do both. I’ve been to tweetups after tweetups, and they’re a great excuse to meet people. But you don’t tweet at them, you drink and party – you know? I love drinking and partying, as frequent readers know, but you can’t be connected, watch Weiner explain how his weiner got him into trouble, and drink and party at the same time at the #140 Conference.

You can’t see the aftermath of the Vancouver Riots, or people like this guy in the photo, which makes you wonder what he was drinking before that picture was taken?

You know?

And there’s the problem, but also, I think, a need for a kind of conference that’s designed to reflect and use the realtime apps we employ every day to be connected to “now.”

And it’s a call for tech conference producers to really think about a way to break out of the classroom format we’ve had driven into our heads almost since birth. You know, that format where we all sit in a nice order and look up at one person, talking.

Meanwhile, Rome, er Vancouver, is burning.

Stay tuned.