I’ve heard about Twitter chats before and had read through a few hashtag conversations but I’ve never really participated in a live Twitter chat before, and I really wanted to. So last Thursday I took the plunge and join in on #phdchat that takes place every Wednesday, 7:30pm (BST).
Now why would I want to join a twitter chat? That’s a question I certainly asked myself. I wondering what would be point? For me, I had 4 reasons:
- I’m curious! I want to know what it’s like to participant in a Twitter chat.
- I’d like to meet other PhD students from around the world and possibly make new connections.
- I’m interested in the topic of conversation (which was on ‘blogging about your research’).
- I want to learn more about using this particular feature of Twitter.
I was genuinely surprised at the level of engagement that was taking place. There was very little by way of introductions and people just went straight into discussing the topic at hand – which was on blogging about your research. There was some really good blogging advice shared and there were a lot of people asking about different aspects of managing a blog as well as some very interesting chats around confidentiality issues and personal/public disclosure.
I found the actual process of joining in a twitter chat was a lot like going to a party. You start by milling about, listening in on a conversation and then when you find one that catches your interest, you join in. Sometimes someone finds you and strikes up a conversation, then others join on. After a while, the conversation subsides and you move on to another one, only to pick up the last conversation because someone said something, and then you start a new conversation, an others join in. Then after a while you have to leave because the dinner you left cooking on the hob smells a bit burnt (ahem).
I left that twitter chat feeling positive and motivated because I had learnt a few tips that I found useful for blogging and, more importantly, I met other PhD students who were were interesting to talk to and made me think . Can’t really ask for more than that from ‘party’?
For a record of the #phdchat from last Thursday please click on the following link (courtesy of Steve Moss): http://bit.ly/HDxmZd