There has been a lot of talk (twitter) about the value of twitter in conferences - particularly during presentations. In one case disparaging remarks about the speaker were shown on screen while he was speaking. This was also a hot topic on echalk over the last couple of weeks. I Sent the list the following to mull over.
I have seen twitter used well in conferences and very badly in a few others. The trouble is that although very powerful it's very unidirectional in it's scope (both where and what you broadcast), as well as very individual. It's like giving all the loudmouths in the room a bullhorn, and the result is that the majority of people just shut up (don't Tweet).
We need to make it more fun and try an change the behaviour of the crowd so that they want participate.
What is sometimes needed is a more directed and focused system that aggregates responses so that it is useful to both the presenter and the audience.
Another possibility is an Audience Response System from Keepad. Going from an individualised "keepad" (multiple choice) to an "App"(Responseware) on an iphone or laptop (text & multiple choice). It allows your keynote/presenter/workshop facilitator to direct questions or solicit feedback, but aggregate the responses instantly to get a more "majority view". This can help focus the audience on the issues or content rather than presentation style.
This can all be integrated into a PowerPoint/Keynote/PDF/OO/Prezi in both PC and Mac platforms.
By the way, I hope you like the new green theme - It's spring here so I thought it was appropriate.