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L&D Twitter Chat Guide

Nov 06, 2017

Twitter Chats (aka TweetChats, TweetUps) are a great way to connect to folks in the Twitterspehere. If you don’t know what these are or how to participate, scroll down to the “How do these crazy things work?” section 😉

You can find these online gatherings on all sorts of topics. Here are all the English-language ones that we’ve found which appeal to Learning & Development professionals. If we missed one, please let us know!

  1. #EdTechChat – Mondays at 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific. More info here.
  2. #IOLchat – Wednesdays 12-1pm Eastern / 9-10am Pacific. More info here.
  3. #PKMchat – Wednesdays 2pm Eastern / 11am Pacific. More info here.
  4. #ESNchat – Thursdays 2-3pm Eastern / 11-noon Pacific. More info here.
  5. #lrnchat – Thursdays at 8:30-9:30pm Eastern / 5:30-6:30pm Pacific. More info at here.
  6. #EdTechLN – 1st & 3rd Thursdays at 2pm Eastern / 11am Pacific. More info here.
  7. #GuildChat – Fridays at 2pm Eastern / 11am Pacific. More info here.
  8. #DebunkDebate – occasional schedule, hosted by The Debunker Club.

So what IS this again?

It really is just a bunch of people chatting on Twitter, which is a free way to connect. Names like TweetChats & TweetUps are commonly synonymous with TwitterChats, though they are also used to refer to some branded products. We’re talking about the generic version here.

A post in a TwitterChat is not much different than a normal post on Twitter (that’s called a “Tweet” btw). The main differences are that:

  1. There’s a set date and time when people meet up to do it
  2. There’s a hashtag (#likethis) that they all use to find the conversation.

Sometimes people use live-chat services such as TweetChat or TweetGrid, but you don’t need any special tools — just an active user account on Twitter. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can’t play.

How do these crazy things work?

Look at the list above, and find a time/date that works for you. On the appointed time/date, log in to Twitter and search on the  hashtag (or just click the link in the list above). You’ll see things like this:

Often there are Twitter accounts (@likethis) that are made by the people who run the TwitterChat, but not always. The important thing to note here is that “@” means you’re talking to someone with a specific user account, while “#” means you’re talking to everyone who’s watching the conversation.

You can then respond by tweeting in this format:

A0) I learned to what a TwitterChat is and how to use it! #lrnchat

What you’re saying in those first three characters is “Here’s my answer to question number zero”. Because Twitter doesn’t let you type a lot of characters, people tend to abbreviate things like that.

The hashtag part HAS to go in your answer, otherwise people in the conversation won’t see it. It doesn’t have to go right at the end, but most people do it that way. Sometimes people use the “reply” function to answer the question, but that doesn’t tend to work out as well. You can do this, but it’s very easy to forget to put that hashtag at the end of your reply (remember it HAS to be there to be included in the conversation!), and it will probably stick out — like not in a good way — from everyone else’s answers.

Like most conversations, the fun part is not the talking part, it’s the listening! Your answers will be likely different from everyone else’s, and it’s great to have side conversations in the middle of the sprawling mess. Don’t try to keep up with everything. It goes by really quick, you’ll probably miss stuff and that’s fine. Have fun with the parts you can.

You’ll see otherwise professional people having plenty of fun posting funny comments and animated GIFs that help make their point (or just make it more fun).

While you’re part of a TweetChat, do know that everything you tweet will also go out to all your Twitter followers. And remember that everything you tweet is visible to everyone else in the world and is admissible in court, so don’t say anything you don’t want your innocent little niece or a judge & jury to see. Please don’t model your Twitter behavior after President Trump or, like him, you might cause a big confefe for no reason.

If all this seems intimidating, just watch a time or two. Just like a conversation in real life, you can just listen for a bit before you contribute. And the easiest thing to do when you do chime in is just say something nice about whoever is hosting the event.

Hope to see you out there in the chats!

If you have any additional questions, recommendations, or other L&D Twitter events that you want to see here, please reach out and let us know!

Of course you should absolutely follow @SnapSynapse on Twitter too, if you haven’t already. As one of the Top L&D Value Tweeters two years running, you’ll find fun and interesting posts from us on most weekdays. Tweet Tweet 🙂

P.S. If you found this resource useful, bet you’ll love The Ultimate L&D Podcast Guide too!

It all starts with a conversation

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