Could we run a twitter poster session?

I’ve been enjoying following the mega-meetup-12k-scientist-strong EGU conference via the hashtag #EGU15. In particular, people are tweeting pictures of and links to their posters, as adverts for other scientists that happen to be on twitter.

This got me to thinking: could we use twitter to run an online-only poster session?

I really like poster sessions – it’s a useful way of getting some pretty focused feedback on your work, it’s more informal and relaxed than a talk, and there is usually less ego in the questions because there isn’t an audience. Communication is primarily visual, which suits me fine, and you need to think hard about distilling your work down to the core elements if you want to capture someone’s attention.

As someone attending a poster session, there is usually a large choice, which can be difficult to get round but increases the chances that you’ll come across something interesting. There is a lower probability that you’ll end up “in the wrong talk”, as you can do a quick scan and move on if it isn’t what you thought.

What would a twitter poster session look like? I think the main objective would be to reproduce the useful elements of a poster session, rather than try and replicate it exactly.

Maybe you’d have a day of posters on a certain subject, with the author tweeting the main results, and committing to a specific hour or so of answering questions. Thorwald suggested storifying the discussion, which seems like a pretty neat way of preserving interesting feedback.

After a quick google, I find that #RSCAnalyticalPoster got there first, and pretty successfully by the look of things.

Feel free to make suggestions for a twitter poster session in the comments, or tweet me @dougmcneall




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