Saturday, 26 January 2013

#edcmooc Trying out a live Tweet chat

This evening we tried a live Twitter chat.

We ran it from 9:30 -10:30pm (GMT) with 4 moderators. We asked 4 questions over the course of the hour:
1.) Say hello & introduce yourself,
2.) Something interesting about you or where you live,
3.) What are you most looking forward to on the course?,
4.) What have you heard someone say about eLearning or Digital cultures that you have found interesting?

As with any new experience I was a bit uncertain beforehand, and not really sure what would happen. I could see people were signing up to attend on our Facebook group, but would they really show up? On a Saturday night? Well they did. It was incredibly fast paced, with tweets coming in every second. Impossible to read them all, and take it all in, but great to see so many people join in, and so many conversations pinging away here and there. There were approx 128 people who actively joined in, with around 1,150 tweets in the hour. Thanks @eRomanMe for the stats.

I hope everyone who took part enjoyed it & found a new connection or two. What a great ice breaker before the course begins. I've now tried Google hangout & Twitter chat this week and both those two live events have really inspired me. You don't have time to reflect too much, you have to say what's on your mind in the moment, conversations can spiral off & develop, and that can be very refreshing and stimulating. I'll let it all sink in a bit more, but here are some quick ideas that came to me for next time:
  1. 4 other people can take on the moderator role. If you've never done it before it can be a good experience
  2. Try it at a different time - I think much of Asia & Indian subncontient would have missed out as it was the middle of the night for them
  3. Have a special Twitter chat for people who are completely new to Twitter, or who are getting that overwhelmed feeling early on.
  4. Make a WallWisher page and invite people to post up topics we can discuss in the next Twitter chat
  5. Someone else also suggested pausing a bit more between questions to let people catch up with what was being tweeted. 

So, a fruitful hour with plenty of ideas to take forward. And finally, here are some favourite tweets from tonight.A fairly arbitrary list, but a quick snapshot of the chat tonight. Here's my top 10.

Make that My Top 12 - couldn't leave these two out...

Thanks to everyone who took part tonight and made it a success.

(PS - it was Willa  who knows how to milk goats.....just so you know)


  1. Hi Chris,

    and what would your moderator tips be!
    what tools are best to moderate with. after a crash introducation to live chats - although tweetchat was mentioned i definitely felt that i had more control in tweetdeck or hootsuite with mentions, #edcmchat hashtags were both in view as well as my own tweets

    1. Hi Steve,
      Thanks for your comment. My tip for being a moderator is to grow 2 more pairs of hands & eyes!
      I had tweetchat on & Tweetdeck is very good for mentions, as you say. In actual fact when the thing started I ended up just having a few browser tabs open and doing it the old fashioned way!

  2. Chris it was so much fun thanks, and thanks for documenting it. In the survey, we have asked questions about twitter experience, so once we know where people were at with it, we will know whether or not there needs to be a newbie session. I somehow don't think we will, everyone sort of got carried along with the rush and came out in one piece at the other end!

    1. Hi Angela, I might try organise something for the newer people myself. I'll see what the feeling is on the Facebook & G+ groups. In my time I have had some amazingly helpful tutors encourage me to take those first small steps, and I'd be gutted if people didn't join in here because they felt it was too much to take in, or they weren't techy enough or whatever.

  3. It would be great if someone from those geographical areas "not" represented would initiate a chat so that it becomes more inclusive rather than exclusive. I was surprised to see as many people home and awake at the times presented.

    I am under the impression that a chat occurred in Spanish. I wonder how that one went and what transpired as a result of it?

    1. Hi Laurie, I completely agree. The next one will be run by 4 different people so let's see what they come up with.

  4. Hi Chris, Thanks for writing this reflection. I'm still dizzy from it last night, and haven't had a chance to do so myself. I would love to see the Twitter Chat held at different time zones so it is more inclusive and globally convenient for more participants. It was loads of fun, pretty exhilarating I thought. Can't wait for the next one!

    1. Hi Ary, thanks again to you & Maddie for doing all the invites on Saturday. And I still don't know how you managed to tweet as yourself AND the moderator! You've cloned yourself right? Or did you have Bina48 by your side helping out? :) Look forward to the next one and what the 4 new moderators will have in store.

  5. Great wrapup, Chris. I'm with you on Twitter. There's always something new to learn even after 4+ years. I'd be glad to be a moderator next week or another time. Just let me know when/if. I'd also be glad to help coach new Twitter users - like you I had some great folks helping coach/mentor me through all sorts of social media apps.

  6. Hi Kelcy, thanks for passing by. We're going to pass the baton onto 4 new moderators this week so put your name down if you fancy. Thanks for the offer of help for new people. I think that might be a useful exercise for people who are new to Twitter, let's see what the mood is as we go next week

  7. Hi Chris! Thanks for the tweet mention. I was really feeling dizzy...
    Lovely reflections!

  8. The Dreadlock Holiday - Twitter mashup. Good one :-D

  9. It was pretty cool, really. Thank you for that great summary. And coming from a rural area myself I can now argument that e-learners are merely only digital beings not enabled for real life but they have usefull day to day skills. Thank you for pointing out Willa. Should I ever need to milk a cow I know who to tweet to ;-)

    And thanks for that headline. Me, too, I will never be able to listen to the song again without hearing this instead.