As we said last April, we’re not going to be providing live tweeting or open threads. We will, however, provide in-depth analysis and historical context, as well as provide an opportunity to discuss the ideas raised during the talks. Why are we doing this? A few reasons, all linked to the notion that General Conference is a sacred time.
First, if we’re providing live coverage, it comes at a personal cost. Livetweeting an event is not the same as paying attention to an event. Yes, there is a journalistic aspect that is important, but it means that those involved cannot take the time to appreciate the spirit of the conference. Fast-pace tweeting and live threads are enjoyable to read, yes, but in our experience they come at the expense of witnessing the Spirit.
Second, if we’re providing live coverage, it detracts from the event. As an example, Elder Scott’s funeral was earlier this week and a number of outlets provided live coverage and play-by-play tweets. This had value for those who could not attend, but if you are trying to watch and witness a spiritual event while simultaneously tracking your twitter feed, you’re just not paying attention.
Third, General Conference can be polarizing. We have no interest in speaking ill of the Lord’s anointed. Open threads and tweet fests can swiftly degrade into jibes at the speakers or mockery of their ideas. At BCC we appeal to a broad audience of belief, but it boils down to: if you’re into Conference, then pay attention to it. If you’re not into Conference, then don’t mind it. But a live thread takes away from the audience on either side — either it detracts from your attention, or it sucks you into arguments you don’t need to have.
Look, we get a lot of traffic during Conference. Conference weekends are our biggest weekends of the year. We’d LOVE that traffic! But we’d rather be in a place to listen to Conference and thoroughly experience it. So, we’ll deliver some prompt, insightful and engaging discussion, but while the sessions are on we’re going to be watching. We hope you’ll watch with us.