I feel like I’m still recovering from our fast and frenetic Twitter chat on Monday night. It was my first time hosting a Twitter chat, and I know it was the first Twitter chat that many of you have participated in.
I learnt some stuff from running that chat and I’ll be making some changes to how we do things for the next Twitter chat. I thought these learnings were worth sharing and I also want to let you know what I’ll be doing differently.
Lesson 1: The pace was really, really fast and some people found it hard to tweet quickly
I know that some people found it tricky to type out their answers to the questions and to get their responses into the flow of the conversation at the right time. I type really, really fast and I am also pretty experienced as a tweeter, which means I can type my tweets fast and I’m good at keeping them under the character limit. It was evident to me when I looked at the number of tweets I smashed out in the hour compared to the total number of tweets
For this reason, I will make the main questions for the Twitter chat available ahead of the class so you can think, plan and type in advance. I’ll still ask follow up questions as the chat proceeds, but I’ll share a few key questions ahead of time. During the chat, I’ll repeat each question a couple of times before moving on to the next one. This way they’ll be easier for you to spot in the feed.
Lesson 2: I need to Storify right after the Twitter chat
I went to pull the tweets into a story on Storify the day after the chat and realised that I could only get the 50 most recent tweets. Which is not helpful because there were 300ish tweets. Oops.
Short term fix: Colleagues of mine are going to export the tweets from our first Twitter chat with their fancy tools so we have an archive.
Long term fix: I’ll Storify straight away.
Lesson 3: Orienting you to the people who joined us
For our first Twitter chat, I didn’t organise a guest tweeter because I wanted to ease us in (haha!). Instead, I just mentioned the chat to a couple of people I’d been tweeting with about subject guides in the last week and they all dropped in. Which is fantastic! I’m sure people will continue to drop in across the semester. But did you know who they were? I tweeted a hi and a brief intro for each of them, but it’s possible it might have gotten lost in the feed.
I’ll post a bio for invited tweeters on the unit site in advance of the Twitter chat.
Lesson 4: I missed people tweeting at me without the hashtag / students tweeting with the #ifn614 hashtag
A few students had problems and either tweeted me or tweeted using the #ifn614 hashtag. I missed these as I had tchat.io at full screen and felt like my attention was fragmented by trying to flick back to TweetDeck to catch these. Thanks to the students who caught those tweets and helped the tweeters out!
For the next Twitter chat I’ll use my second monitor to make sure I can see both my own Twitter feed and the hashtag feed.
What lessons should I have learnt?
How else can I improve your experience for the next Twitter chat? Were there any things that didn’t work well for you? Even if you think it’s an unsolvable problem, please throw it out there because I may be able to find a solution.
What lessons can you share?
What did you learn about participating in a Twitter chat from your first Twitter chat experience? Any tips you can share with your peers?