Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rockin' Robin' Tweet Tweetly-Tweet

No, this post is not about the Jackson 5, nor is it about birds, well kind of. It's about my favorite form of social media. Yes, I just publicly announced that I now prefer Twitter to Facebook. But c'mon, it's just so much better!

Let's get at what I'm really trying to talk about, Twitter, and more specifically, Twitter chats. Are you familiar with Twitter chats? Are you even on Twitter? The answer to that last question better be a yes, if not please go right now and create an account.
Twitter chats give people the chance to hold a discussion, almost like a "new age chatroom" via Twitter. By using a hashtag you are able to link or label your tweets with a certain chat, or anything you'd like for that matter. Then when someone searches the name of that hashtag, all tweets including those words/phrase will show up in a stream. However, you can continue to use the hashtag outside of the set hours for the chat to continue the conversation with others.

So for example, I hosted my first Twitter chat this past Sunday. I'm working on orientation for our HESA program's Student Personnel Association (SPA). To give our incoming first year students a unique opporunity to ask their questions about grad school and moving to Columbia, I created "hesachat." So now on Sunday's we'll hold an actual chat where for two hours I'll moderate asking questions, providing answers, and using HootSuite will be able to see the stream of #hesachat tweets instantly update.

After a simple entrance to the chat asking everyone to introduce themselves, so to tweet their names and their graduating year in our program it was time to begin!

Alright folks it's time, who do we have signed on for #hesachat? Give us your name and what your HESA class year for introductions!

I must say it certainly was fun to moderate this chat. While you can host a chat using already drafted questions (of which I had a few) you can also just begin discussions and see where it takes you. By asking a few different questions, new questions sprung up and the topics ebbed and flowed. Once you see a topic dying you can ask if everyone is wrapped up on that subject and present a new question. 

I try to use social media as much as possible not just for pleasure but for school, work and keeping up with current events. While some people shudder when they think of joining Twitter and constantly knowing where someone is going, what they're eating, reading, etc. I find it fascinating. I get everything from Twitter. My news, weather, sports, sales at my favorite stores, updates on my friends, and there's my few guilty pleasure follows like Bethenny Frankel and Nicole Richie

If I'm without it for a few hours days I don't feel like I know what's really going on in the world. Call it silly but days of reading the morning newspaper and watching the evening news are becoming few and far between, especially for my generation. 

So are you intrigued about Twitter chats now? Are you going to go immediately sign up for Twitter if you don't have an account? I hope so. Read up and participate in your first Twitter chat, and if you're really into it then think about starting your own chat. For my higher education friends I would encourage you to check out SAChat, and there are even chats for different functional areas like GreekChat.

Twitter is the new age go-to source for updates on everything and anything, and let me tell you it's not going anywhere!


Grace said...

good work buddy, love it! I wanted to join in but we were visiting family and I didn't get back home in time. Where can I see the stream of what you guys chatted about? Just curious! Go Twitter!

AMT said...

Megan is working to post the transcript on the SPA website, I'll tweet when it's done! If we can't get it up there we may email it out.