This week, I read the “Pointless Babble” article. The article talked about the use of twitter at conferences, like the MLA conference. The article studied the tweets that were posted during the time frame of each conference to determine if the tweeting was an effective mode of communication or just a distraction for the attendees. After all the tweets were gathered by searching hashtags and time frames, they were categorized into groups. The study found that the majority of the tweets were monologues with some interaction through re-tweets (RTs). There was not definitive conclusion from the study that suggested whether or not the tweeting was beneficial or distracting to the conference attendees.
I think it’s interesting that they used twitter to “document” and discuss what was going on at the conference. I personally think that using twitter wouldn’t be extremely helpful for people attending the conference, but I think it would be useful for anyone who was not attending and wanted to stay informed on the new information and ideas. Mainly, I don’t think that tweeting would be effective for a conference like MLA because I think it would be difficult to sum up the new, big ideas in 140 characters; I think that new ideas would need to be communicated orally or through longer blog posts so the readers can fully understand the new information and the reasoning behind it. If the tweets were only to be used between people at the conference for quick quips about opinions, likes, and dislikes of the new terms and information, then I think it would be beneficial, but I think it would be confusing for any outsiders to see such short, quick blurbs and be expected to understand the concepts of big, ambiguous information; much like the article’s title suggested, I think these tweets could be misconstrued by the uninformed as “pointless babble.”