Live tweeting from a meeting: A brief tutorial to help structure tweets

After 5 years of live-tweeting several academic meetings, I am pleased to see its exponential growth. Yet physicians who are new to this practice frequently struggle to get started, especially without any live peer guidance. With that in mind, here is a simple proposal to help you get started by providing a structure for your live-tweets, based on what I do (not that it is the only way):

  • Figure out the “official” hashtag of the meeting and include it in all of your tweets from the meeting. For this blog, I’ll use #DDW15 (Digestive Disease Week 2015)
  • Announce to your followers that your Twitter stream will be including a lot of tweets from the meeting
  • Sometimes I will start by identifying the specific session I’m tweeting from:Screenshot 2016-05-21 14.09.44
  • If possible, when there is a new speaker, introduce the presentation, including the speaker’s name, topic, and abstract/presentation identifier:Screenshot 2016-05-21 14.17.49
  • When you tweet information, attribute it to the speaker for the remainder of the presentation. I find it helpful to include the identifier so the series of tweets can be linked. I use this template: [Speaker] #[ID]: [Information] #[Hashtag]Screenshot 2016-05-21 14.17.59
    • Hint: As the presenter is speaking, I will often create a blank tweet structure specific to the presentation (e.g., Kestens #52:  #DDW15) leaving 2 spaces after the colon so that I can paste it into my tweet, click between the 2 spaces, then begin typing.

What you should tweet really depends on your personal or professional goals. I like to tweet important points or new information, but be aware that abstract presentations have not necessarily been subjected to the same peer-review process of a scientific paper. Good luck and happy tweeting!

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About Ryan Madanick, MD

I am a gastroenterologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, as well as the Program Director for the GI & Hepatology Fellowship Program. I specialize in diseases of the esophagus, with a strong interest in the diagnosis and treatment of patients who have difficult-to-manage esophageal problems such as refractory GERD. I can be followed on Twitter: @RyanMadanickMD (he/him)
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