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#BizForum Twitter Debate, 12 Months and Still No Winner

As many of you know, tomorrow (May 2nd, 2012) marks the one year anniversary of #bizforum, Twitter’s first weekly debate. When I created the concept, I had no clue where it would go and certainly wasn’t thinking about a 12 month milestone.

Profile of our anniversary debate topic: The Seven Rs of Modern Day Communication.

#BizForum was created in response to the growing popularity of weekly Twitter Chats that encouraged featured guests or the general public to Tweet responses to a series of questions within a specific topic of interest. I saw a need to go beyond the broadcasting that these formats either encouraged or resulted in. #BizForum was an experiment at first. A debate format that would ask the audience to delve further into both sides of trending business topics such as sales & marketing, customer service, business strategy & leadership, communication and/or social business and get to the heart of WHY we believed what we did.

A debate in 140 characters has had its challenges yet it also forced participants to be laser focused in their commentary in order to convince others that their opinion was right. The combination of limited characters and the agree/disagree response format has encouraged participants to really consider what they’re tweeting instead of simply rehashing pithy one-liners.

There’s no right answer

We’ve always encouraged people to take a stance on one side of the topic and express why they believe in that position. “It Depends” responses are generally frowned upon and met with a “{{{buzz}}}” from myself or one of the regulars. When it seems that there’s too much agreement on a topic, one of the participants (usually me) argues the contrarian opinion to ward off complacency and be sure no stone is left unturned. This has solidified beliefs in some while others began to question long-held theories.

There’s never been a right or wrong answer. No judgements or “winners” are selected. The focus has been on hearing different opinions, experiences and case studies so that we evolve the discourse to the next level.

I’ve been impressed with the incredibly bright group of people that join me every week. We’ve been educated by thousands of participants over the year; some weekly regulars and some that jump in occasionally depending on the topic. The one constant has been the professionalism and respect that everyone displays when debating their opinions and the inclusiveness of the discussion to people from various experiences and knowledge levels. The willingness to debate, share and learn from each other has been a true bright spot in the socialverse for me this past year.

My personal philosophy has always been to “feed your community, not your ego” and this community has exemplified it like no other I’ve been involved with.


LIVE! from New York, it’s #bizforum with @samfiorella, @lttlewys, @fredmcclimans and @jmodio Live Streamed #bizforum with special guest @debweinstein at Strategic Objective’s (@SO_Pr) corporate office in Toronto


Thank You

There are simply too many people to thank for helping me to elevate the business discussion on Twitter. But I would be remiss if I did not include a big Thank You to Brandie McCallum (@lttlewys) who has been with me (even if only in the background) every week to keep me on my toes, alerting me when I’ve missed a comment or simply to slap my forehead when I get to snarky.

And to you.

Regular and semi-regular guests over the past year. I’ve moderated this debate from airports, hotel rooms across the US and Canada, from a ski lodge, countless Starbucks locations, through live video-streaming and even from a pub or two but you’ve always been there on the other end. Simply stated: you’ve inspired me.

I look forward to another year of debate, playing devil’s advocate and yes, {{{buzzing}}} you when you deserve it! :)

Join us tomorrow night for our anniversary debate: The Seven Rs of Modern Day Communication.

Have you participated in a #bizforum debate this year? Share your thoughts below. What are we doing well? What should we improve on?

Sam Fiorella
Feed Your Community, Not Your Ego



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