in eCommerce

Digital Shorts – my first ‘twittered’ event

Last week I presented at Digital Shorts in Manchester. It was a really fun evening with an engaged crowd, good questions and a great set of conversations afterwards. And of course a beer or three catching up with some ex-Littlewoods colleagues afterwards.

The slide deck is available here – looking at how data + open interaction + standards + behavioural insights can lead to an ‘epiphenomenology’ or, put succinctly, ‘magic’.

I don’t want to spoil things yet (especially since I’m delivering the presentation in Brighton on 11 February), but I did want to note that this was the first time I’d had an event ‘twittered’.

So we all know about twitter – microblogging, or a public-ish exchange of sub-160-character messages (think of a group instant-messenger session, or an IRC channel ‘done’ via single message) – but at this event there was someone in the audience ‘twitting’ my points.

On twitter you direct message at people by the incantaion “@[username]”, so for example to be certain that a comment appeared on my ‘radar’ you’d include “@ianjindal” in the message. Think of this as a way of ‘attaching’ messages to me.

A further development are ‘hash channels’ – anything prefaced by “#” creates (or adds to) a channel. These can be created on the fly (eg #createdonthefly): the genius of these is that they act as a ‘tag’ or a collector: without the need to establish a ‘channel’ in any formal fashion, twits from any number of people can be aggregated into a feed.

This was shown to good effect with #uksnow (coverage of the recent snowy weather in the UK) or channels that formed to cover the recent emergency landing of a jet on the Hudson.

There’s no ‘ownership’ of the channel and there can be conflicting claims (eg #TCUK was claimed by TechCrunch UK and The Co-op UK). The only ‘right’ in this instance is ‘might’. You can’t claim, own or protect a channel. However, as an ad hoc, current and flexible ‘collector’ these are ideal.

One such is #digitalshorts (you can see this here at You can see that @GeorgiaBrown did a great job in transcribing activities – especially since I don’t seem to have been misquoted at all 😉

So – let’s see whether Brighton manages to micro-blog the evening 😉

In the meantime, here are the slides from the evening.

Ps071 Digitalshorts Manchester

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