#ldsconf: Pay attention.

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.

Comments

  1. Good for you. I have found that live-tweeting helps me pay attention, but our brains are wired in many different ways,

  2. John, it helps me pay attention in a note-taking sense, but at the cost of appreciating the spirit in which things are said.

  3. As someone preparing to live tweet a 3+ week trial, I understand the reasons for the choice. I am sure there are plenty of journalists who will be live tweeting, but I still miss live conference threads here.

  4. Clark Goble says:

    GC is polarizing?

  5. Clark: yeah, it sort of is. Not polarizing in the sense of a highly charged political issue, but it does sort of bring out a lot of opinions.

  6. fuddyduddy says:

    Clark: Offhand comments like Elder Packer’s infamous “why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone” can get online arguments going quickly and distract from the broader message.

  7. Perfect.

  8. I sustain this.

  9. Laudable, I appreciate this

  10. Amen.

  11. Anyone know any alternate online hangouts while its live??

  12. I always had mixed feelings about the Conference threads.

    On the one hand, I really liked participating in them.

    On the other hand, I never could shake the nagging guilt that I wasn’t really paying enough attention to the speakers, and the ironic discomfort that I was spending what was supposed to be uplifting family time, arguing with critics of the Brethren.

    I applaud your decision and think it’s probably the correct one.

  13. So nice to hear a legitimate Southern accent.