#140Conf: Exploring the State of Now, Now 7

Today and tomorrow the 92nd Street Y in New York City will be home to Jeff Pulver’s 140 Characters Conference. The gathering gets its name from the maximum number of characters allowed in one post on Twitter, affectionately know as a tweet.

Unlike other conferences where presentations can last an hour plus, at the 140 Characters Conference panel discussions are 20 minutes maximum and key note addresses tap out at the 15 minute mark.

What exactly are these Twitter lovers talking about? The conference’s website reads:

“At #140conf NYC we will be taking a hard look at something Jeff Pulver calls “The State of NOW” and the continued effects the worldwide adoption of social communication platforms such as twitter is having on a number of industries including: Celebrity, “The Media”, Advertising, Politics, Education, Music, Television, Comedy, Real Estate, Public Policy and more. The take aways from this event will provide the attending delegates knowledge, perspectives and insights to the next wave of effects Twitter and the real-time internet will have on business in 2010 and beyond.”

Seems broad, no? The list of speakers at the New York City event range broadly in areas of expertise as well. The roster includes:

o    Alexis Maybank, Founder of Gilt Groupe
o    Anny Curry, NBC’s Today Show
o    Bruce Upbin, Managing Editor at Forbes
o    David Carr, Reporter & Blogger at New York Times
o    Dennis Crowley, co-founder of FourSquare
o    MC Hammer, Musician
o    Ivanka Trump, The Trump Organization
o    Joe Randazzo, Editor of The Onion
o    Michael Ian Black, Comedian & Blogger

While it may not seem obvious at first what this motley crew has in common, that’s precisely point. Social media is limitless in its reach. It bridges gaps between types of businesses, country borders and even foreign languages. The 140 Character Conference is proving that individuals can maximize the opportunities provided by this event, without even needing to physically be in the room.

The beauty of this type of conference is that it uses the micro-blogging site Twitter as its starting point, which automatically makes it relevant to anyone on the site. Then the conference added a hashtag (#140conf) making updates from those at the event easily identifiable, and more importantly, searchable. All of the best sound bites, images and videos are being fed directly into your Twitter stream right at your desk.

Here is a small sampling of the expert advice pouring into my Twitter feed this morning:

@acarvin: Carr: you’re standing in line w/ mopes at Starbucks and you look at your Twitter feed and you become calm. Makes sbux tolerable. #140conf
@SarahCaminker: Twitter is a human enabled RSS, adds a human element where people are curating their own feed. Via @carr2n #140Conf
@LaurynBennett: Having a successful brand = having a consistent voice and message across all your businesses and audiences. @ivankatrump #140conf
@JulieSpira: Eric Kuhn @CNN says everyone at CNN is tweeting from the CEO/Pres. down. #140conf
@LaurynBennett: “Rule #1: Never forget the brand – your message MUST be in concert with your brand values.” ahthankyouverymuch, @Donny_Deutsch #140conf
@JulieSpira: @GavinPurcell says Late night with Jimmy Kimmel has been on tv for 13 months. Started as a daily video blog for 5 months before TV #140conf

Jeff Pulver’s goal with this conference was to “explore the state of now” and you can join in, right this minute, with one simple step: logging into Twitter.  Some of the most influential players in media and business are offering free advice and all you have to do is listen.

No cash to get to New York? Inflexible travel schedule? No problem. Watch the conference live on UStream via Pulver’s blog and check out the full list of speakers and their Twitter handles.

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