What The Tweet Did You Say?

A Deeper Look Into Twitter Chats

I recently reactivated my Twitter account for the sole purpose of my media classes in college, and even though I joined five years ago I am a total “Twitter Virgin.”

Thanks to a younger and hipper classmate, I have learned the difference between retweeting and quote retweeting and what “Twitter dragging” is. I never really grasped the concept of Twitter until last year when I learned just how innovative of a tool it was for learning and doing breaking news, it’s quite the phenomenon. Another thing I learned via this ground-breaking technology are “Twitter Chats.”

I’m sure almost everyone reading this is aware of what it is, but let’s assume you don’t. Overall, it’s a public conversation using one specific hashtag; the hashtag will allow other users to join in the discussion and help connect people with certain interest. ::Mind Blown::

I mean the idea that one hashtag can spark a conversation to interest millions of people, and get them not only taking about it but interacting with each other, is pretty impressive; bringing strangers together on one digital platform.

What I didn’t realize until it was time to experiment and do one of my own, was how difficult it would be. Getting strangers together to speak on a certain topic, at a certain time and date, wasn’t as easy as I had anticipated. Thankfully, this fell as a class assignment and as a group we were more successful than I think we would’ve been individually, nonetheless there wasn’t as much traffic on the chat as I had hoped

My classmates and I started by trying to promote the chat via our own Twitter page. We each Tweeted out a few times before the actual date to let our followers know we were having this chat, as well as making sure to @ the college and any other organizations (such as CUNY) that we thought might be interested in the chat. The college became aware and actually helped us promote our chat via their Twitter page! I definitely thought because of this we would get a lot more traction.

Finally came the day of our chat! As a class, we all came up with a series of questions to have on hand to get the conversation started and keep it interesting. Thankfully, aside from the entertaining soul in our class: Kamilah, there were a few of us that weren’t as Twitter savvy. We learned there was more than one way to reply, you could comment to the persons Tweet directly:

Or you could respond by retweeting it to your own profile page with your response:

There were several times I would forget to add the hashtag, then the times I remembered to add the hashtag I forgot to include a link or @ the person I was mentioning. There was so much to be mindful of! Good thing we didn’t have so many people to respond to and we worked as a team. Overall, it was an enjoyable involvement, a learning experience, and a great new way of learning to reach and converse with people. I would definitely partake in another one again.