For my folks who don’t follow Twitter closely, you may not know about the 140 Character Conferences. #140conf are a series of events that have been held in various parts of the United States and a few foreign countries. The #140conf events “provide a platform for the worldwide twitter community to: listen, connect, share and engage with each other, while collectively exploring the effects of the emerging real-time internet on business.”
The creator of #140conf is Jeff Pulver, a New Yorker. And in keeping with the norm, major cities and technology centers were the first to host events. It was events in Los Angeles and San Francisco that got my attention as friends Jeff Fowle & Ray Prock preesnted and I watched the live feeds. (Some of you who read the blog regularly may remember how the #140confLA event prompted my blog post on the potential for farmers meeting Chamillionaire.) Those unexpected interactions are exactly the sort of thing that #140conf can accomplish — hear Jeff talk a bit about them in this video.
By now, some of you are probably shaking your head and wondering why the title is about small towns. Well, last year the first #140conf Small Town was held in Hutchisnon, KS thanks in part to Becky McCray and Cody Heitschmidt. I watched quite a bit of the feed that day and kept thinking how much energy there was there for small towns. This year I didn’t want to miss learning & hopefully contributing so I took the plunge and put in a proposal for the second #140conf Small Town (September 20, 2011 in Hutchinson). Today I got the email saying it was accepted.
While I haven’t had a chance to see who all are on the agenda, the beauty of these events is the diversity of ideas brought forward. I found the discussion gets to the topics of agriculture, rural development, small business, advertising, music, education and far more! To think that I can participate in those discussions, presenting some of the things I’ve come to understand through using Twitter as JPlovesCOTTON… well that’s awesome. And other farming friends will be there as well — I know Katie Pinke is in too thanks to Twitter. No doubt other familiar faces & faces behind the avatars are going to be there too!
I am already looking forward to connecting with people with a shared passion for small town America. And what’s really cool…. I’ll be connecting to more of the #140conf globally…. heck, this week alone I stumbled on a familiar name in Jeff’s timeline. Immediately transported me back to the days of living in White Plains, NY and visiting friends in Mt. Vernon for a brew party or two. A friend of a friend who had been to a New York event and at the event I’ll be meeting folks who live within a few miles of where I went to college in Enid, OK. I am quickly reminded how small the world is thanks to social media.
Amazing how quickly a conference is having an impact…. and its more than a month away. That should be plenty of reason for you to add your face to those gathering at the Historic Fox Theater in just over a month! If you are interested in registering… I’ll be glad to point you along the way!