Live tweeting from this year’s guardian activate summit


I recently attended the Guardian’s Activate Summit at LSO St. Lukes in London, an annual event organised by the publication to promote world-changers who have proven that through the use of technology and the Internet, we can make the world a better place.

Chaired by Kate Russell, reporter at BBC Click, the day-long session included a plethora of keynote interviews and presentations with some of the UK’s most exciting digital entrepreneurs and sharing economy thought leaders.

Personal case studies from Taavet Hinrikus, chairman of disruptive payment transfer startup TransferWise, and Jo Bertram, general manager of rideshare app Uber, gave awesome insight into democratised technologies and collaborative consumption projects that are genuinely innovative and actually solving real-world problems. As a digital native, these discussions were both compelling and inspiring.

As a PR professional, it was a great opportunity to network and also share the stories and the words of wisdom from those on the panel and the moderators (the journalists) in charge.

I spent the day live tweeting the ‘best bits’ from the stories and conversations held and received about 35 interactions in total over the course of the day. These included retweets (mainly from Kate herself), favourites and new followers including journalists in attendance and also the entrepreneurs and spokespeople in the spotlight. Among the top five tweeters at the summit, I’m proud to have contributed to the success of the #GdnActivate hashtag that was trending in the UK throughout Thursday afternoon. They better invite me back next year.


Live tweeting is an occasion for content, but it can also drive content beyond an event. Twitter has become the place where people congregate to dispense with the old, “hey, did you hear?” remark, but as the conversation is always happening it is desirable for brands to be in amongst the action in real-time.

So if you’re a brand with a conference, show or an expected (even unexpected) news event in the pipeline, live tweeting is a great way for you to make your Twitter presence count by engaging with existing fans and getting new fans that might be following your story, on board.

We’re naturally social, but today we have the tools through technology to capitalise on an existing motivation that we couldn’t leverage or take full advantage of before. For me a social media user, it’s never been more important for brands to interact and engage with their social media presence, rather than simply broadcast messages without showing human interest. Live tweeting is a small part of the sharing economy – and might even help keep social media, social!