Moderating Audience questions from social media to be answered by panel
December 12, 2016 10:18 AM   Subscribe

Tonight I'll be the middleman between 1000+ audience members who are asking questions via social media, and folks moderating a panel. Thoughts on tools or tips for success?

Current plan is filtering out the noise that will be coming in via the facebook event page and the twitter hashtag feed.

Then - translating the good questions to a google doc. Google doc will be visible to moderators and the questions posed to live panel. Live panel will not see the questions or the google doc; moderators will only see the google doc of questions. In other words, we're not tweeting back answers to these questions - they'll be asked and responded to verbally by the moderator and panelist(s) respectively.

I anticipate there will be a thousand onsite asking questions, and as many watching remotely. The volume of noise/questions will be high.

There is no budget to speak of, so paid apps are sub-optimal.

What has worked for you, what did not go well, where were your bottlenecks?
posted by enfa to Technology (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've done something similar--reading through a Twitter hashtag used by 200+ people and then sharing select insights with the group. I'd planned on faving tweets of interest then reading through them with a saved search that would bring up just my faves with that hashtag. It was an okay plan but too harried in the moment. I ended up taking screenshots of good ones on my phone and working from my camera album instead. (We were also planning on displaying a tweet feed but the free site we were using for that quit working in the moment. Mildly embarassing.)

I hope you'll be using a laptop you're familiar with and that you have quick fingers for copy and paste. Maybe even a mouse and desk.

You might consider doing screenshots and putting them in an album the moderators can peruse? The Google Doc would probably be easier for them--it all depends on what device(s) they'll be using to read from.

Will you be paraphrasing any of the questions or will you leave that to the moderators? (It seems like it would be best to leave that to the moderators imo.)

There's also the slim chance that you might run into technical difficulties (the internet is too slow at your location, Google Docs crashes, Facebook locks you out... idk)--the point is have a backup plan. Even if that's just a list of questions pre-prepared to ask them if no one in the audience has questions or no questions are getting through.
posted by purple_bird at 10:35 AM on December 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm not sure if this will be relevant in your situation, but whenever I watch debates that are town hall style or with viewer-submitted questions, I hate how much time is wasted on things that are neither questions nor answers.

"Hi, I'm John Doe, and I live in this little town outside Milwaukee and my family has worked for this carrier-owned company for 3 generations. Now that plant is closing and 700 people in my town are losing their jobs. It doesn't seem fair that one plant was saved and ours was not. Why wasn't this company included in the carrier deal and what would you do differently in the future when negotiating trying to keeps jobs in small working class towns?" (82 words)

As opposed to "What will you do in the future to keep jobs in small working class towns?" (15 words).

Please, cut the introductory crap. Cut the mini-bio of the question asker. Even cut the name of the question asker if you can. Just ask the question directly.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:58 AM on December 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I think this is a good plan. Agree with If I only had a penguin that you should do light editing to make the questions cleaner. I do like keeping the names in there if possible, people love hearing their names, and it makes it seem a little more "real" since you're not hearing the actual person asking the question. I moderate webinars and I always have to clean up people's questions before submitting them to the hosts.

Also, totally agree with purple_bird that having pre-prepared questions is a good idea. Actually, I'd suggest asking people to submit questions ahead of time and then using some of them. That gives you time to clean them up, precludes any technical difficulties, and ensures you have some pre-approved questions.
posted by radioamy at 11:14 AM on December 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Consider having one person watch each channel, then pool the questions in a shared doc.

If you take questions throughout the event you may run into phrasing that is indecipherable out of context--may want to group questions by when they came in, in that case. Set up a template in advance, based on your agenda. Or make a template based on question types or categories helpful for the moderators.

I anticipate you may get people asking similar questions, which you or the moderators have to filter out.

I wonder if IFTTT would be able to capture tweets in a Google Sheet quickly enough for your purposes. Ideally you'd try this out before relying on it. In the sheet you can use formatting or custom columns to mark the questions you like.

How exactly are people getting the questions to you? If you really anticipate hundreds of questions, make the Twitter hashtag different than the one you use for the event generally (but, you know, related). On FB, designate one post as the question place.

Or, make them all go to a Google form or Typeform to submit their question.
posted by ramenopres at 2:11 PM on December 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

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