My newbie experience with Twitterchats

Before the 2014 Australian IT Service Management conference (hosted by @itsmfa +itSMF Australia ) known as LEADit (#leadit), I was invited by Kathryn Howard (@KathrynHoward +Kathryn Howard) to participate in a Twitterchat. I've been in google hangouts and skype calls before, and only really watched twitterchats so actively participating or being interviewed via one was a new experience for me. I was fortunate enough to have Kathryn to guide me through the event and from this, I'd like to share the following tips:

  1. Beforehand, participate in other twitterchats (even just to observe) to understand how they flow;
  2. Make sure you have a very unique hashtag for your twitterchat so everyone can filter the tweets easily. Be sure to advertise this hashtag very clearly and ask all participates to use it for each tweet; 
  3. Promote the twitterchat leading up to the event with the hashtag, and consider the timezone of your target audience;
  4. If you are working with another party (e.g. being interviewed), work together to develop some initial tweets (or questions & answers) to get the chat started smoothly; 
  5. Make sure you check the character count (including the hashtag) of any pre-prepared tweets;
  6. If you intend to insert hyperlinks, use short links;
  7. If you are working with another party, consider using a second form of real time communication so you can jointly manage the conversation outside of the main discussion;
  8. Don't feel the need to respond to every tweet. Other participants can correctly respond on your behalf and acknowledge those good tweets with support and thanks;
  9. Try not to start too many new trains of thought at once: let an idea die down a bit before introducing a new one; (thanks to +Rob England for this tip);
  10. Be nice.  It is easy to misinterpret 140 characters.  Assume the best of others. (thanks again to +Rob England for this tip);
  11. Provide details on how people can contact you after the twitterchat (some people prefer to watch the chat and follow up with detailed questions later.
  12. Record the twitterchat for future reference;

Many thanks to +Aprill Allen for storing/supplying our twitterchat for LeadIT 2014 below.


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