A Great (Twitter) Idea that Failed

Some may wonder why I didn’t do the planned live-tweeting or even the tweetups that I had hoped to do during the CCCC. Even blogging was lighter than usual. Here’s why and here’s the flaw for all of this: none of this connective/social media works without good reception or accessibility, and neither were available in San Francisco’s Civic Center area, where the Hilton and our conference was.

Some of this was unavoidable, although I would think that the scatty iPhone reception in this area would be downright embarrassing to hometown company Apple, who must do some business in city center. Granted, Apple and AT&T are not the same company but still, Apple chose this company and this was the first time I ever went for long stretches without being able to reliably receive or send calls. I have full 3G bars in Springfield, Missouri, but at times had zero and no Edge reception in San Francisco. Once again, AT&T, this should embarrass you as a company that a major technology center of the world has such poor service from you. Break out the tin cans and string.

Even more impossible was using Twitter on my iPhone, usually an easy thing to do with Twitterific. My backup for Twitter was my laptop, but I only had wireless in my hotel, not the conference hotel, so taking away phone reception seriously affected my plans for staying connected with my students and sharing the conference as it happened. The few people that I did find at the conference were from tweets I sent from my hotel after hours.

So, instead of catching up on blogging during the Cs or finding new, exciting ways to use Twitter, I went to my panels, sometimes with Harris (Thanks for coming to my panel, Chris! And you blogged it! You never blog!), sometimes on my own. It was still a great conference, but I can’t help but feel that on an alternate timeline, there was an even better conference where we were all connected.

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Author of the poetry collection The Tethered Ground and Professor of English at Missouri State University. Contact me for readings or for workshops on writing/publishing and on teaching writing online.

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