Thank you so much for this this extremely helpful post. My experiences are similar. The times I’ve live-tweeted and just gone with the flow have been *okay* but the times I’ve prepped (at least some) tweets in advance and packaged each one as a little knowledge blob have been substantially better…though as Jane Austen might say, much less like actual live-tweeting. I hesitate to tweet from our institutional account more than once every ~10 minutes or so, though I may be overly conservative.
In either case I’ve found it essential to have the speaker’s[’] PPT and images at the ready and in advance so I can check rights on individual images and seek the speaker’s permission if needed. Sometimes I need to prep images with captions and credits as part of the image canvas — another advance step. And gather relevant links. And check facts. What this all means is that high-quality live-tweeting requires lots of advance prep.
I’m not typically the person handling the mike but I have been the person moderating the backchannel and sourcing Qs on Twitter (+ writing them on index cards to run them to the person with the mike), and have found it very hard to do this while also live-tweeting for content. Of the two, audience encouragement/engagement is for sure more important than having the museum be the Twitter loudmouth.
Just because it’s ridiculous, I will share that one time I tried live-tweeting avec Photoshop, creating NYT-style “pull quote” graphics on the fly. It went semi-okay and allowed me to use longer quotes, but I’m wayyyy too damn slow to make it work.