TABPI Twitterfest

By Paul Heney

Last October, TABPI, ASBPE’s international partner organization, launched a creative new way to use Twitter. Deemed TABPI Twitterfest, this two-day event brought together a multitude of B2B editors from the U.S., the U.K., South Africa, Australia, and other countries, to chat about current editorial topics.

I’m happy to announce that the second TABPI Twitterfest will be held from Feb. 18-19.

What is TABPI Twitterfest? It’s similar to an open chatroom, where B2B editors across the globe can talk about issues and ask questions. We’ll be focusing on one primary topic for this TABPI Twitterfest: How do you manage the separation of church and state (editorial and sales) in new media? Do you treat online content as having the same rules? What about webinars? How about in-person roundtables or conferences? Are the rules the same, or is there more leeway off the printed page? If you feel pressure from the sales side, how do you counter it?

You can participate in several ways:

1. Join Twitter and post Tweets on Feb. 18 and 19. These 140-character messages must contain #tabpi in order to be a part of Tweetfest, and other editors around the world will see your Tweets.

2. Point your browser to www.tabpi.org, where we’ll have a widget with the live feed from Twitterfest. You can also go to search.twitter.com/search?q=tabpi and watch what other editors worldwide are talking about.

3. After watching online what others are saying, you can also join in on the conversation at any time. While we’re encouraging editors to talk about the main topic, you’re free to discuss other B2B topics that might come up.

The first Twitterfest featured nearly 200 Tweets from around the globe, and many more people simply watching the activity.

We understand that time zones across the globe make things a little more difficult for an event like this, hence the two-day window. All editors are encouraged to start Tweeting with #tabpi in the Tweet starting on Thursday morning, the 18th, when they arrive at work.

The main goal of TABPI Twitterfest is starting dialogue and exchanging ideas between editors in far-flung geographic areas. But a very important secondary goal is to give B2B editors an opportunity to try out Twitter in a friendly, non-threatening environment, to see how it works, to determine if there is anything that might translate to their publication’s industry.

As journalists, we should be willing to step outside our comfort zones and see what the readers of tomorrow are doing. I hope you’ll consider participating, and look forward to seeing your Tweets on Feb. 18.

Paul is the president of the TABPI and past president of the ASBPE.

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