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Sunday, August 3, 2014

How to participate in a Twitter chat (for beginners!)


Hi, folks.  Can't believe it's August.  I'm freaking out.  I'm so excited for the new school year, but August came quickly!

#aplangchat starts Wednesday, August 13th from 7-8 pm EST.  Here are some notes for people who want to give Twitter chats a try.

How to participate in a Twitter chat
(either just read along or share)

To find a Twitter chat you might be interested in:

If these times don't seem right, search for the hashtag and see when people were using it the most.

Sometimes people use a hashtag in a chat.  Sometimes they just use it to share ideas that pertain to a specific group of people.  For examples, if I'm tweeting about the CCSS for ELA, I might add #engchat, #nctechat, #aplitchat, #aplangchat, or another hashtag.


Find out what time the chat is and the hashtag (#aplangchat is Wednesdays from 7-8 pm EST, starting August 13.)

Open your Twitter account. 

In the search box on top, type the hashtag you want to follow.

Then click "ALL" so you see all the posts made during the chat.

Just watch the conversation.  Depending on how many people are reading/writing, it will go quickly. Don't freak out.  You can always go back and read what you missed.

You may want to follow people as the chat goes on.  That way, you'll be friends for life!  Or you can unfollow them whenever you want to.

If you want to say something, open "compose new tweet" box.  

Type the hashtag (#aplangchat) into your comment before you send it.  That way, everyone following will see your idea.

You might have to toggle back and forth between the chat itself, notifications (if someone favorites or retweets your tweet), and messages (if someone sends you a direct message). 

Notifications will also tell you if someone has replied to one of your ideas, leading to a conversation.  Make sure you keep using the hashtag in your posts if you want everyone following the chat to see it.

There are sites to help you manage multiple Twitter actions at the same time, such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and TweetChat, but don’t worry about those sites for a while.  Get used to Twitter chats first. 

If the chat is an hour long, and you are late or only want to stay for a while, that's cool.  If you only want to read and not contribute, that's also okay.  High engagement, low stress!

It's totally okay to get involved in a conversation with one or a few people on the side and lose track of what's going on in the bigger chat.  You can always go back and read what you missed. 

That's it!

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