This past week my class had to, yet again, give a presentation to the class as a class. We were again limited to using social networks and social media to collaborate on this project. This time, we weren’t only limited to Twitter.
As a class, we held meetings on Google Hangouts, which I wrote a summary of following it. I felt we were able to communicate very well with the Google Hangout. Some people in our class had technical problems, but were able to use the chat feature and still interact with the rest of us.
To me, a Google Hangout is better than using Twitter with a hashtag. Twitter only allows for 140 characters, and with that small amount of words to work with, it’s hard to put exactly what you are thinking, especially when high levels of detail are involved. Google Hangouts helped us solve that exact problem. People could interact in real-time and voice what they were thinking about. I feel this was a gigantic help this time around.
We also used Google Docs in addition to Twitter and Google to help us keep track of what we were talking about. I liked this tactic as I could easily switch to the document we were all editing and everyone’s ideas were already there. It made it easier to remember what we were talking about before, and what smaller details were talked about.
This presentation opened my eyes to what had been sitting in front of me for quite some time now. I work with people who know a lot about this stuff as they started doing it a long time ago. Knowing internet culture can be an extremely valuable skill to have. In this day and age, companies hire people who know how to relate to their audience, and knowing the ins and outs of internet culture is a great way to know your audience.
Knowing what internet culture is all about can also help with finding information or interacting with others on the internet. If you know where to look and how to ask, one can find almost anything on the internet. So figuring out what people want to hear, or how they react to certain things can be a game changer.
When we were ready to present, our teacher told us one more thing we had to do. We had to use Twitter during our presentations. Our teacher stated, “as long as you stay on topic, almost anything is acceptable.” I had never done this before. Wouldn’t typing what I’m thinking and listening to another person talk be difficult? Well it all turned out pretty well, but there were somethings I liked and didn’t like about the experience.
I liked how I could chat with others about something that is going on right in front of me. Too many times I will get bored in class and then not pay attention. This actually helped me stay on topic as other people could offer their opinions in addition to the presenter. When Twitter is used during presentations it helps to get a lot of information to your audience. Everyone has their own little tid bits of information they know/have found about a certain subject. When they all get in a room and someone is talking about their subject, other’s will share their information. For example, while talking about Trolling, Twitter was being used to send out examples of trolling.
The one thing I didn’t like was that it kind of distracted me from the presentation. I feel I was present for most of every presentation, but I felt that I missed parts of some, and maybe section of others. This was due to me wanting to share information the presenter was talking about, and by the time I post it they are already talking about the next subject. I also didn’t like it when I was the person presenting. It felt like my audience was pre-occupied and wasn’t listening to what I was saying.
Overall, this was a good experience. I liked the topics we presented on and ended up learning a lot. Twitter as a back-channel is still new to me and I don’t know if I really like it that much, especially when I am presenting. I guess only time will tell.