#140conf Boston: Not A Tech Event, A Life Event 21


Back in April I wrote about Jeff Pulver’s 140 Character Conference that was taking place in New York City. I praised the conference and its attendees for providing advice on social media best practices live from the event. The live tweeting was so impressive I felt like I was there in the auditorium.

Yesterday, I actually was in the auditorium as Pulver brought his traveling conference to Boston for the first time. The conference began at 9:00 am and went until 6:00 pm with over 61 speakers on the roster.  Each group that took the stage had 10 minutes to share how Twitter and/or the real-time web have impacted their goals professionally and personally. Below, a few highlights from the day:

Jeff Pulver, @jeffpulver – Check out Pulver’s opening remarks to kick off the day:

John Daley, @Boston_Police – Daley, deputy superintendent for the Boston Police, shared that the department is using Twitter to broadcast vital, public safety information to the city of Boston and their broader Twitter followers. The police see Twitter as an effective way to disseminate critical information in real-time. Daley also noted that citizens have begun reporting crimes to the police via Twitter. They tweet updates and photos, typically of crimes they consider “too small” to dial 911. Who knew!

C.C. Chapman, @cc_chapman – C.C. is on a mission. A mission to give dads who blog as much power and recognition as the infamous “mommy bloggers.” During what was by far the most animated speech of the day, C.C. shared his personal quest to force consumer brands to recognize fathers as a key sales demographic. Marketers, pay attention. The dads have wallets too.

Patrick Larkin, @bhsprincipal – Larkin is the principal of Burlington High School where he is trying to bring the school into the digital revolution. In addition to teaching a Web 2.0 class to his students, Larkin is working to educate families on the importance of digital education for students. During his panel, Larkin said, “We need to teach our children to use social media. Without that, the diploma doesn’t mean much.”

Amanda Palmer, @amandapalmer – Palmer, best known as part of the musical group the Dresden Dolls, shared with the audience that, “I was able to ditch my management and my record label to launch an album all via the internet.” She went on to say how her Twitter followers have been incredibly supportive and a resource she didn’t realize would be so critical. She said, “Life is becoming easier, faster and cheaper as we harness the power of social media.” Rock on, Amanda!

Georgy Cohen, @radiofreegeorgy – Cohen is the managing editor of web communications for Tufts University and has one of the best understandings of the power of social media that I have encountered. Not only does she see the value in active social media platforms for the university, but she is consistently engaging with students, staff and alumni to build meaningful relationships. Cohen hit the nail on the head when she said, “We have to be in the ‘now’ because our brands already are, whether we are or not.” I was also impressed by Cohen’s decision to harness the strength of content creation and launch a Tufts website called Jumble (their mascot is the Jumbo) to aggregate all of the best content created by students, staff and alumni. For colleges and university seeking social media best practices, look no further than Tufts.

Chris Brogan, @chrisbrogan – Brogan, a high profile social media player, author and the president of New Marketing Labs, spoke to the group about Twitter and other web applications simply serving as a platform for larger goals. In one of the best quotes of the day he quipped, “No one ever asked Hemmingway what kind of pencil he wrote with. Don’t ask me what blog platform I use! That’s not the point.” View Brogan’s entire talk here:

For more information on the speakers at the Boston 140 Characters Conference, check out my live updates @MollyGaller on Twitter or the #140conf hashtag.

At the close of the event, Pulver said, “This conference is not a tech event, it’s a life event.” Thank you, Jeff Pulver, for a superb day that reminds us all that the next big thing could be just a tweet away.


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