On March 9 all of the PR focused hashtag communities got together under the banner of one common hashtag (#chatmixer) to discuss PR. While there is value in each different hashtag, there is also a lot of value in occassionally merging.
Here are a few write-ups of that experiment:
Kudos to them for their leadership. In this post I am talking about the general concept that they pioneered of blending hashtags.
One of the greatest advantages of a Twitter Chat is that there are no community walls. In fact, I think about it like a town square of old. Its always open for anyone to wander through on their way somewhere else or to explicitly go to for an event. Throughout the week people may see each other and share a few platitudes. One person or another may even bring a soapbox and share their ideas. Still others will post notes for people to find. All these behaviors are replicated in a Twitter Hashtag Community.
Once a week a crowd will gather to converse, debate, share info, etc…. With Twitter, each one of those who gather also have a direct line back to their block (followers) communicating just a portion of the conversation. A follower, whose interest is piqued by this flurry of posts on a single topic, may come and listen. Any time THEY start sharing, they develop a direct line back to their block…and so on.
A #chatmixer takes this concept a step further and starts to blend crowds that may have a lot in common. While twitter naturally breaks down walls between communities anyway, the #chatmixer can explicitly bring two or more together.
There are lots of different ways to make it happen. You can create a new hashtag like the PR folks did, but I prefer a different approach.
- For chats that take place weekly, you set up one chat on each of the hashtags that are participating.
- Each topic can be the same or different, but it should be of interest to the intersection of the communities. Eg. for #KMers and #innochat we did “How does KM support innovation“
- If each community has a website (Ning, blog, wiki, etc..), you post the other group’s chat day/time for your community to see.
- For the pre-event promotional tweets you encourage multi-hashtags to bring members from one community to the others’ chat.
There are lots of overlaps among the Twitter hashtag communities. Click here for a spreadsheet list. I hope we will see more of them getting together. If your twitter use has not evolved to the point of community involvement, jump in right away. Everyone is very friendly. 🙂