Monday, March 8, 2010

Twitter Chat

In some online communities, Twitter is used for chatting on a particular topic at a designated time. These chats use a specific hashtag to aggregate the tweets during the online discussion.

Twubs and Tweetchat are two common applications used to facilitate Twitter chats. Though Tweetdeck can be used too, Twubs and Tweetchat work better because the chat tweets tend to appear in rapid fire. 

As you enter a tweet in the application (Twubs or Tweetchat), the application will automatically insert the hashtag at the end of the tweet.

The application (Twubs or Tweetchat) captures all tweets with the hashtag and displays them on the web page.

One disadvantage of participating in a Twitter chat is that all of your followers see all of your tweets for the chat. Depending on your community, this excessive tweeting can be annoying. Thus, some Twitter chat participants warn their followers prior to the chat.

Each Twitter chat is organized to fit its needs, goals, and community. For instance, for some chats, a designated guest “speaker” participates and answers questions from the members of the chat. The members keep the conversation going by firing off more questions, retweeting answers and participants’ comments, and questioning and conversing with others in the chat.

Some chats, like #Agchat, have designated questions that are asked by the moderator of the chat. The chat members answer the questions by indicating the question number.

For instance, in the AgChat session on Farm Equipment Question 2 and one of the answers to Question 2 are shown below. 

@agchat: Q2: What new planting/seeding specific technologies do you feel have made biggest impact on your #farm? #agchat

@FarmerHaley: Q2 Strip till and no till has planting has made tremendous improvements for our farm as well #agchat

Most Twitter chats will ask you to identify yourself, and possibly, give you a chance to plug your area of interest, web page, event, etc.

Some regularly scheduled chats are posted on a Google spreadsheet.


Steps to participating in a Twitter chat using Twubs (Tweetchat is similar).

  1. Using your browser, sign into to Twitter. Then go to the or
  2. At Twubs’ page (or Tweetchat page), select the Sign in button. Then select “Twitter Sign In”.

  3. Twubs Sign In
    Originally uploaded by aafromaa
  4. If you have already signed into Twitter, then you will be given the choice to “Allow” Twubs to use Twitter sign in.

    Twubs Allow Twitter button
    Originally uploaded by aafromaa

  5. Once you are in Twubs or Tweetchat, enter the hashtag you are following.

    Twubs hashtag
    Originally uploaded by aafromaa

  6. The tweets will start appearing below the entry space for your tweets. Tags: ,,