I have been meaning to write this blog for quite a while, but have been spurred on by feedback I have received about Tweetchats from some PUNCs. By PUNCs I mean the lovely Plymouth University Nursing Cohort, and not rockers with green and pink hair and loud music! In their feedback the PUNCs said that in general Tweetchats were valuable, however one of the points made was that some students found it difficult to keep up, especially when new to Twitter. I hope in this blog I can help with the keeping up part of that feedback …
When I first started #WeNurses Tweetchats were a lot slower paced with fewer participants – these days Tweetchats can have over 200 people taking part at any one time ….keeping up can be tricky !!
Here are are few tricks to help the PUNCs and you (passing blog reading person) get the most out of Twitter chatting:
Don’t stress !! Sounds simple doesn’t it? Twitter is merely a conversation and we each do that many times a day, don’t we ? Well maybe not if you are a hermit but I am guessing as a nurse a hermit existence many be a little challenging! . There is a little secret that I will let you into that helps me not to stress …. no one keeps up !! You can’t possibly read it all in such a short space of time and you will miss stuff … So don’t worry, just stick to the few tweets that catch your eye and answer them.
Try seeing things from another perspective – try a different platform to Tweetchat from. WeCommunities have the Chat Now page, but others worth try are Tweetdeck or tchat. Find a platform that you are comfy with – what works well for one person doesn’t always work well for the next.
Look out for the #EBP tweets. Although lots of knowledge and experience is shared throughout Tweetchats the links to evidence are also important. When people add #EBP to their tweet too (in addition to the chat hashtag) it means they are sharing a relevant piece of evidence. Unless you are a super fast speed reader it’s probably not best to read these links during the Tweetchat but search for them all afterwards … Just type #EBP and the Tweetchat hashtag into the search box and hey presto all of the evidence is before you eyes!! Find out more about #EBP here.
Check your notifications – ok I know I said don’t stress but it is really important as this is “social” media that we are polite and kind and don’t ignore people …. So take time directly after the Tweetchat to check your twitter notifications and reply to any direct comments or questions. Just politely say “Oops sorry missed this .. But ….” (Or words to that effect) People don’t mind, in fact they are normally quite please that you responded.
There’s always a transcript !! Here I refer to and reinforce my first point too of “Don’t stress” … Most Tweetchats have a transcript shared afterwards, with WeCommunities it’s automatically generated so available straight after the discussion, so just head to the relevant chat page on the website and read at your leisure. #NoStress
Slow it down !! With some Twitter chats a summary of the discussion is available – this is usually someone’s reflection of the discussion written in blog form. With WeNurses discussions we aim to do this within 24 hours of the Tweetchat … In addition to this you can also add comments to these summaries, so any points you wish to make in the longer and more considered format of blogging you can.
Follow afterwards – Twitter is all about people and making connections so it’s really important to follow all of the interesting people you have just met on the Tweetchat afterwards. That way you can continue to have useful and interesting conversations beyond formal Twitter chatting … So connect and make new friends .. Be social !
Practice makes perfect. Ok so who of you out there managed to ride a bike the first time you sat on it ?? I am betting not many (if any) as with any skill tweet chatting takes a little practice. Spend some time lurking and watching, then send a few Tweets, maybe post a post chat summary comment, then see how you get on with adding a few tweets into a discussion. Take it at your own speed … and always remember my first point .. DON’T STRESS !!
With no time at all and the few tips above you will be getting a huge amount of value from discussing with your peers via Tweetchats…. And the you are ready for the next step of running a Tweetchat !!
Of course these are just my tips and I encourage you, Dear Reader, to add your own tips below by adding your comments.
In my next few blogs I hope to address some more of the PUNCs very valuable feedback and in turn provide a little more of an in depth guide to Tweetchats and getting the most out of them.
Lastly can I extend my huge thanks to the PUNCs for taking the time to feedback and to Professor Ray Jones for passing on the feedback to me.