Now that Kanye West's tweeted musings ("fur pillows are hard to actually sleep on") are considered newsworthy and more people follow Lady Gaga's Twitter account than Barack Obama's, one has to wonder exactly what effect the real-time mass communication will ultimately have on our society — not to mention the media landscape. How do we roll with it, without getting rolled over? That's what both participants and attendees of the upcoming 140 Character Conference (which hits the Back Bay Events Center on September 14) hope to work through.She then goes on to quote me:
"One of the main things I love about the 140conf is that you can hear a little bit from a lot of people," Garfield tells me over e-mail. "It's just like Twitter in that respect."I'm happy that she quoted me from our email interview.
Here's the full interview:
1. How did you get involved with the project?There's a great lineup of speakers at the Boston 140 Conference.
I first met Jeff Pulver at a PodCamp in Boston where he invited attendees to attend is nearby Video On The Net conference. Since that time we've become friends and he's asked me to speak and interact with audiences at his conferences across the country.
2. Tell me a little about the panel you'll be running at the conference.
My 15 minute session at 140conf Boston is titled, There's Something About Video. It's a follow up to my panel at the 140conf in New York where I discussed the interaction with broadcasts in real time of "the people formerly known as the audience." That panel featured Rick Borutta producer of CBS Backstage Live and Gavin Purcell producer of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. You can watch it online.
Here's that panel:
Since then, I've started my own show, SteveGarfield.tv, on The Pulse Network, based here in Canton. ONn this live weekly show I'm experimenting with what could be the future of how TV and internet broadcasts interact with their audience.
Embeded show player with highlights:
On my first show, I explained how twitter hashtags work and increased audience interaction by over 500%. IT's even larger than that, but I'm not that good at math. I made a blog post about it.
At this 140conf in Boston, I'll be talking about my experiences getting the audience involved in SteveGarfield.tv, and my plans to explore the future of audience interaction on both the internet and broadcast television.
People want to interact, I'm not sure of the percentage, but if I can make it easy and worthwhile, I know that people will want to.
3. What do you (and your fellow participants and attendees) hope to get out of the conference/ what message do you hope to send?
One of the main things I love about the 140conf is that you can hear a little bit from a lot of people. They you have the opportunity to meet them and get to hear more. It's just like twitter in that respect.
I hope to make personal connections with people that I haven't met before, and strenghten existing relationships by seeing some people that I only see a few times a year.
4. What do you see as the future of Twitter in today's society? Do you think this influx of real time media and information overload is ultimately a good thing for our society?
I think the real time media part is a god thing. There are so many benefits to being able to talk to people in a broadcast mode and to be able to see the replies in the same way.
I've also seen the benefits of directing messages, via twitter, to companies, and getting immediate responses. It's a much faster and personalized way to get support. My most recent example is an interaction locally with @sullivantire. I sent them a message that I needed four tires, then got a private message right back asking for my phone number. Then I got a call, scheduled and appointment, and got my tires installed in a timely matter.
Information overload isn't a good thing. Filtering of messages will help. I've set up lists on twitter that help me manage the incoming flow. New applications are coming out all the time to help with this. One new iPad application I like that does this in a graphical way is FlipBoard. It turns my twitter stream into something that looks like a magazine, where I can page through tweets.
Thanks so much for your time, I certainly appreciate it.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you need anything else...
Hope to see you there.