The Aspen 140: Engaging the world 140 characters at a time

June 29th, 2009, by Peter Hirshberg | located in Conversations | Comments off | trackback

I’m at the Aspen Ideas Festival working with the Aspen Institute and our Conversation Group team on a project to get great swaths of Ideas Festival attendees and speakers to tweet the festival and thus share the conversation broadly. The Festival hits many broad topics— Media, Environment, Health Care, Science, International Relations— of interest to many on line communities, and thus a real opportunity make this event more open and globally engaging than it has been before.

On Tuesday at 4:00 PM I’ll be giving a Tweetorial with Jeff Jarvis to share the hows and whys of Twitter. Whats great about the Aspen community is they’ve all heard about Twtitter, see how its changing politics, news, brands, conferences… so there is a lot of interest in learning how to do it. And getting such a smart, connected group online really furthers the purpose of the Ideas Festival. We’re also telling everyone to use our hashtag: #aif09

Here’s the message we’re sharing with Festival Attendees:


The Aspen 140

Engaging the World 140 Characters at a Time

The Aspen Ideas Festivals gathers leaders to do the best thing you can do with ideas: share them.  In years past all the action was on campus, aided by media (and bloggers) who reported on what was said. This year we’re adding a new dimension: extending our reach by tapping the community of speakers and attendees to participate in open conversation about the ideas that are generated and shared here. We call this the Open Ideas Project, and the people who will make it happen are The Aspen 140.

How does it work?  The Aspen Ideas Festival is teaming up with The Conversation Group to recruit at least 140 attendees to participate in reporting the Festival using any number of social media tools, and linking and distributing the content via Twitter. The  attached “how to tweet the conference” guide tells how.  The Ideas Festival will present a Tuesday afternoon “tweetorial” with Peter Hirshberg and Jeff Jarvis on the hows and whys of Twitter.  We’ll be aggregating all of the content originating from the Ideas Festival and posting daily a recap (a tweecap”) of the best .

Our request: join Twitter and share your experience of the Ideas Festival. Recruit your friends and speakers. Amp up the conversation.  More than ever tools exist to  weave the Aspen Institute Community into a global conversation. And that’s something each of us can do.

We also wrote a brief “how to tweet guide” which itself looks like a bunch of tweets. Download Aspen Ideas Festival Twitter
Download the pdf , above. Its fun. For those who are bandwidth challenged , the text of the how to guide is below:

The Aspen 12-Step Great Ideas Program

Sharing the Ideas Festival With The World

In 140 Characters or Less Using Twitter

1. Admit there is a higher power: sign up for a free Twitter account:

2. Tweets are (very) short messages: 140 characters or less.

3. Always include #AIF09 in your tweet. That’s our unique Ideas Festival tag

4. Tweet from your laptop, Blackberry, iPhone … or any phone that can text

5. Full how-to instructions at

6. A good format: idea, speaker, where you are. As in an idea from a session:

Now listening to @hirshberg at the Aspen Ideas Tweetorial. What a riot. #aif09

(a quote, the speaker, the conference)

7. Tweet the essence of a session. Memorable quotes. Big ideas

8. Tweet what moves you. What makes sense. What’s bunk

9. Tweet the sessions you’re going to

10. Tweet ideas from your conversations

11. If you blog or upload video, be sure to tweet the link

12. Learn more at the TWEETorial 4:00PM Tuesday, Mcnulty Room, Doerr-Hosier Center

Why all this? Newsies, bloggers, people who follow ideas will see all these thoughts coming from Aspen. They will take note. This will make the Ideas Festival more open, more accessible, and more connected to more people.

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