Today was a first for me: a keynote speaker from Apple asked that no one in the audience transmit or record any parts of his keynote. That is, no blogging or tweeting. I was taken aback. What?!
I wonder what could be the purpose of this request. Is it a copyright issue? Is he worried that if I tweet a thought I have during his talk, someone will steal his idea? Is he trying to control social media?
I went to talk to him at the break. He told me that it’s “Apple Policy”. He said that Apple staff rarely do keynotes, so when they do, they don’t want anyone tweeting or blogging. So instead I tweeted about the request.
First time ever for me: a keynote speaker says don't tweet during my presentation. #OPSOA
— Sue Dunlop (@Dunlop_Sue) April 9, 2015
Others in the session had the same idea:
— Brian Woodland (@brian_woodland) April 9, 2015
In the Twitter exchange that followed, Andrew Campbell asked a great question: First, did OPSOA know that the speaker would not allow tweets, and if so, why did they agree? It’s a fair question that deserves follow up.
Steve Wheeler, Plymouth University Professor and edtech guru, recently published a post “Share Trading” where he talks about the power of freely shared content on the web. Apple seems to have either missed this concept or simply doesn’t believe in it. It’s a shame, because creating a backchannel through Twitter allows for ideas to be shared with those in the room without disrupting the speaker, and for those outside the room to follow the thinking, even if they can’t make it. I know some who use Twitter during keynotes and workshops as a way to take notes and share them out. I’ve always found it useful and pretty cool.
The irony is that the speaker didn’t even say anything new. Sigh.