Future Summit

Yesterday, I was a remote participant in the Future Summit held in Melbourne on 18th & 19th May 2009. I participated through Twitter, by interacting with attendees at the event, responding to questions & posting comments to various twitterers attending the various sessions on the program.

To me, it felt like I recieved a condensed, highly concentrated (as in I received the core nuggets of each presentation as it happened) presentation without the fluff. Do I feel like I participated? Absolutely yes! Through posing questions to the attendees and having questions and comments retweeted helped me better understand what was being presented and also to get a feel for the mood of the audience.

Things I liked:

  • I got a good feel for what was presented
  • I could ask questions
  • I threw in some of my own comments (which were commented on by others)
  • I had a number of my posts re-tweeted to a wider audience
  • I picked up a number of new followers (which seems to be the holy grail of Twitter [to some people!])
  • Having the Twitter back-channel provide on-the-spot comments from the sessions

Things I missed:

  • The ‘hubbub’ that occurs in audiences when something contentious, alarming or incorrect is mentioned
  • The camaraderie of the audience who shared some of my thoughts/comments – it would have been great to be there and interact with others

Things I inferred/picked up from the comments being made by the attendees:

  • For one of the sessions, the panel kept asking/answering their own questions, not allowing the session to be participative!
  • From the tweet messages, the wrap-up from Julie Bishop seemed to lose the audience and not really achieving it’s intention (of bringing everything together to a close)
  • There seemed to be no actions/action plan we could see/walk away with

Ultimately, I felt like I had been participated in this event, probably more due to the retweeting and interactions with other tweeters.I may even have opened up a can of worms with this comment I made:

It sure is a waste gathering people together to hear the panel talk amongst themselves! Save the CO2 and webcast it 😛

Who’s to know that next time they don’t just have it as a webcast, or a combination of webcast & live sessions – Twitter certainly helped me get a feel for things in real time!

I’d like to thank @SamMutimer, @mspecht, @kcarruthers, @geehall1, @amoyal, @nathanhulls + others for all retweeting my posts/asking questions! 🙂

4 replies on “Future Summit”

Well, just like cities benefit from supporting a variety of lifestyles (apartments, single family home, walkable, auto dependent), so can events like conventions benefit from transmitting knowledge and ideas in a variety of forms.

This is becoming a hot topic in higher education, where some people are fixated on teaching, while others look at the bigger picture of learning. Today’s college students (to use the American term) often learn online, so now universities are struggling with how important it is to learn face-to-face, or if just as much can be transmitted via web applications or even Twitter…

Hi Andrew,

It was a pleasure having you along. I saw some of your stuff through-out the day and having guys like you present at the conference was fantastic.

I’d love to repost this post above on the Future Summit blog ( as I think it really captures what it was like to be a remote participant. Would this be okay?

Cheers again!


Steve, not a problem in reposting! 🙂

I was very happy to have been able to take part in the conference like I did!

Hi Andrew,

Great. I’ll put it up sometime in the next couple of days. Fantastic that you enjoyed the event from the remote perspective. I’m really glad – hopefully we can ramp it up even more next year.



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