Audience listening intently to presentations at 140ConfHVIt was my first time. #140confHV (Hudson Valley’s first 140 Characters conference) featured refreshments, resources and the relaxed atmosphere of Hudson Valley businesses. It was an exciting day full of great speakers, great ideas and networking. The day started at Seven21Media Center and finished at Keegan Ales with a relaxed networking after party. But the hours between start and finish were a beautiful blur. Here are some of my thoughts from the day I became a Social Media Speaker.


At a Conference, Social Media Speakers Enter the Time Vortex

I remember arriving. I remember meeting and networking with the event’s early-arriving attendees. And suddenly, I was on stage, talking online communities with fellow #UsGuys. What just HAPPENED to the previous two hours?? Apparently, Speakers enter a sort of time vortex. The mental preparation for speaking a 10-minute session is a long, slow-building process.

#140confHV #Usguys panel

Paul Biederman, Lewis Poretz, Peggy Fitzpatrick, Suanne Shirzay and Jillian Jackson talk online community

The day progressed and as absorbed as I was in each speaker session, my inner time gauge took a complete vacation! As the event live-tweeter & blogger, I was totally immersed in the expert advice and comments crawling down the screen projected on the stage backdrop. It was such a lively conversation at times that the screen refreshed with an entire page of new tweets! At the same time, my mind was working through important points for my own talk. The nerves were trying to drown out everything else, but – my fingers were flying across the keys!

East Coast Earthquake Shook Things Up; Instant Confirmation in 140 Characters

After enjoying a delicious lunch we moved into the afternoon, aglow with amazement at the wealth of information our Speakers had already brought to the table. Our collective “these presentations ROCK!” thoughts manifested in an actual earthquake – proving our Hudson Valley 140 characters conference was indeed ground breaking! The growing force of tweets immediately multiplied, propelling the #140confHV hashtag to a Trending Topic status for a short time.

The messages of so many Social Media speakers was illustrated with complete clarity at that time. During an evacuation and in the confusion, the top priority on everyone’s mind was confirming that it was, in fact a tectonic event. How? By using the most immediate tools at hand: Twitter and text!

In the space of one hour, the earthquake was confirmed, epicenter located, and safety of millions was reported on various news outlets. With the same immediacy, families, friends and business connections were checking in with each other, tweeting messages and visual proof of the event.

Dragons Share personal Stories, Offer Expert Advice & Networking

Three (and a half!) of our Dragons shared personal stories and presentations in the 9.5-hour day of education and inspiration:

Ric Dragon – welcomed conference attendees along with Jeff Pulver, which was a RAD use of other Social Media platform, Skype. Although Jeff was unable to be in the building, he still attended via streaming video!

Claudia D’arcy – Actually supplied a small Dragon (her daughter and young social media master) for a session and her own voice as the day’s MC.

140confHV Sari Eva Julie TMIProject

Sari explains how the TMI Project brings raw emotion & connection through writing

Sari Botton  – A new addition to the DragonSearch team, Sari joined Julie Novak and Eva Tenuto onstage to talk about her involvement in the local TMI project. Check it out on Ustream >>here<<.


140confHV Jillian Jackson Presentation

Jillian Jackson shares a conversation with her #140confHV paudience

Jillian Jackson – That’s right, it’s ME! I had a chat with the audience, illustrating how tweets, chats, tags and posts are all an extension of the very HUMAN interaction each of us craves. You can catch that conversation ABOUT the purpose of using Twitter as a Social & Business medium in the same Ustream segment as Sari.

The day was a whirlwind that I wouldn’t trade for one hundred billion dollars. What was the best part of #140confHV? Everyone who attended, contributed, presented, tweeted, watched on Ustream, and worked behind the scenes to make the event happen. It was my first time, and it couldn’t have been a better introduction to Social Media Speaking.