Monday, March 31, 2014

What I learnt from running my first Twitter chat or Tweet-up

Last week we held the first WABAK Twitter chat - to help a bunch of mostly former blogging students get the hang of using Twitter, and as a substitute for a face-to-face meet up this month.

Let me tell you, hosting a Twitter chat or Tweet-up is SO much fun but much more exhausting than I'd imagined! We had a total of 14 tweeps chatting away - I'd thought I'd acknowledge them all by including their hello messages here.

We spent an hour online talking about confusions of Twitter, who to follow, how to use hashtags, what snacks people were eating while tweeting ... and so on! (Also, a strong sideline in Pinterest!) I asked about ten questions during the chat to keep things on track and I think that worked out pretty well. But I still learnt a lot:
  1. Not everybody has got the hang of using Twitter on a computer - many see it as a mobile app and it definitely is very useful to use on smartphones (I check Twitter on my phone fairly regularly!) but for more "serious" efforts, the desktop version at makes it easier ... and easier still is using something like Tweetdeck where you can see various columns at the same time (for example, a column just for the #wabak hashtag).
    Tweetdeck screen shot of the #wabak tweet up
  2. Some of the participants had some great suggestions on great Twitter users to follow - including @problogger, @kellyexeter, @doctorkarl, @brainpicker, @huffposttravel, @thisissethsblog, @valeriekhoo, @kisstosell and @sarahprout.
  3. Chocolate is still a popular topic.
  4. Kylah (@kylahmorris) from Zest eBiz won the prize for being the first to spot the trending topics of the day; Aggie (@aggie_lim) from Happiness Everyday won the prize for being the person making the most effort to "attend" our tweet-up - she was mid-learning at the Food in a Fuel Stove event at the Bibbulmun Track Foundation (pictured below).
    Aggie Lim tuning in to our chat while cooking at Bibbulmun Track Foundation
  5. Newbie users reminded me that when you first join Twitter, it can be a real challenge to keep your tweets belong 140 characters. Fortunately, even long-winded people like me get the hang of it so I tried to reassure them.
  6. Above all, I learnt that chatting with a dozen or so people at once and trying to direct their chat towards a common goal is MUCH easier in person than online! But it was heaps of fun, and I think we achieved my main goal which was to provide a bit of a comfort zone where people could have a go at interacting on Twitter amongst a supportive group.
But I'm sure the learning is still continuing for the participants, and for others of you who are still trying to "make friends" with Twitter - so do let me know in the comments - what questions do you have about Twitter?


  1. You're right it was exhausting xx

    1. But fun, right? Now next time you'll be upskilled to be using your computer instead of the phone and it will be much easier. In fact I might introduce everyone to Tweetdeck before the next one! So glad you were there though! xx

  2. It was funny, rewarding, happy for the short time I could attend!

    1. Very glad to hear that Jo!! Next time we will plan a time when you can stay for longer!

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