A lovely Storify way to use Twitter

I often find when moderating a big event or panel discussion that the day goes by in a whirl and when I look back on who said what and when, the details usually escape me. So what a pleasure it was to receive a wonderfully varied timeline  on Storify of  the ‘Small Farmer=Big Business’ debate that I moderated at the IFAD Governing Council in Rome. To my surprise, by gathering together many different Tweets from people in the audience and those watching on-line,  Storify  really captured the flavour of the discussion. Please take the time to take a look at the link: http://ow.ly/tQLCs .

The Twitter-sphere  highlighted some great quotes from the CEO of Unilever, Paul Polman, whose passionate embrace of small farmers and their importance to Unilever’s sustainability pledges rocked the audience. Another star was Andrew Rugasira(@andrewrugasira), a dynamic Ugandan entrepreneur whose ‘Good African Coffee’ brand connects thousands of small coffee growers with consumers in Europe and whose ‘trade not aid’ motto also went down a storm with the IFAD members.

Personally I was pleased to spot Tim Ledwith’s tweet (@tledwith) about panellist Laksmi Prasvita from PISAgro of Indonesia. Here it is:  “In Indonesia small-scale partnerships between small farmers & private sector do work. The challenge is scaling up.” If it hadn’t been for Storify, that’s the kind of insightful comment that might have slipped between the cobwebs of my mind. So thank you Tim and Laksmi.

Or this one from Neil Sorensen (@NeilSorensen) about Bill Vorley, another panellist:  “Bill Vorley from @landcoalition member @IIED on panel says value chains weed out smaller and poorer suppliers.”  A crucial point about how the smallest/most marginal farmers are least likely to benefit from value chain investments by big corporates.

All in all, it was interesting to see Twitter used not just to generate questions for the panellists but also to distil the essence of the day. Well done to IFAD’s social media team(@IFADnews)  for being so creative. I do sometimes wonder, what’s the point of  Twitter? Storify gave me one fewer reason to doubt.

Here’s the video of my interview with Unilever CEO Polman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA1pRFjmO2Q&feature=youtu.be

Links: www.ifad.org





14 responses to “A lovely Storify way to use Twitter”

  1. Dharini Parthasarathy says:

    Nice article, Nisha! Social media ‘live reporting’ is something I myself only recently experimented with. It might seem like a lot of random noise, but I can’t think of a more democratic way to document what different people took away as the most important messages from a talk/seminar or workshop. It’s a great tool.

  2. Nisha says:

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I too often think the Twitter-sphere resounds with random noise. Will now persist!

  3. Aroon Thaew says:

    Many thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nisha. Yes, social media is very helpful indeed. What also matters in a big event like this is the information being discussed – and to get it through to everyone would be the hard work of the moderator. By the number of tweets/participated audience, it proved to be a thumb’s up!

  4. Nisha, your blogpost is music to my ear. 🙂

    When we embarked on our communication 2.0 paradigm, we made engagement with the audience our mantra. We also made an effort to strike the right balance between content creation and curation to raise awareness about rural development and agriculture related issues.

    Thanks to our fabulous social reporting team, we’ve been able to reach out and inform our virtual audience about our issues, share our challenges and enlist them to help us further advance the cause of smallholder family farmers.

    I firmly believe that social media channels are development workers best allies, as when used appropriately – that is to say when they inform and are not used for “propaganda” – they can indeed bring about change and amplify the voice of the voiceless.

    We could not have been more honoured to have a seasoned journalist such as yourself highlighting the power and potential of social media and praising our social media efforts.

    THANK YOU and hope to see you soon at IFAD 🙂

  5. Purvish Diwanji says:

    Thanks once again Nisha for putting up my QT (‘Question-in-Tweet’) to the Panel — “The #1 challenge for a small farmer is “trust”, hw does Unilever plan to building “trust” with these farmers ? #ifadgc”

    The answers were insightful and yes storify does justice to every event as after all its a story you want to see again. That reminds me – it would be nice to see a link to the video of the Panel discussion on IFAD’s blog or their YouTube channel specially because the uplink in India wasn’t that great.

