FAQ – The Whats and Hows of a Twitter Conference

What is a Twitter Conference?
A Twitter conference is a social media event that occurs from the comfort of your desk/sofa/bed/bus/whatever. This event is meant to bring together public archaeologists from around the world in an online setting to encourage communication and collaboration, which also happens to be free, easy to follow and allows for multi-stranded communications, without the hassle of flights, accommodation and canapés.

How do you participate in a Twitter Conference?
All you need is a Twitter account (that’s your @joebloggs name). You can sign up for one these very easily at https://www.twitter.com if you are not there already. After getting a Twitter profile, you only need to search for the hashtag #PATC5 (Public Archaeology Twitter Conference 5) to see all posts that are related to the conference. If you are interested in “spectating only”, you can follow the hashtag online, but you won’t be able to interact without a Twitter account. If you don’t have a Twitter account or don’t know how to use Twitter (or are not confident doing so), we will provide support materials and signpost ‘how-to’ guides online, so no one is excluded as far as possible.

How much time am I expected to spend on this if I participate?
Presenters will be allocated a time slot during which you are required to present your tweeted conference paper. We do strongly encourage people to interact during the conference using the hashtag as well. It is especially vital that you will be available during your presentation time slot to present and then to answer potential questions you might receive, like at a real conference. After sign up closes we will circulate a list of abstracts and timeslots, so that you can pin point which presentations you might want to ‘see’. If you are unable to be present during your allocated time slot, you can schedule your tweets (using services such as Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or Buffer), so that they get posted automatically without you having to be online – although this means you won’t be able to answer any questions in real time.

What’s this public archaeology conference about? 
Any paper or case study is suitable, as long as it is not offensive, and fits the broad definition of what public archaeology is outlined by Gabe Moshenska in this link. The aim is to make public archaeology information widely available, and to see if this conference would aid professional networking as well as public engagement.