scottedelman (scottedelman) wrote,

How Twitter Made World Fantasy Con Even Better

As I shared in July, Twitter changed Readercon for me. But who knew that it would affect the recent World Fantasy Con even more?

For those of you still thinking that Twitter is only about us all sharing what we had for breakfast, here are a few specific ways Twitter made my WFC better.

Live audience feedback

I've been on hundreds of panels over the years, and I'm used to judging the mood of the crowd by where it laughs, where it applauds, and where there's just stupefied silence. When I was moderating a panel at the Stokers back in March, I used Twitter to poll the audience for questions and received suggestions from those on the floor as well as around the world.

But this was the first time I ever witnessed ongoing chatter as to which panelist quips audience members felt worthy of sharing with their circles of friend, thanks to updating the #wfc2009 hashtag on my iPhone.

And no, it wasn't distracting. It was fascinating, and made the panel a richer, more complex, more rewarding experience.

Sharing serendipity

About 90 minutes before the awards banquet was to begin, I stepped outside the Fairmont for a moment and overheard a nearby beating of drums. It turned out that a Day of the Dead celebration was taking place across the street from the hotel. I rushed over to watch, and tweeted to all those following the con Twitter feed that the event was going on, hoping that some who might not have otherwise known about the fun would have been able to join in.

In addition, thanks to Twitter, I was able to learn that Ellen Kushner, somewhere in the crowd, was doing the same thing:

After I then tweeted that we were both at the same event, she and Delia Sherman and I found each other and were able to chat for awhile. Here's video I shot of the parade that followed the celebration, BTW:

And even more serendipity

This tweet after the banquet Sunday let me know that Bill Shunn was wandering the second floor of the San Jose Museum of Art at the same time as I was touring the Chuck Close exhibit on first floor:

Due to that tweet, we found each other among the Ansel Adams photos, and were able to continue on together, though that did result in a warning and a wagging finger when Bill tried to snap a picture of me with his iPhone.

And there's more. On Sunday, I ended up having lunch with Mike Willmoth after tweeting my availability. I could go on. But I won't. Because those who know what I mean already know what I mean, and as for those who don't, well, you've probably stopped reading by now anyway.

But I can't wait to tweet my way through my next con, World Horror in Brighton!
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