[4 October 08:40am BST Update: last night the Guardian published my article "Live-tweeting at academic conferences: 10 rules of thumb". It can be read here.]
There are very interesting resources out there that can be useful for those interested in academic live-blogging or live-tweeting. My approach comes from an arts and humanities perspective, and other disciplines might have different concerns. Those in the medical sciences, for example, might have to check the research guidelines of their institutions and professional associations before engaging in the live sharing of third-party content. In the arts and humanities we are still catching up with the challenges posed by social media (these challenges are not necessarily exclusive of social media and therefore are not particularly new). Due to the very flexible nature of social media (nothing ever remains the same and things can change very quickly) it is important to be willing to adapt existing resources to specific requirments or circumstances.
Live-blogging is essentially a form of reporting and a way of engaging with real life events and with their reports. It is a form of broadcasting content. It is also a form of research. Guidelines from journalism and research ethics (particularly Internet-Mediated Research) can be very helpful for those working with social media to report academic events as they take place. Academia in the arts and humanities has been relatively slow in the adoption of social media for professional communications and in my view the discussion of issues arising from it shows this, particularly when contrasted with similar discussions in say media or journalism studies. It is in these fields where we can find very interesting resources that we as humanities scholars can adapt to our own settings.
What follows is a quick list of some of the resources I would like to recommend. Obviously there is much more out there. Please note many of the following resources do not specifically refer to arts and humanities academic conference live-tweeting; my suggestion is that there is useful information there we could learn from and adapt to our own needs and purposes.
Twitter Terms of Service <http://twitter.com/tos>
Twitter Guidelines, Best Practices, Policies <http://support.twitter.com/groups/33-report-abuse-or-policy-violations#topic_148>
Knight Digital Media Center Twitter for Journalists Engagement Tutorials <http://multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu/tutorials/twitter/engagement/#>
Minocha, S. and Petre, M. (2012). Handbook of social media for researchers and supervisors <http://www.vitae.ac.uk/policy-practice/567271/Handbook-of-social-media-for-researchers-and-supervisors.html>
Priego, E. (2011). "How Twitter will revolutionise academic research and teaching". Guardian Higher Education Network Learning and Teaching Hub. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/2011/sep/12/twitter-revolutionise-academia-research>
Stempeck, M. "How to Live Blog Events with a Team". MIT Center for Civic Media. <http://civic.mit.edu/blog/mstem/how-to-liveblog-events-with-a-team>