Twitter140: They Drew a Cartoon of Me

My trip to New York City to speak at the Twitter140 Conference in June, 2009 was one of the most fun experiences I have had in my years of working in social media. I had recently started my job at Village Voice Media at the time, and was sent to represent the company in the Big Apple. What would I talk about? The effect Twitter was having on newspapers and journalism at the time. There was a lot to consider and to say.

This already looked like a bit of a pressure-cooker, but the excitement mounted when I learned who I would be speaking on a panel with; Etan Horowitz, tech writer at the Orlando Sentinel, Patrick LaForge, the Director of the Copy Desks at the New York Times and Peter A. McKay, a writer at the Wall Street Journal. To top it all off, we would be moderated by Eric Schonfeld, the co-editor at TechCrunch. Here we are represented in cartoon form. That’s right, cartoon form.


This artist Jonny Goldstein had a great idea. He would encapsulate what was discussed by each panelist, on each panel, throughout the conference, through cartoons. I had never been a cartoon character before so I was pretty thrilled afterward. His Flickr Photostream shows dozens of other panels and what speakers talked about.

So the morning of the conference, my buddy Alexia Tsotsis and I talked about what I would say, grabbed breakfast and got pumped for the panel. She was so inspirational and helpful. Once the panel started, the other speakers and I talked about how we managed our respective Twitter followings, how news crews had begun to use Twitter and other ways the social media service had changed journalism. It went great and I felt I held my own with the panelists. Here’s the video.

I have to say I was happy to have my own cheering section, lead by the aforementioned Alexia. By the way, my favorite panel at the Twitter140 conference that time around was the fiery argument between NBC news anchor Ann Curry and a CNN producer about foreign news coverage among the networks, and how Twitter was hurting or helping that. This controversy centered chiefly around CNN usage of Twitter with regard to the Iranian election protests at the time. I was impressed because Curry’s knowledge and understanding of Twitter was extensive. She was also very nice when I talked to her after.

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