Sunday, April 3, 2011

Conference on Twitter

Because I'm kind of a geek at heart, I kept tabs on this weekend's LDS General Conference on Twitter as we listened at home to conference on the radio. Yeah, it was kind of odd, listening in with two technologies -- one ancient, invented by Marconi and now one of the most ubiquitous and invisible ways of disseminating information known to man; the other invented by the US military and now one of the most ubiquitous and visible ways of disseminating information.

But it led to a much richer experience than I thought it might.

And not because of the stuff I tweeted, which pretty much resembled this:

What I found most interesting and most comforting is that for several hours this weekend, as I listened to conference, I was not only listening in with my family, but also with a large and varied community of Saints scattered around the world, but united in one odd little social media site on the World Wide Web. Superficially, I can say that conference brought to me more followers in one weekend than I've ever earned in that time period before. But more significantly, I got to read how the talks were impacting people outside of my own little circle, how they interpreted things, how they reacted to things, and how they responded to the humor, humility, and humanity displayed throughout the weekend.

We were united, in humility and humor, with each other as we heard the messages come from the prophet and other leaders. Just by searching on the hashtag #ldsconf, we could see how the messages were being received all over the place. Yes, there were intruders and interlopers, using the hashtag to try to provoke, but I didn't see anyone taking the bait. We successfully ignored the trolls, at least I hope, for the most part. And that's good news.

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