— Jenny Neill

Be There Without Being There: How Hashtags Can Save You Money

Conferences can be expensive to attend. First you have to register. Then, for many, you have to pay for travel and hotel. Being at such an event can be a fantastic way to meet like-minded professionals or hobbyists. However, if you are pinching pennies, there are ways to glean tips and information from such meetings without spending money. One is to find out if the conference has an official Twitter hashtag.

I decided not to attend Red Pencil in the Woods hosted by the Northwest Independent Editors Guild today though I’ve been aware of it for weeks. My reasons for this range from wanting to save money to simply needing time to get chores like my weekly laundry done. I’m interested in the speakers and the conversations that are no doubt happening in between sessions. Though I am most certainly losing out on the many benefits of actually being there, I can still pick up a little of the news and wisdom from attendees by searching for the conference hastag, #redpen11, on Twitter.

In fact, I have already peeked at what Tweeters are saying and look forward to reading more. But, the next load of laundry beckons. And, frankly, so does my “read me at the beach” book. Those tweets will still be there for me to read tomorrow or the next day when I have more time to spend on reading them. Thus, I’m off to recharge my mental engines by turning off the computer and folding those clean clothes or maybe taking an afternoon stroll to Alki Beach to enjoy what may be our last day of summer-like weather here in Seattle.