Yesterday, the San Francisco 140 Characters Conference (#140conf) gathered the emerging social media expert crowd from the Bay Area. The topic of the day was “What the Real Time Web can bring to the World?” The 140 charact

ers conference objective follows Twitter spirit: “One can change the world with one hundred and forty characters.” @Jack (Jack Dorsey, co founder of Twitter). The subjects were diverse: from Agriculture to Telco or Spirituality. I will just highlight some pearls of the conference.

Peter Hirshberg, chairman of the Re-Imagine Group, talked about the Gray Area Foundation For The Arts (GAFFTA) last exposition MIT SENSEable Cities: Exploring Urban Futures. He wanted to demonstrate that Arts can bring a lot to understand technology and its future which is precisely GAFFTA idea. “Visualization can help us realize what’s going on”, stated Hirsberg, taking the example of the NYSE visualization picture exposed at the NYC MOMA.

Dom Sagolla, helped to create Twitter back in 2006, writer of the 140 characters book and more recently founder of the iPhoneDevCamp took the stage to share his tweet per capita invention. According to him, “tweet per capita” answers the question “how to best measure technological and cultural progress”. One funny fact about Twitter: it was first called “Status” internally at Odeo.

Just after, Google and Twitter Geo experts were talking about the future of LBS and last Facebook Places announce. For Leorn Stern from Google New Business Development: “Facebook Places is the mainstreamization of checking”. But the real question about LBS is Local Merchant interaction with customers, something that is the next big opportunity for the Internet players and has been already leveraged by some like Groupon.

Deborah Schultz from Altimeter Group began her “Etiquette in a RT world” speech with a clear statement: “Twitter is blogging on crack” (repeating what she said in the early day of Twitter). “Social media is a teenager figuring out what is elegant” added Schultz mentioning that it was reshaping the social contract between people like nothing else before. Taking the example of the “no device diner” mentioned by Jeff Pulver previously, she explained that it was really hard to figure out what was okay or not to do and there was a growing gap between techies and non techies as well as between generation.

Last but not least, Twitter was also part of the conference with a dedicated panel. Twitter team has grown like crazy in the last two years: from 22 people in early 2009 to 70 in October 2009, 250 people in July 2010 and more than 350 people expected by the end of 2010. They are experimenting a lot of things and said that what was “glue for the people” to stay on Twitter was a good mix between following celebrities, real life friends and some experts from a community and/or hobby.

Update: Twitter list of Speakers at the San Francisco 140 characters conference

Strategic Analyst