Tag Archives: tweetchat

The Twitter Chat Schedule

The Twitter Chat Schedule

Twitter chats are simply pre-organized times to tweet on pre-organized hashtags.  They use applications like twebevent or TweetChat to corral just those tweets together and to auto-tag any new tweets with the right hashtag.

The Chat Schedule was inspired by Meryl Evans, who started a blog post with a collection of all the chats she knew about.  The new spreadsheet version began as a quick solution so that no one person had to track and manage the information about all the Twitter Chats.  There were only about 25 chats back then.  It has since grown into a list of hundreds of chats with several new ones added each week.

Everyone from journalists to moms to finance people to Knowledge Management professionals are finding each other and banding together via Twitter chats.  See more info about the Twitter Chat Experience

I fully expected that someone would write a little database driven web app that would replace the public Google Doc, but perhaps simpler is better in this case.

Thanks to all who run the chats, all who have posted information about chats, and all who tweet the link to the list so that more potential chatters can find one that’s right for them.

View the schedule for yourself and add any chats you know about that aren’t listed.

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The Twitter Chat experience

There are lots of articles and blog posts out there that list Twitter tools.  Very few of them seem to discuss the actual uses of those tools. Since the beginning of the year, I have been involved in scores of Twitter Chats and I am always on the lookout for better ways to handle them.

Below you will find a list of Twitter Chat tools and my personal opinions of the pros/cons of each one.  If you would like to share your pros/cons, please do so in the comments.

TweetChat

Tweetchat is the leader in the Twitter Chat race.  It is my favorite chat app and it is the favorite of most Twitter chatters.  The TweetChat experience is simple and yet powerful.  To my knowledge they are the only app where you enter the hashtag once and then it is appended to each tweet for you.  They do not append any additional URL’s.  These alone are reasons to make them #1.

Another very important feature they offer is the ability to determine the speed that the tweets will refresh as well as pause the stream.  While this may seem trivial, you will understand why it is important when we get to savorchat.   Tweetchat also allows you to block/feature users, reply to particular tweets,  re-tweet any message, and favorite any tweet.

I have only used Twubs for testing and never for a whole chat.  The reason is I have an idealogical difference with the fact that they default to tweeting their URL with every tweet.  While twubs is not as good as TweetChat at the actual chatting, they are an interesting choice to view a hashtag BETWEEN chats because of the content that can be connected around the chatting community: Links, members, images,

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Both of these apps allow you save searches.  This feature can be used to follow a hashtag chat.  While it is nice to be able to work within a familiar Twitter environment, the huge problem is that you always have to remember to type the hashtag.  Call me lazy, but that is too much work for me.  🙂

TweetGrid

Similar to TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop you have to remember to type the hashtag.  One advantage TweetGrid has though is that you can create a URL that automatically opens a specific set of searches for anyone who uses it.

Writing this blog post was sparked after experiencing my first SavorChat on Tues night.  On the one hand, I am really excited because they have some features that I have been thinking would benefit chats.  On the other hand, their first implementation has enough negatives that it is almost unusable.

  1. They are attempting to provide breadcrumbs that show the reply chain of a particular tweet concept.  While this is useful in theory, there are a few problems.
    • Everything happens so fast in a Twitter Chat there is not really time to analyze the chain
    • Twitter chat replies are like a game of telephone.  The reply to the reply may have absolutely nothing to do with the original
    • They take up valuable space so that less tweets can fit vertically.
  2. They are attempting to solve the Twitter lag problem by providing msgs that do not go through Twitter but instead are posted directly to all the chatters.  Again, good in theory, but here are the problems
    • The tweets come in one at a time so that the screen is constantly moving.  Reading moving text is very challenging so readers keep losing their place and have to start over.  This makes the chat appear faster than it is.
    • The tweets are not actually going out to Twitter so we are not getting the benefit of the built-in marketing aspect that each participant is sending Tweets to all their followers

If savor chat were to throttle their updates to come in batches, default to tweeting every post, and provide the chain as an optional advanced feature; I think they might get to the top of the list.

If you want to add media to your twitter chat, there is a new application called twebevent just launching which will allow you to do that for free

What apps do you prefer for your Twitter Chat?

Hashtag Spam

Hashtags are used to tag posts.  They enable users to perform better Twitter searches and run twitter chats.  Despite denigration by Scoble, hashtag popularity appears to be on the rise.  As people add more and more Twitter followers, the “noise” level tends to go up and hashtags are a way to sub-divide the stream.  (NOTE: a hashtag filter is better than a generic keyword filter because the extra addition of the ‘#’ character shows intention to classify a post whereas otherwise the keyword could be in a post out of context)

Because receivers are starting to filter by hashtags, Tweeters are starting to use them so that their messages will be read by the target audience.  Unfortunately, where there is a target audience, there is going to be SPAM.  People who are selling products (sometimes completely unrelated to the hashtag) are now adding a variety of hashtags to their messages.

The next evolutionary step in the process is that viewers will soon have the ability to filter both keywords AND people.  You will be able to block out that SPAMMER so they no longer show up in your Filter.  You will be able to white-list particular people who you do want to get through your filter.  Tweetchat has recently added the ability to feature and block particular usernames from a hashtag filtered chat.

If you are interested in finding a hashtag chat, there is a schedule here.

The Twitter Noise Ratio

Whereas with email the SPAMMER needs to specifically target you and therefore the SPAM is clearly intentional, with Twitter it just gets broadcasted into the Twitter ether.   If you happen to be following the SPAMMER, you see the tweet.

Someone you follow might be putting out some really good posts and some really SPAM-like posts.  Since, in Twitter, you decide to follow the person and then get everything they post; some tweets will have higher value to you than others.  Some will skirt the line of SPAM and others will go over it (in your eyes).  This is not absolute as other followers likely draw a completely different line.  Remember, there are plenty of people out there who enjoy watching QVC.  If the noise/SPAM to value ratio goes up too high for you, you may eventually unfollow.  However, since that takes a purposeful act, many may suffer the noise until it becomes unbearable.

There are some new Twitter apps that are negatively impacting the noise ratio.

  • Chat clients where chatters are filtering Twitter messages for a certain hashtag.  Their chat messages auto-include that hashtag.  eg. TweetChat.com While the chat makes total sense to the participants.  Other followers are getting bombarded by frequent often non-sensical messages.
  • Games where the game is actually played with Twitter messages.  eg. playspymaster.com

I am far from calling out that the sky is falling.  There are also plenty of applications positively impacting the noise ratio.

  • Tweetdeck is probably the most popular
  • Seesmic Desktop is catching up quickly
  • It looks there is a new entrant Mixero with similar features and increased usability

I expect the Twitter stream to get more and more noisy.  Likely both types of apps will grow significantly.

Swan