“Bill Nye never explained science. He got on camera and told the universe how things should work.” -Me

The spinning head in the opening sequence was created by having Nye wear a green spandex suit in front of a green screen and kneel on a spinning office chair.

May 21 I got a chance to listen to Bill Nye speak. Yes, the Science Guy. He knows a lot. The Ohio Union Activities Board in conjunction with a few engineering clubs at Ohio State brought him here and gave out free tickets to students. Quite the deal.

I wasn’t just there to hear him speak, though. I went to live-tweet the event. I arrived 40 minutes early, and rude people already took the good seats. I say rude because they didn’t save one for me. While waiting for the man of the hour, I began tweeting a few random thoughts to build up to the show. I thanked OUAB, tweeted that quote at the top, and mentioned some facts about Nye. You can find cool information on his Wikipedia page and the page for his show.

He spoke about many things from space missions to the energy crisis and made-up words and sundials. I tweeted. Alone.

Well, not completely alone. Using the hashtag #OUABillNye (created by OUAB for the event), I encountered 6 other people who were tweeting. Live-tweeting did not prove itself to be an effective way to connect with others. I was retweeted twice, others were retweeted sometimes and none of us interacted beyond that.

Maybe OUAB didn’t promote tweeting during the event enough for people to get involved. I think social media is limited to the same rules as face-to-face social interaction. If you don’t know someone, you’re not likely to get involved in a conversation with that person. Social media will cause more interactions like that than face-to-face because you can hear everybody, not just the people five feet away, but I believe human nature limits its effectiveness.

Another rule of social interaction is that scientists aren’t very good at it. A lot of science majors went to hear him speak.

Not many people followed me, either. Granted, I don’t have many followers on Twitter, but the few I have said they weren’t paying attention throughout the event. For live-tweeting to work, it needs lots of hype, but I still didn’t find it very effective, just trendy.

What do you think about live-tweeting? Does it work? Let me know in a comment. Also, follow me on Twitter so that sad little birdy can smile again. While you’re at it, click the button on the right side of the home page to follow my blog. And this link lets you check out some other cool posts that have happened or are coming soon.

Peace. -Matt


I recently attended my first Tweetchat. Thanks to the guys who run #InfluenceChat for a wonderful discussion yesterday. The topic: what starts a trend?

First, we framed the discussion. We focused on why and how things become popular and what keeps them popular. People threw around a lot of ideas. The overriding thought was that trends tend to spread by one person influencing another person who influences another, etc. It’s not necessarily that one person can influence millions of people unless their sphere is large enough.

Personally, I linked trending to a mob mentality. If an idea carries some stigma, positive or negative, it has the ability to trend. One person latches on, and soon enough everyone joins the wagon train without really knowing why. They might say, “Because it’s cool,” but being cool is really only a measure of how trendy something is in the first place.

Interestingly enough, Twitter (the actual web service) marked our hashtag, #InfluenceChat, as one of the trending topics during the hour of our conversation.

Our blossoming influence

We posted 467 tweets. These 467 tweets reached over 147,000 people through our contributors’ networks. They left more than 1.4 million impressions. Not bad for a day’s work! If you’re interested in more stats or some of our discussion, check out the transcript.

About #InfluenceChat

Just a quick note about the wonderful tweetchat I attended: it’s a chat about social media and other business marketing whatnots. They talk about how these methods influence the public sphere. It’s pretty interesting stuff. They meet every other Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m., and the next gathering of minds is May 15. I encourage everyone to check it out.

If you know of any interesting discussion groups on Twitter, let everyone know about it in the comments below. I, for example, believe I am an interesting discussion, and you should follow me on Twitter @IllusionOfMatt if you aren’t already. While you’re clicking random things, click that button on the right under “Follow Blog via Email.” Until next time!

Peace. ~Matt