How Twitter Dramatically Enhanced My LDS Conference Learning Experience

Tweeting my #ldsconf notes on Twitter is much more fun than mere note-taking. It's also much more insightful. I have never learned so much on any one day of LDS General Conference as I did yesterday while tweeting about it.

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A few evenings ago, Connor Boyack and I were returning from a blogger briefing at the Sutherland Institute in Salt Lake City, when we began talking about the upcoming LDS General Conference. He mentioned that for the last couple of General Conferences he had tweeted his thoughts on twitter. I had just about given up on twitter in favor of facebook, but his idea piqued my interest. For the next couple of days I tweeted my thoughts as I listened to various talks from the April 2009 Conference.

And I was hooked. Twitter has now found its firm niche in my internet toolbag.

It used to be that I wrote notes in a notebook. That was helpful, but I never looked at those notes again. More recently, I've typed my notes into a document on my laptop. That at least helps me concentrate, but it seems not to have generated as many insights as actually tweeting my thoughts.

I must admit that I didn't control very well the other variables in my experiment. For one, my my wife and I went to the Provo, Utah LDS Temple a couple of days ago as a means of preparation for a more spiritually insightful conference (which, by the way, has worked marvelously). And the fact that I've been greatly looking forward to using twitter to collect and express my thoughts beneath the #ldsconf hash-tag umbrella has had an effect on the outcome.

But here are the things I like about twitter.

  • When I merely take notes, I more often just rehash (sometimes almost verbatim) what Church leaders speak about. However, when I use twitter, it's much more likely that I (a) put it in my own words, and (b) explain what I've learned from it.
  • There is something much more gratifying about sharing my thoughts with a wide audience in much the same way that I can with my family around the dinner table between and after sessions.
  • When I tweet, I know that several others are tweeting about the same thing. Therefore, I have to think more deeply in order to be able to contribute something unique to the conversation.
  • It's much easier to go back over my #ldsconf notes and find out (a) what I learned and (b) what the favorite things that I learned are.
Hopefully you share my feelings about using twitter to collect and express your thoughts about General Conference (as well as about other topics). What other insights have you gained about General Conference through using twitter and other marvels of modern technology?



Comments

  1. Great article! My sentiments - nearly precisely!

    I do tweet many "refrigerator sayings" that I hear from the speakers; very seldom adding my own commentary at the time. I know that I will review my notes because I will copy and paste them into a Facebook note for each session. I will then read them to my husband. He can no longer read due to a massive stroke. We discuss and share our insights with one another. Twitter notes (tweets) from General Conference can create FHE lessons for months!

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  2. Though I'm not sure which I prefer between pen & paper note taking or Twitter note taking, I really enjoyed seeing others' tweets during conference. It certainly can be a great benefit.

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  3. heartnsoul: That's good! No matter what it is we tweet it's nice to know that we can go back and easily find it. That's a heroic service you're doing for your husband. Hey...I hadn't thought about using my #LDSConf tweets for FHE. Great idea!

    Cameron: Likewise, I enjoyed reading your insights. It's interesting the different angles each of us has due to our personal circumstances. I noticed that you and I two of the few brave souls that tweeted the priesthood session. ;-)

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