February 11, 2013

Live Tweetchat of the State of the Union Address

On Tuesday (February 12) at 9:00 PM, Dr. Allen and I will be moderating a live tweetchat of Pres. Barack Obama's State of the Union address and Sen. Mark Rubio's (R-FL) Republican response. Students, alumni, and friends of AU are invited to join in at #SOTUAU.

What is a tweetchat? It's a virtual conversation that takes place via Twitter at a pre-arranged time through Twitter updates (tweets) that use a hashtag provided by the moderator. When a tweetchat concerns a live event like the SOTU, it can make the event more interactive, more informative, and more fun. You can read more about participating in tweetchats at this link.
To participate, you'll need a Twitter account (free) or convince a friend with a Twitter account to watch the SOTU with you and tweet on your behalf (probably not free). 

My handle is @mfrank_au and Dr. Allen's is @danielrallen. (Note that opinions and jokes tweeted are not necessarily those of our employer, Anderson University.)

The remainder of this post is about how to enhance your experience.

Tweetchat Guidelines

These come from Pam Moore, Tweet Chats 101.
  1. Don’t be afraid to lurk.
  2. Join as soon as you feel comfortable. Don’t lurk too long. I have had many newbies tell me they wish they would have joined sooner. The tweet chat communities are usually very welcoming.  We love to help newbies so at least say hi! icon smile Tweet Chats 101: 41 Success Tips for Moderators, Participants & Guests!
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are confused or simply don’t understand the question, speak up and ask!
  4. Don’t be afraid to connect with the tweet chat moderator before or after the chat if you have questions. If you feel uncomfortable during the chat then connect with the moderator or other leaders before or after the chat. If they have a Facebook group or other community join in and ask your questions. You’ll be surprised how approachable they are.
  5. Respect the community. Don’t dive in at the last minute and get frustrated that you don’t understand the topic. Respect the topic. If they’re talking about social media, don’t spend your hour on the tweet chat complaining about social media and why people should go offline. You probably won’t make a lot of friends with this method.
  6. Take time to do the double click after the chat. You can reap the greatest benefit of participation in tweet chats with the conversations you have between the scheduled tweet chats. I’ve seen amazing communities already being built in just a few short months by people who take the time to invest in other people.
  7. Learn the tools before the tweet chat starts. Here is a short video I did for newbies on how to use the www.tweetchat.com tool. Have a plan for how you are going to filter the specific hashtag.  I like “Tweet Chat” as it enables you to easily filter, read and engage in the conversation. It presents only the tweets matching the desired hashtag.
  8. Add the hashtag associated with the tweet chat to the end of each tweet. If you use a tool like Tweet Chat it will do this for you automatically.
  9. Tweet chats are public. Even though you may be using a tool such as “Tweet Chat” to filter the tweets, remember all of your tweets are public. They are still all showing on your Twitter timeline.
 One more from me:
  1. If your tweets are protected, only the people who follow you can see your tweets. That limits your participation in the tweetchat. To broaden your audience, you can
    • Unprotect your tweets. This means that anyone can follow you and anyone that finds you can read your tweets. The positive reason for doing this is that it helps establish your public brand. A negative is that you may use your twitter account for things that you'd rather keep out of the public eye. It might be best, however, to begin, in the words of Dr. Allen, "living your life as if everything you say and do might appear on the front page of tomorrow's Washington Post."
    • Unprotect your tweets for the tweetchat, then reprotect them afterward. If anyone follows you in the interim, you can easily block those you would rather not have following you.
    • Start a new Twitter account, one that you'll use solely for your public tweets. This requires, of course, a separate valid email address. 

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