Tweet reporting

Moderating at a big sustainability conference last week I discovered a new kind of journalist, the ‘Tweet Reporter.’ In this case she came in the highly efficient and enthusiastic form of Dutch journalist, Gerdie Schreuders (@TweetReporting).  Her  role was to tweet highlights, bon mots, and unexpected boo-boos to the Twittersphere, and draw questions into the hall for further discussion. What a boon she was for me. With Gerdie concentrating on Twitter, I was free to focus on the content of the presentations –  dauntingly high-level academic research focussing on how to reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector – and on keeping the audience engaged with the debate and question/answer sessions that followed.  In no time at all, #EeacRli (not the most catchy of hash tags!) had taken off …

As for the content proper, I needed all my wits about me to moderate a whole day of debates on ‘Keep Moving Towards Sustainable Transport’. The conference got cracking with an opener from the EU’s blunt-speaking Sustainability Commissioner, @janezpotocnikEU: ‘I don’t know a politician who got re-elected because he had a long term vision.’

Surprisingly then, given the abysmal sustainability record of the transport sector over the last couple of decades, the overall mood of the speakers was pretty positive. Partly because our love affair with the car seems to have peaked in the rich world, partly because technological alternatives – whether electric cars or hydrogen-fuelled cars – look like being realistic options at long last, fingers crossed. Why there are even plans to trial a hydrogen-fuelled car on the Isle of Wight, as part of its Ecoisland ambitions to lead the UK’s sustainability agenda. And that was the other positive glimmer on the horizon – impatient moves by what one speaker, Maarten Hajer (@maartenhajer),  called ‘the energetic society’ to just get on and make things happen in the face of government inertia/impotence the world over. So here’s to ecoislands wherever they may be … and to Tweet Reporters.

For more on Keeping Moving Towards Sustainabile Transport:

For more on the Isle of Wight’s Ecoisland movement:






9 responses to “Tweet reporting”

  1. Great to see that our Tweetreporter inspired you so much for this blog and that you also quoted the Twitter handles of the speakers. In this way readers can make your blog as interactive as they prefer.

    We very much enjoyed having you at our conference and hope you enjoyed it as well. It has been a very dynamic conference and we received a lot of compliments about your role as chair of the day!

    Kind regards,

    Hylke Koopmans
    Project Manager
    ATP Event Experts

  2. Jurgen Mortier says:

    Nice one! Glad to see the social media are still in your toolbox and help furthering your moderating jobs! Don’t underestimate your social media evangelist function at those type of conferences!

  3. There are only just a few hosts/moderators (yes I know it is 2012!) who can handle the integration of an online conversation in their on stage performances. And you are absolutely one of those pioneers.

    Thanks @HylkeK for bringing us together!

  4. Debbie Capon says:

    High praise from Gerdie, Nisha. When we started The Nosey Pacas I had to enter the world of Twitter – which I now find sadly quite addictive. Very much enjoyed your blog as usual.

  5. Michiel Ooms - Rli says:

    Indeed for me, being part of preparing the contents for the conference, the most educational part was the sheer amount of people that we’ve reached outside the conference via twitter. Social media can give anyone a voice and a broad audience. How’s that for an energetic society!

  6. Thanks for an excellent discussion, I was very happy to take part and also to play a role in the twittersphere!
    Best wishes

  7. You did well. As i said in my tweets, it would have been even better if you could have used your influence as a moderator to change the format to let the public participate more actively, look at my website for more details..

    @romanista @facilitAtelier

  8. Aroonnie says:

    Congratulations Nisha for the monumental work.

    A big conference last week with its
    complex academic research wouldn’t passed successfully without a highly skilled moderator who managed to combine a large group of scientists/high-level academics gathering with social media participants. To get the message across to everyone in a short second of the issue being discussed, would have to be
    credited to the moderator.

    Keep the twitter up Nisha.

  9. Priya Kale says:

    This is a very interesting concept! Tweet reporting! Given that most of us are hard pressed for time and can’t read through long newsreports, this could well be a pioneering trend. Don’t know if it can be THE future of journalism, but it will definitely nudge into the more traditional forms and scoop out a space for itself. So congratulations on the conference Gerdie, you also have a new twitter follower. And I completely agree with you – Nisha is absolutely brilliant at integrating different communication platforms. I guess that’s what makes her conferences so robust and effective.

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