Twitter chat has a familiar feel

Ed | January 17, 2011 in Miscellaneous | Comments (0)

I participated in my first Twitter chat on Sunday night. It was actually quite simple. I logged on to Hootsuite, my Twitter client of choice, and added a stream tile for the topic hashtag, #blogchat. Once the chat session began, the tweets started streaming, and I simply refreshed about every minute or so taking time to read several tweets and and even venture a few times on to shared web pages.

The general topic, blogging, is something near and dear to my heart, and something I’ve been doing across several platforms for a few years. The specific topic for this chat was the differences between blogging platforms, and how to migrate from one to the other, if desired.

At first I was just going to lurk, as the concept of a Twitter chat session seemed a bit odd to me. But after ten minutes, several tweets appeared asking questions or commenting on things of which I had specific knowledge. Finally, I took the plunge and tweeted my thoughts to the stream. Within minutes, some of my contributions were retweeted, Hootsuite notified me of new direct messages, and my e-mail clamored with notifications of new followers. My Twitter account hadn’t seen that much activity in months.

Time flew, and before I knew it, the chat host was bidding us a fond farewell. Shortly afterwards, I started reviewing the tweets and profiles of ten new followers.

A Twitter chat is made possible by the “#” symbol. People from my generation refer to it as the “pound” sign, but those who make Twitter a part of their daily routine have rechristened the symbol “hashtag.”

Even though anyone can tweet a hashtaged thought out at any time, the concept of a designated time to tweet about a specific topic seems to work well. It was reminiscent of the fast pace of conversations in the old AOL chatrooms that were all the rage nearly two decades ago (when we were all learning the ways of the new “internet”).

Twitter is a platform that is difficult for many to understand, but in a case like this, hundreds of people around the world were easily able to hold a viable discussion about a singular topic.

The Twitter chat #blogchat occurs every Sunday at 8pm central. Even if you are not a fan of blogging, it might be fun to watch the chat just to see how a Twitter chat session operates.

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