If you’re on twitter, you may have seen, or even taken part in a twitter chat. We love Twitter chats for connecting with your tribe – whether it’s a community of like-minded professionals, subject matter enthusiasts or passionate fans or advocates.
Twitter is such a great medium to pull people in randomly, have a great conversation, and can lead to a lot of great collaboration online and offline elsewhere. It’s also just a fantastic way to discuss a topic with peers around the world.
I’ve taken part in several Twitter chats and am always blown away by the ability to make excellent professional and personal connections with people around the globe. The ease of gathering and sharing info and building a personal network around a topic is inviting and effective. I’ve learned more from resources shared on Twitter over the last several years than any other single source, so I believe strongly in the medium.
Twitter chats exist on hundreds of topics, so they all have their own unique feel. Chats are places where people go to feel connected, learn a thing or two, share their opinions, and feel like they belong. There’s not really a downside to popping into a chat every now and again except that you may become addicted to quite a few throughout the month!
Meet my new crush: #CureConnect chat!
#CureConnect chat is hosted by Cure Magazine & Oncology Nursing News. My good friends Lauren Green and Andrew Roth invited me to help them establish & moderate the chat. It’s the start of an exciting community for connecting and learning!
The goal of #CureConnect chat is to help advance social networking between oncology nurses, patients, caregivers and advocates by providing a means to listen to one another, share combined knowledge and have a repository of that for anyone interested.
Why Do I love this chat?
Patient voices are lifted up. I believe the biggest asset in #hcsm (healthcare social media) is the voice and empowerment that patients can get from social media that empower them offline. Caregivers are also given a stronger voice!
Its a smart way for providers to connect & listen. The empathy, listening and learning that providers of all disciplines are able to do online is also translating offline.
As the chat community grows, I hope to see “ah-ha” moments for each group of participants:
- Patients finding another like-minded person to connect with or feeling empowered to question or drive their own care.
- Providers realizing that patients often have a different and valid perspective when approaching their care and it’s worth not only listening but also asking questions of patients to learn;
- Representatives from health care organizations of all sizes learning how this all relates to the work that they’re trying to do.
4 More Reasons to love Twitter chats
- You can accidentally participate in them. I’m constantly getting glimpses of various Twitter chats from those I know and follow who are participating in them.
- People can easily come and go, choosing to take part or not without a long-term commitment. It’s a specific, tiny slice of time which occurs on a regular basis…weekly, bi-weekly or monthy.
- Conversations are open & respectful. Although twitter chats are structured around a few key questions, the chats themselves allow for the conversation to travel in several different directions and tangents almost simultaneously. You can be contributing to the main conversation, participating in a few deeper conversations with other individuals, and even chiming in on other side-chats where necessary. The openness of Twitter also means that you interact with a diverse and dynamic array of perspectives on any given topic, with community builders from across the world.
- Its easy to get started. Participating in a twitter chat is easy to do, all you really need is access to the internet and a Twitter account. Twitter chats are quick, easy to jump in and out of, easy to connect with others on one topic or a variety of issues, and everyone participates.
5 Quick Tips for First-Timers
Dive in and have fun. Don’t be overwhelmed by a fast-moving steam of tweets. Strike up a few conversations with others present and add them to your network. Share your thoughts by answering the questions posed. Your opinion is wanted and as valid as anyone else’s. We’re all here to learn from each other.
Make sure to introduce yourself! You’ll likely get a warm welcome if you let everyone know you’re new and checking it out. It’s always ok to lurk, but don’t be afraid to jump in and start talking!
Be prepared to multitask. All those conversations and side conversations can get hectic and hard to follow, so you need to be prepared for at least monitoring a few conversations in real time. Although at first it can seem daunting, with the proper prep, you’ll be an expert in no time.
Use a tool like Tweetchat or tchat.io so you can see all of the tweets in one place and slow down the pace if you need to.
Make new connections! After the chat, take some time to review the chat transcript and engage with at least three new people by commenting on one of their posts and following them.
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