CNN reports that a journalist fell victim to online skewering at a recent tech conference in Texas. Her chatty, overly familiar style of interviewing a prominent young CEO—the founder of Facebook–grated the audience so much that they unleashed a tirade of complaints and sarcasm against her on Twitter.
The heckling soon migrated from the online space to the real world. Audience members started yelling out comments that reflected the online chatter. When the CEO suggested the interviewer might want to ask some questions, the audience erupted into cheers vigorous enough to surprise those not following the tweets.
But there’s something rather intense about online comments pertaining to speakers seated directly in front of an audience. Gone is the physical distance that reduces the tension surrounding nasty attacks in other online forums, for instance in multiplayer games, chat rooms, or in the reader comments sections below news articles or blog posts.
But Panelists at conferences are not the only ones who can benefit from knowing what the audience is thinking. Teachers and instructors can benefit, as well…

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