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Three solutions to get Twitter up and running on the big screen with moderation
Integrating social media, especially Twitter, is a great way to enhance audience participation at a panel or conference. It mitigates live feedback, additional engagement — and let’s face it — it just looks impressive to project a screen full of audience tweets while panelists and pundits jabber away.
But the main problem is moderation. If you’re trying to put on a professional event, you can’t risk projecting offensive or radical tweets in front of your audience or behind your panelists. A literally “live feed” of tweets could include such content, especially since anyone on Twitter can contribute their opinions (if they have your hashtag). Vetting audience tweets can also prevent a vocal minority from dominating the discussion on your screens.
The most important element is establishing one or a few “hashtags” which will help classify tweets that are unique to your event. For instance, we might tell our audience to tag their tweets with #proj123. People who tweet about us would add that tag to the end of their messages so that everyone can distinguish those from the millions of tweets that are published every minute.
When we project tweets, we’ll only display those with the hashtag — but we still want to moderate even those. There are three prominent software options that allow live moderation at events like panels and conferences. Here’s a rundown:
Paratweet is designed specifically for conferences and panels — and specifically for simple moderation. A moderator can just click “yes” or “no” next to a live stream of tweets and the good ones will be instantly published to a bold, easy-to-read display. It’s simple and gives you full control. However, if you’re moderating hundreds of tweets per minute, it could get extremely daunting to manually approve each and every tweet.
Unfortunately, Paratweet isn’t free. It’s $80 per month — which isn’t bad, especially since that’ll easily cover a multiple-day conference. For $140 per month, you can operate up to three simultaneous events
LocalModa is famous for creating custom digital billboards that display everything from Tweets to text messages and Wiffiti is their publicly-available web app that does roughly the same thing. Wiffiti has tons of functionality beyond just Tweets — it’ll include Flickr images and text messages as well.
But it’s greatest virtue is “auto-moderation.” You can select from three levels: “rated G”, “rated R” or “all messages.” This is great if you don’t have the extra manpower to devote one person to moderating tweets. However, Wiffiti doesn’t allow manual moderation unless you contact them (which probably means it’ll cost you)
Like Paratweet, the Twubs Conference Suite is designed specifically for panels and conferences.Twubs bills itself as a start-up company all about hashtags, so their conference package is just one part of their operation. The package includes moderation options and a few other perks like live audio/video streaming and events scheduling via Twitter. You can even embed your moderated Twitter feed online.
Their moderation workflow is more like it is in live television. You can set a time delay for live tweets that gives you a short window to remove unwanted content. If you’re moderating a large number of tweets, this process is easier than manually approving each message in the live stream (like you would with Paratweet).
Since their tools are in beta, Twubs is free. But you’ll have to contact their team about your event in advance — so it might not be the most reliable option.