Over the past few years, SHA has built an online presence through the use of social media, and it began within the conference committee. With the addition of the blog, and the society’s developing use of Twitter and Facebook, we want to encourage you all to incorporate social media into your conference experience in Seattle. Since 2012, we’ve been using social media at our conferences, to great success particularly in the past few years. They are a great way to improve your conference experience, while also demonstrating the value of the SHA to archaeology and scholars of the past.
Before the Conference
Using social media before the conference provides a number of opportunities to make your experience in Seattle more enjoyable. Here’s some suggestions:
- Catch Up with What’s Happening: We have a Facebook Page, Conference Event Page, a Twitter Account, and official Twitter Hashtag. Follow and Like Us, and read up on what to expect at the conference!
- Start Communicating: Twitter is a great way to meet other archaeologists. See who is tweeting with the #SHA2015 tag, and start conversations with them!
- Advertise your session by blogging and posting: Do you have a blog? Use it to share your session, the reasons why it is important, where and what time it’s being held. Post it on our Facebook wall and send a tweet with #SHA2015 and @SHA_org mentioned, and we’ll share it with our members!
- Share Your Trip: Let us know what’s happening on your trip to Seattle. Did you find a good travel deal? Need someone to share a ride with from the airport? Delayed? Lost? Send a tweet with the #SHA2015 tag and see if someone can lend a hand.
At the Conference
Once you arrive in Seattle, use @SHA_org and our Facebook page to communicate with the conference committee; we’ll be using it to communicate with you. Here are some things we’ll be using social media for:
What we’ll be doing
- Announcing special events: We’ll send out reminders about events including the awards banquet, student reception and so on, so you don’t miss anything! We’ll also live-tweet and post from the Business Meeting, so those of you leaving early on Saturday can follow along from the train.
- Special Announcements: If something is relocated, delayed, or cancelled, we will announce this via social media.
- Answering Questions: Send your questions to @SHA_org or the Facebook page
- RTing and RePosting: We’ll repost on Facebook and ReTweet on Twitter the things you share on the #SHA2015 hashtag. If you’ve taken a great picture, made an interesting comment in a session, or provided some good information, we want to make sure our followers see it!
What you can do
- Wear a Twitter Sticker: When you collect your conference bag, ask a volunteer for a Twitter Sticker. Then write your Twitter name on it, and stick it to your name badge or wear it separately. This way, other Twitter users will know you Tweet.
- Post YOUR Special Announcements: Has something happened in your session that is delaying things? Have you found a great restaurant or coffee shop you want to share? Spotted your book in the book room? Post these items and we’ll repost them so others can see them.
- Ask Questions: Use Twitter and Facebook to ask questions about the conference. Can’t find a room? Can’t remember what time the Awards Banquet is? Send a tweet to @SHA_org or post on the Facebook wall and we’ll get back to you.
- Take Pictures: we’d love to see and share your pictures from the conference, particularly from the special event.
In A Session
Twitter can be particularly useful when you’re in a session. It provides a backchannel of commentary and discussion, so people who couldn’t attend the session or conference can still follow along. It also gives presenters and chairs a chance to get some feedback on their presentation, and to communicate with the audience – leading to interactions and relationships that might not have occurred otherwise. Here are some tips to maximize the effectiveness, and civility, of Twitter. You can find more hints and tips here.
For Session organizers
- Use a Hashtag: It’s OK with us if you give your session its own hashtag; this way, it is clear what tweets belong to what section. We STRONGLY advise that you also use the #SHA2015 hashtag, so that people following it will see your session as well. Otherwise, it may not be noticed. So, pick something short to save characters!
- Make it Known: Make sure all your presenters know about the hashtag, and that you’d like to use social media during the session. Make sure that the audience knows as well; tell them as you introduce the session. Also, encourage your presenters to include their own Twitter name and the session hashtag on their introduction slide, so that people can use it during their presentation.
- Be Loud: include your Twitter name on your presentation slides, and say something in your introduction about how you’d like to hear feedback on Twitter. If you DON’T want anyone to broadcast your session, make the request at the beginning of your presentation.
- Respond: Be sure to respond to the comments that you get, and build relationships!
- Pay it Forward: Be an active tweeter during the session for your fellow presenters.
For the audience
- Be Respectful: Don’t tweet anything you wouldn’t say to a presenter’s face; Twitter is, in general, a friendly place. Constructive criticism is certainly welcome, but remember you only have 140 characters. It’s probably best to send the presenter a private message saying you’d love to chat about their presentation rather than publicly dig into them. If a presenter requests silence on social media for their presentation, respect it and give your thumbs a rest.
- Introduce your Speaker: It’s courteous to send a tweet out introducing the presenter and their paper topic before starting to tweet their presentation: this gives those following some context.
- Cite: Use the presenter’s Twitter name, surname, or initials in all the following tweets so that their ideas are connected to them. Use quotes if you’re directly quoting someone from their presentation, and be sure to include their name. Remember: these presentations are still the presenter’s intellectual property, so treat it respectfully!
After the Conference
Just because a conference is over, it doesn’t mean the work is done! The same goes for social media; here’s how you can round out your conference experience:
- Write a Summary: Use a blog or Storify to give other archaeologists a glimpse into your experience, session or paper, and see what they missed. This also allows us to gather feedback about the conference so we can make it better next year! Be sure to post it on Twitter, use the #SHA2015 tag, and post on our Facebook page so others can see it!
- Post your Paper: Using a blog or academia.edu to post your paper is a great way to make it available to everyone. Or you could make a video; simply record yourself talking over your slides and upload it to YouTube or Vimeo (read more about this here). Then, share it with us!
- Build your Networks: Build longer lasting relationships by looking up the people you’ve met at the conference on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (oh, we have a LinkedIn Group, too, just for SHA members). If you find them, send them a message saying how nice it was to see them!