Quality of conference presentations could be affected by social media

A new pilot study into the impact of Twitter on conferences suggests that social media may impact on quality of presentations as speakers receive real-time feedback.

The study resulted from collaboration between a group of doctors with a strong interest in Social Media and was brought together by Dr Damian Roland (pictured) from the Sapphire Group in the Department of Health Sciences at the University and the Paediatric Emergency Medicine Leicester Academic Group at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The study of tweets from the medical conference found that the majority of tweets were accurate - but some were not and misrepresented what the speaker had said. Indeed, in isolation, they could be seen to harm the speaker’s reputation.

Dr Roland said: “Dissonance between the intended message and its translation via a tweet likely exists due to a number of factors related to the presenter, the tweeter or the technology.

“One potential cause is the quality of the presentation and the clarity with which messages are presented. Tweeters themselves may consciously or subconsciously phrase the message to achieve greater impact for their followers, an approach which could be viewed as sensationalism in some circumstances."