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Twitter Helps Draw Record Participation at RDC Conference

12/03/09

Innovative use of a new micro-blogging application combined with Twitter functions, successfully increased participation at the Resource Development Council ‘s (RDC) annual conference, says Jason Brune, Executive Director RDC. It also highlights the fact that the digital technology is helping to inspire technologically savvy Alaskans, including many young people, to participate in the resource development process.
Brune says it is important that State resource development brings together wide-ranging views, and it is vital that we engage more Alaskans as part of that process. “Using digital technology and social media tools are helping us to involve more technologically savvy Alaskans in RDC’s business, and helping them to participate in a way that makes sense for them,” he said.

The application that Brune specifically refers, is a micro-blogging technology designed to track speaker sessions with live updates posted directly to the RDC’s website. Micro-blogging can be described as posting short messages, in real-time, to the web. Further, by using a Twitter account associated with the live update micro-blog, participants also commented on the presentation in real time, with their comments showing on the live feed.

The main benefit of the technology was that it allowed anyone with an internet connection to join in and follow along with each session - in real-time - from wherever they were.
The website’s live update section was accessed 155 times over the conference, extending conference participation by more than 15 percent. Brune says that according to conference feedback sent to all delegates nearly 60% of attendees either used the micro-blogging technology during the conference or said they were likely to in the future.

RDC Board member Scott Thorson, who used the application during the conference, said that for RDC’s first attempt at applying the technology the result was “awesome”. “People at the conference really got what we were doing and enthusiastically supported it,” he said.

AadlandFlint, the digital communications agency behind bringing the technology to Alaska, sees the application as a natural progression from instant messaging and live-streaming. Colin Clarke, AadlandFlint’s senior digital strategist says the application provides an excellent example of how social media is proving instrumental in bringing people together to achieve business objectives.

Clarke says that RDC ‘s objectives are clear - to encourage responsible development of resources in Alaska. And as such they are great advocates for transparency in issues, position and communication.
“This is evident by their support for new digital tools such as the micro-blog to strengthen communications and dialogue with their audiences. They are setting a new standard for communications transparency among Alaska business by adopting digital tools. We are pleased to help guide the RDC through adoption and implementation for the benefit of their members and stakeholders throughout Alaska,” Clarke said.

The RDC’s use of the application marked the first time that micro-blogging has been used in Alaska as a conference tool. Brune said the RDC is pleased to have led this State first application and would be looking at opportunities to use similar technology in the future to keep its members informed and engaged.

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