I find it more and more difficult to attend a conference without the assistance of Twitter. It allows me to quickly get a feel for the room. The quotes that landed well with people, what they disagree with, the interesting side stories of the day. I've often thought the Twitter Search function lacks much of what I wish it could do/should do. How would Q & A sessions be improved if Twitter was used to crowd source the questions (or the answers for that matter)? This idea, of course, can be applied more broadly and is not just relevant to conferences. Analyzing tweets based on #hashtags, instant polls of crowds - How would our world change if this data was put to use?
Now this may be considered a bad example (in every way) of what I mean, but let's take a look at some of the most occurring @mentions in Tweets that can be related to the Thinc Iowa closing party. One reason I would consider this a bad example is because number of occurrences alone is not very meaningful. But nonetheless, here are the results (in no particular order):
By far the most @mentions
@thinciowa - makes sense :-)
@8en (interesting to see the common misspellings of his user name...)
The "Startups" (what about the "corporations" :-)
and The Ink
Some other interesting/commonly tweeted words:
"Des" - which was tweeted more often than "Moines"...