[Updated 1 February 2012]
One of the most sought after trophies of any Annual Meeting is the white participants booklet. A thick, white booklet listing all the 2600 participants, their photos, bio and contact details. The book is unwieldy to carry but often graces the bookshelves of any self-respecting Davos participant. However, this year the booklet has undergone a minor, though interesting change: it no longer lists email addresses of participants prone to spam, but lists their Twitter handles instead.
“Twitter is the drug of Davos” said Kate Roberts, (@KateRobertsPSI), a self-proclaimed ‘Twitter virgin’. Shortly before the Annual Meeting the chief executives from UPS (@DanJBrutto) and Jones Lang LaSalle (@Peter_Roberts1) set up their personal Twitter accounts to be part of the discussion in Davos.
A quarter of the 2600 participants – 648 to be precise – have subscribed to the micro-blogging service up from 408 a year ago. Due to Twitter’s list limitations the Forum created two distinct official lists http://wef.ch/tweeps and http://wef.ch/tweeps2. The press covering the event were listed in a special media list http://wef.ch/wefmedia.
Over the course of the meeting these Davos tweeps posted over 20.176 messages that were re-tweeted 137.749 times and elicited 43.326 replies according to weflive.com, a website set up by KPMG based on the Forum’s Twitter lists.
The most prolific participants were Reuters social media journalist Anthony de la Rosa @AntDeRosa with 1187 tweets, Idealab chairman and blogger Bill Gross @Bill_Gross (504 tweets) followed by Indian Business journalist @ShailiChopra (501 tweets), followed by Estelle Metayer @Competia (458 tweets) and Jeff Jarvis @JeffJarvis (432 tweets).
The Forum’s @WEF account came in sixth position with 284 live tweets from the 50 public plenary sessions to our now 14.000 followers. The main Forum account @Davos increased its followers topping 1.6 million followers, maintaining its position among the top 250 accounts in the world.
The tweets from the participants were also displayed on a specially designed Wall of Tweets in the social media corner at the Congress Centre. In four selected sessions special hashtags invited the twittersphere to participate in the discussion. During the deates countless tweets made their way onto the giant wall of tweets in the plenary hall opening up the discussions to the wider world.