    The man of the day for me was “The Paul Polman” and thats whom i had addressed all my QT’s since I own a tiny company in India supplying fertilizers to Indian farmers but my passion is at par with him to “do something” for the small farmers in India. His replies were stunning and absolutely convincing that Unilever can and I am sure they will be going great lengths to do good for the small farmers of the world partnering with IFAD.

    I don’t think anyone besides you could have stood “moderating” the CEO of Unilever Paul Polman with the way he was going during the one-2-one discussion with you or on the panel when a Q was popped to him 🙂

    And yes – all thanks to the social media gang at IFAD who were spot on and brilliant and enjoyed RT’s with them.

  6. Nisha says:

    Thanks for your kind words. I will definitely ask IFAD to post a video of my interview with Paul Polman and the panel discussion that followed. Will let you know!

  7. Debbie says:

    Hello Nisha, How much I enjoy reading your blog posts. I am quite envious of all the interesting people you get to meet and interact with! I, also would be interested in seeing a video of your interview with Paul Polman and the panel discussion that follows. As for Twitter, I first used it about 3 years ago, to help grow a new business which includes children’s books. I too did not see the point of Twitter, or thought it was just for ‘pop stars and actors’, to tell the world what they were up to. Yawn! However, Twitter has very much helped me get my business out there, even to the point where I can interact with the characters and consequently get some very amusing comments back from our ‘followers’. Rather a trite use of Twitter, compared with your subject matter, but if used correctly, Twitter does work.

  8. Gerard Sylvester says:

    Nisha, I watched you moderate the excellent session “Small Farmer=Big Business” at the #IFADgc. Excellent panel of speakers and very insightful discussions/presentations.

    I’m happy to read your feedback on the experiences and the power of social reporting. I’d definitely use this as one of the examples during my debates with social media antagonist and in support of well organized social media reporting. Well done to @IFADnews and the social reporting team at IFAD.

    Gerard Sylvester (@thisisgerard)

  9. Tim Ledwith says:

    Thanks for the kind words Nisha, and for moderating a great panel. We also followed up the discussion with a couple of posts on the IFAD social reporting blog at bit.ly/1hHjNzV and bit.ly/MQlsp0. All the best. @tledwith

  10. JJ Jackson says:

    Fascinating post on the changing media environment, and how social media is affecting the role of the host at conferences.

  11. Dear Nisha,

    Let me forward you the Storify of the event you and me hosted in 2012. Obviously it didn’t reach you. Which is a true pity!


    We use Storify to engage with people who couldn’t make it to the event. Normally this audience is even bigger than the live crowd. Storify helps to expand the reach of your conference content afterwards. By using Twitter, but also Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

    Good to see that you really embrace the possibilities social media offer for hosts and moderators! Hope to meet again somehow, somewhere,


  12. Joanne Levitan says:

    Hi Nisha
    Great blog and great panel discussion. All of us at IFAD were very pleased with the interesting discussion – both live and tweeted! We will make the one-on-one interview with Paul Polman available on http://www.youtube.com/IFADTV in the next few days. I will keep you posted. Great working with you. Joanne

  13. Dear Nisha,

    This may come in late but I am still thinking about the excellent and outstanding job you did moderating some of the Panel discussions during the Build Africa Forum. You brought life to a usually boring discussion on Africa’s infrastructure challenges. Your ability of getting the audience actively engaged and making the discussions lively is unmatched. As a Panelist in one of the sessions, I just want to say thank you for an excellent job and for making it easy for us to articulate the infrastructure challenges facing Africa. I hope we will see you more at similar infrastructure conferences on the continent. It is great working with you.
    Best regards,

  14. Beate Stalsett says:

    Hi Nisha, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the debate, and the way we used social media here at IFAD. As Roxanna mentioned in her comment we really aim for engagement with the virtual world, as we strongly believe that our discussion and insights benefit from the inputs from a wider audience. As a moderator it can be challenging to follow the virtual conversation while moderating, but you did great in integrating questions from Twitter, and by that including the voices from outside.

    Storify is a great way of capturing the essence of the conversation, and we are happy to hear that you found our story so useful. I’ll keep an eye on your blog, and look forward to working with you in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *