BTCon17 Presenter Information

Logo_largeThe 1st Biotweeps Twitter Conference (#BTCon17) will be held on June  28-30, 2017.

We encourage the participation of scientists from as many backgrounds as possible, and welcome presenters of all genders, races, religions, nationalities, sexual orientations, and (dis)ability levels.

Welcome message

Rules for invited presenters (28th & 30th)

  • You must have a Twitter account
  • Presenters are allocated a 30 minute slot (see the schedule) within which time they may tweet as often, or as infrequently as they wish.
  • Every tweet must start with the hashtag #BTCon17 (e.g., #BTCon17)
  • Tweets with the #BTCon17 hashtag will be automatically retweeted by the Biotweeps account for the duration of the conference.
  • Links to extra text (e.g. tweet extensions) are not permitted
  • Pictures, graphs and other media are encouraged

Rules for accepted presenters (29th)

  • You must have a Twitter account
  • Presenters are allocated a maximum of 6 tweets, each a maximum of 140 characters long
  • Every tweet must be numbered (1 – 6) and start with the hashtag #BTCon17 (e.g., 1 #BTCon17)
  • Tweets with the #BTCon17 hashtag will be automatically retweeted by the Biotweeps account for the duration of the conference.
  • Presentations should start with an introductory tweet, follow by 4 tweets describing methods and results, and end with a summary tweet
  • Links to extra text (e.g. tweet extensions) are not permitted
  • Pictures, graphs and other media are encouraged


  • You will be given a time slot in which to tweet your research which will be determined based on your geographic location. Ensure you give us your time zone information during the sign up.
  • It is preferable that you are available online during your time slot, for presenting and answering potential questions or discussion points.
  • Draft your tweets ahead of time in order to avoid issues during the event.
  • Make sure your account is not private and your tweets are not protected, otherwise we will be unable to see them.
  • Follow the event with hashtag #BTCon17 and/or on the Biotweeps feed @biotweeps.
  • Discussion and questions are encouraged. When asking a question, please reply to the individual using their handle (e.g., @biotweeps), thus creating a thread which can be read by other users, and use the hashtag ##BTCon17. (e.g., @biotweeps #BTCon17 How easy is it to use Twitter to participate in this great event?).

An Example Presentation for accepted presenters

  1. #BTCon17 Invasive species are a severe threat to biodiversity, particularly on islands. Are brown hares a threat to Irish hares? [Photo of hares]
  2. #BTCon17 In 2014-15 we investigated the impact of brown hares on Irish hares via camera traps, distance sampling and population models.
  3. #BTCon17 We recorded over 250 observations of hares, with both species occurring in sympatry and allopatry. [Image]
  4. #BTCon17 Brown hares occur at higher densities in the core invasive range than do the native species in allopatric areas. [Image]
  5. #BTCon17 Population models showed that brown hares have displaced Irish hares from core habitat and are expanding their range.
  6. #BTCon17 Management processes should seek to mitigate the impact of brown hares and support the recovery of Irish hares. [Infographic]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What is a Twitter Conference?
    A Twitter conference is a social media event that occurs from wherever you might be currently seated. This event is brings together biologists and interested non-biologists from around the world to encourage communication and collaboration in an online setting.
  • How do you participate in a Twitter Conference?
    All you need is a Twitter account and handle (e.g. @biotweeps). You can obtain one of these very easily at After getting a twitter profile, you only need to search for the hashtag #BTCon17 and/or follow Biotweeps to see all posts that are related to the conference. While it is straightforward to spectate only, without a Twitter account, we recommend setting up an account to get the most out of the conference.
  • How much time am I expected to spend on this if I participate?
    After the registration closes, everyone will be allocated a 15 minute time slot in which they are required to present their 6 tweets. These will be allocated in relation to local timezones, so it is vital that you provide this information accurately. We do strongly encourage people to interact during the conference – it is vital that presenters be available during their presentation time slots to present and then to answer potential questions, just like at a real conference. We will circulate a schedule and list of abstracts, so that you can pinpoint which presentations you might want to catch. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, you are unable to be present during your allocated time slot, you can schedule your tweets (using services such as Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or Buffer), so that they get posted automatically without you having to be online.
  • But what if I don’t know how to use Twitter?
    There are many guides on how to use Twitter online, for example this guide by  the British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU): Also check out this video to help you get started with Twitter:

Tips and tricks

  • Follow others
    If you are new to twitter, follow some of the larger scientist groups to catch a glimpse of how you can tweet to reach out with your work and to connect with other researchers. For instance, the main @biotweeps account.
  • Space out your tweets, but not too much!
    You get 15 minutes to present your 6 tweets. Our advice is to tweet one per minute or similar, which will then allow some time for questions or comments.
  • Get organised!
    Tweetdeck and other platforms allow you follow many feeds simultaneously. For example you can set up threads to just show tweets which contain certain tags such as #BTCon17. If you want to make sure you see all the tweets from the participants during the conference you can subscribe to the main Biotweeps account (@biotweeps) and set it up as a feed in Tweetdeck. Alternatively, make your own twitter list of users which you specifically want to get tweets from.
  • Follow topic-specific presentations
    When we introduce talks we will take care to use the appropriate topic tags as shown in the abstract index. This makes it easy for you to follow presentations of particular interest, but note that it will most likely only be the introductory tweet to a presentation which will contain the topic tag.
  • Get creative!
    The strict character limit forces you to be creative with how you present your work. Use graphs, photographs or infographics to get people’s attention.
  • Links
    Most academics on Twitter would rarely tweet anything without a link. Your presentation is a great opportunity to showcase a recent publication or poster; a bit of shameless self promotion never hurt anyone!
  • Interact
    If you are interacting with other participants (asking questions, commenting or retweeting), then they are more likely to pay attention to your presentation too. Maybe spend a few minutes looking through the conference manual and noting which presentations you would like to see. Each session is separated by a 15-30 minute break, so if you didn’t manage to comment or ask during someone’s session, please use this break time, and remember to use the #BTCon17 hashtag to allow others to see and join the conversation!


Get in touch via Twitter or email.

Biotweeps: (
Dr. Anthony Caravaggi (@thonoir)
Dr. Katherine James (@KJames IntBio)

We are extremely grateful to Natalie Downe (@natbat) for her work in programming the retweeting of conference-related tweets from the @biotweeps account.


Chameleon vector created by Freepik.