Headed to NYC to #OccupyWallStreet, or to a local #Occupy event near you? Don't just attend, tweet. Twitter has become a key source for information for millions of people, organizations, and even the news media, and your tweets can help drive attention and debate. The following are some tips I've found useful for live-tweeting protests, rallies, and other public events:
- Take plenty of pictures. Look for moments that personalize the event such as a funny sign, a family protesting together, musical instruments, or interesting vignettes. Caption your photos to let your followers know what they're likely to see when they click.
- Don't worry about covering everything. Instead, focus on what you're experiencing at the event.
- Promote the work of your fellow live-tweeters. Retweet often, and create Twitter lists for others to follow.
- Stay with the trends. Respect the hashtags being used by your fellow tweeters and be aware that they sometimes change or evolve.
- Stay charged. If you can, carry a laptop or netbook and leave your phone plugged in via USB. Depending on your computer and your phone, this can give you up to 18 hours of power.
- Have a backup. Set up your phone so that you can tweet via SMS message. This will be a lifesaver when the network slows or shuts down.
Remember that no one is going to tell your story as well as you do. Don't let Fox News have their say until you've had yours.
Have a tip for folks at #Occupy events? Share it in the comments!
Melissa Ryan is the New Media Director at NOI, and spends an unhealthy amount of her downtime tweeting @MelissaRyan. She live-tweeted the first 30 days of the #WIunion protests in Wisconsin.