Tweeting #ismp2015

ISMP 2015 was an amazing conference for the diversity, depth, and quality of the talks. But besides that, it was also a landmark for online coverage of OR meetings, as some active online contributors have noted:

As an example of the latter, look for #ismp2015 on twitter and you’ll get the most detailed ever journal of an OR conference I have seen.
Jean-François Puget: Where Is Operations Research In Social Media?

Indeed, it was impressive to see sequences of tweets about two or maybe more simultaneous talks, which made you feel like achieving that sweet spot of being able to somehow attend every interesting talk that you found in the conference proceedings.

But what has changed? Speaking for myself, I have decided to follow what I saw Jeff Linderoth doing for #mip2015 and David Morrison for #informs2014: I just tweeted every interesting or funny piece I saw (battery allowing, of course), and mentioned topics discussed in talks to make those who were not attending get a taste of what looked hot.

In addition, I was also maintaining the account @ISMP2015, which I used to retweet as much as I could from the relevant tweets while avoiding to put too much of the same thing. I don’t know how much doing that helped, but what I noted as the conference days passed was that people were becoming more active: those who would publish just occasionally were now more frequent, and some who were not tweeting at all have decided to do so.

What makes me believe that the level of tweeting was raised by peer observance was how limited its scope seemed to be: sometimes most of the tweets came from a single session, and many people in other areas simply did not tweet during the event. But since it was something that did please those who did not attend, I believe that the behavior will spread further and possibly #ismp2015 will be surpassed by #informs2015, who knows?

While I cannot claim with certainty that a conference account for retweets makes a big difference, I believe that it is an idea worth trying in future meetings. If not to incentivize people to tweet more, at least to record a good deal of what was going on. After all, someone has to chase those guys who do not use hashtags correctly!

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