5 Ways to Track Microsoft Ignite Remotely

The Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida later this month is the largest gathering of Microsoft technology practitioners in the world. The sold out event begins Monday the 25th (yes yes, there are pre-event activities all day on Sunday), and concludes at 2pm on Friday the 29th. If you were not able to get a ticket, or the time off work to attend — don’t worry, there are still ways for you to participate remotely, follow the various announcements, and engage with people on the ground. Yes, there’s Twitter and the #MSIgnite hashtag, as well as countless Facebook and LinkedIn groups, as well as your favorite bloggers and journalists. But there are other ways to aggregate the content and community discussions. I thought it would be helpful to put together a quick list to show you how you can stay plugged in to just about everything happening at Ignite…of any great importance, anyway. Here are my recommendations:

Watch the keynotes

Visit the event site at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/ignite/default.aspx and you’ll be able to see the live stream of all of the major announcements. There will be live streaming happening throughout Day 1, in fact, as well as streams happening from community members, like the team at @REgarding365 (who you should definitely follow) who use Periscope to broadcast as part of the Community Reporter activities all week (which I am also a part of). You’ll also be able to see sessions and other recordings as they are made available through Channel 9, as well as through YouTube and Facebook streaming.

Create an RSS tracker on Bing (or that other search engine)

There are so many ways to track and consume news and information these days. A really simple way to find out what is newsworthy is to visit Bing.com > News and search for Microsoft Ignite, then to the right, select the option to “Stay up-to-date on Microsoft Ignite News.”
Tracking MSIgnite with Bing News Tracker RSS

This option adds the RSS tracking to your profile, so that the next time you visit the Bing home page, at the bottom under ‘See More Updates’ you will find your personalized RSS tracking of Ignite content and news.
Personalized updates within your Bing profile

Track social activities using tyGraph

We are all social beings, which is why tyGraph’s Twitter tracking tools resonate so deeply within 🙂  If you’re not familiar with the amazing tools developed by the tyGraph team for Twitter, Yammer, and Office 365, it’s about time you visited their site at www.tyGraph.com to learn more. Built on top of PowerBI, the tyGraph Stats for Ignite allow you to see the trending topics and profiles,  and really dig into the data trends that are driving the community conversation:

tyGraph for Twitter for MSIgnite
Something new for this event is the tyGraph Session Browser, which gives you another way to slice and dice the session data by speaker, topic, time, and even location (because its a long walk between buildings, so why not find something of interest that is closer, right?). If you are attending Microsoft Envision, which is happening across the street in the Hyatt, they’ve built the Envision Session Browser, as well.
tyGraph Session Browser for MSIgnite

Discuss with the community on the Microsoft Tech Community

If you’re interested in doing a deep-dive into the discussion around each session, as well as the keynotes, then there is no better place than the Microsoft Tech Community site at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com > Events > Microsoft Ignite. Here you will find every single session, searchable by presenter, topics, tags, target audience, and so forth. Even if you’re not attending, you can post questions and engage with the speakers as well as attendees, and find links to relevant topics and people. Once the slides are made available, you’ll also find them here.

Microsoft Tech Community site

For example, on the page for my session on the State of the Hybrid SharePoint Ecosystem (THR2055) you’ll be able to see my slides, abstract, relevant tags, and related conversations — and most importantly, ask questions and start a discussion.

THR2055 The State of the Hybrid SharePoint Ecosystem

Participate in the daily #CollabTalk TweetJams

And finally, I HIGHLY recommend that you participate in the daily CollabTalk TweetJams that will focus on the key themes of the week. I have been running these tweetjams for almost 6 years now, and they continue to grow and have an impact on the community, and they are fantastic tool for very quickly capturing the sentiment of the crowd around targeted topics. Participating is easy: add a reminder to your calendar, log into your favorite Twitter client at the given time, and enter the #CollabTalk hashtag to follow along — or participate. These are community discussions, and are open to anyone and everyone to participate. Each tweetjam includes a panel of experts, MVPs, and vendors to help seed the discussion, but all you need to participate is a Twitter handle. And if you’re an expert on one of the topics being covered, please consider submitting your name to be one of our panelists.

buckleyPLANET blog on MSIgnite tweetjams

You can rest assured that the #CollabTalk hashtag will be heavily used during Ignite. In our monthly events which each run for an hour, we almost always rank nationally on Twitter, garnering anywhere from 4 to 6 million social impressions. One of our primary sponsors is tyGraph, who provide their amazing stats for each of our events. For Ignite, they’ve created a new version of their stats to track activity and sentiment across all 5 of our daily events, allowing you to delve more deeply into the data around the week.

We’ll be hosting the CollabTalk TweetJams for the week from the Community Hub, which will allow attendees to join us and meet some of the participants. But in addition to the Twitter-based conversation, the @REgarding365 team will be live streaming our discussions while we’re tweeting, giving you yet another way to engage with the attendees. I’ll be orchestrating the event online, and reading aloud the questions and some comments to the crowd, which will be picked up by the live stream.

It’s going to be a tremendous event, and I am looking forward to seeing friends from around the world — and talking tech. If I don’t see you in Orlando, hopefully I’ll see you online!


Also published on Medium.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and fractional-CMO for revealit.io, tyGraph, and Extranet User Manager.