The Third Annual State of Now (formerly the 140 Characters Conference) SmallTown was held in Hutchinson, Kansas, November 8, 2012.
What is 140 Conf or State of Now?
Originally called the 140 Characters Conference, aka #140conf, the State of Now takes online interaction and turns it into an in person conference. The State of NOW is made up of immediate communication tools like Twitter, Google +, Facebook and many others. The 140conf explores how the State of NOW is disrupting business, education, agriculture, media, celebrity, music, politics, public safety, and our culture.
Presentations are 10 or 15 minutes long, and PowerPoint is not allowed. Much like a Twitter message, speakers have to get to the point.
It’s not a how-to conference. It’s an idea conference.
“Rather than leaving with a bunch of tips, tools, and systems, I left with a bunch of ideas, concepts, and connections,” 2010 attendee and speaker Scott Wendling said.
It’s about serendipity, more than business cards. It’s about the hybrid vigor of ideas that happens when people from different industries or different worlds get together and come up with something new.
- 38 speakers, 214 attendees in 2010
- 4th largest of the ten 140 Conferences held that year
- 12 states were represented in 2010, 18 states in 2011 plus Portugal and Canada, 20 states in 2012 plus Canada
- 7gb of data were generated by tweets, photos, and posts across the wifi network in the first 30 minutes of the conference
- 2,376 people viewed the live stream, for an average of 40 minutes each
- 15,761 views of the recorded presentation videos have occurred over the past year
Who is Jeff Pulver?
Jeff Pulver is kid who loves ham radio, all grown up. He’s a technology entrepreneur, best known to most people as a co-founder of Vonage, a voice over IP service. The Federal Communications Commission knows him as the author of the Pulver Order, the first rule adopted by the FCC about voice over IP. By 2003, BusinessWeek had named him a Tech Guru.
In 2009, he came up with the idea of bringing together 140 characters from Twitter for a real-world event. He made that happen by June 2009, with the first 140 Characters Conference in New York City. In 2010, Pulver traveled the world holding 140 Conference events in San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Washington DC, New York City, Austin, Barcelona, Detroit, Los Angeles, Boston and Hutchinson.
For 2011, Pulver chose not to travel as extensively for the 140conf. He allowed licensing of the 140Conf name for local events. While there are now many local 140conf events, SmallTown in Hutchinson is one of the few that Pulver remains personally involved with.
Pulver said he sees the New York City 140 Conference as the global event covering all topics and all locations, the local events as focused on a particular geographic area, and the Hutchinson event as the global event for Small Towns.
In 2006, Pulver made friends online with Becky McCray, an entrepreneur from Alva, Oklahoma. She attended the first 140 Conference in New York City, and Pulver invited her to speak at the London 140conf. She did, and she helped bring other small business speakers to 140 Conference events that year. In 2010, she openly encouraged (OK, teased) Pulver to take a 140 event outside of major metropolitan areas. He agreed, and they started looking for a location. They planned the entire event in 90 days with just one phone call, organizing the rest of the details online.
Hutchinson was in the running because of blogger tour held in 2009, put together by local resident Cody Heitschmidt and many others. The core of excited volunteers at Hutchinson sealed the deal, and the 2010 event was held in the historic Fox Theatre.
- Oklahoma Horizon TV
- KAKE TV: Hutchinson Hosts First Small Town Social Media Conference
- Forbes, TJ McCue: State of Now in Small Towns #140 Twitter Conference
- PCMA Convene: Small-Town, Not Small-Time
- CityCode Financial: “Small Town Social Media Conference” Held in Hutchinson
- High Plains Journal: Conference shares small-town ideas in 10 minutes and 140 characters or less
- Kansas Magazine names #140conf one of 20 Things We Love About Kansas, Fall 2011. Photo of story. Tweet from @KansasMag.
- FarmTalk Newspaper: Advocating for ag through social media
- Wichita Business Journal
- The Hutchinson News
Photos and posts by 140 Conf Attendees
Looking for first hand reports and views of attendees in their own words? Check the Buzz page for photos, videos, and posts about the 140conf in 2010 and 2011.
For questions about the State of NOW/140 Characters Conference SmallTown, contact Becky McCray 580-609-0123 email@example.com or Jeff Pulver firstname.lastname@example.org
Media passes are available. Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org