A superhero touched down at the Educause Annual Conference last week in Anaheim. Experiences were changed, Twitter was twisted, and everyone was asking…
“Who is Educause_Hulk????’
At this year’s Educause Annual Conference, held last week in Anaheim, I got to witness something that, realistically, doesn’t happen all that often anymore. I got to see an existing social networking tool get twisted and used in a new way. I got to witness the impact of Twitter, twisted.
It is true that a great many tools – social networking and media ones in particular – are used in new, creative ways every day. Discovering new ways to use a tool such as Twitter is so common that calling it “reinvention” is almost inappropriate. It’s almost commonplace. So this isn’t new in the big sense, but within the particular context of the conference and how Twitter has been used therein, something quite remarkable happened.
Twitter has been used at conferences for quite some time, as both a great way to set up social activities (“hey! I’m here, who wants to get some food?” or “Let’s have a tweet-up!”) and to share information (“in a great session about topic X where such and such is said”). Of course, the use of a hash tag is required to organize all of this data, and an easy-to-read interface like that of Tweetdeck makes for a very powerful tool for communication. If you take a look at the Educause 2010 stream, you see it is littered with all kinds of posts. I think the first time Twitter was used so heavily at an Educause event was about 3 years ago at ELI, and it has just blossomed (exploded?) since then.
This past conference, however, saw a new twist. An attendee created an “alter ego” – EDUCAUSE_HULK – and posted on a semi-regular basis as that persona throughout the conference. This had a huge impact, at least for me, on the overall experience, and it raised a number of questions for the person behind the Hulk, too.