Expanding the #MAETBridge audience: live tweeting vs. technical difficulties

I recently joined Rohit Mehta and Sarah Keenan to welcome Ashlie O’Connor, Dr. Melissa McDaniels, and Amber White onto the MAET Bridge Webinar series. We had a fantastic conversation about technology and professional development that was only marred by one thing:

The webinar entirely failed to go live.

While Rohit hosted the webinar, Sarah and I worked to get the Google Hangout on Air to actually get, well, on the air, but by the end of the webinar, we were forced to admit that we had essentially been our own audience during what was supposed to be an open webinar. Fortunately, though, Sarah and our guests had done a valiant job of livetweeting our discussion to the #MAETBridge hashtag. The hashtag is meant to provide a way for the webinar’s facilitators, participants, and audience to all join in a single conversation, and with the absence of a live audience, I have to (sheepishly) admit that I was wondering if livetweeting would be worth it.

How wrong I was!

Near the end of the webinar, I saw this tweet from the MAET program’s very own Candace Marcotte:

In other words, even though our technical difficulties meant that no one else was watching the webinar, Candace was still able to participate through the live tweeting. Later that night, we got another tweet:

Cassie couldn’t have watched the webinar live because of our technical issues, but the YouTube recording of the event had worked, and Cassie had obviously followed our tweets to the recording to catch the event after it had officially finished.

I’m a big fan of live-tweeting at conferences and other big events, but I was still impressed and amazed by how tweeting had played such an important role in this event! The #MAETBridge had helped compensate for problematic setbacks and had allowed people to catch the discussion after the fact.

I’ve embedded the recording of the webinar below, and it’s worth a watch. You might even send out a tweet or two!

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