I’ve always been a big fan of Twitter and specifically Twitter Chats as a way to engage in smart, interesting conversations around topics like marketing, social media, digital marketing and other professional interests. But alas, if you look around Twitter lately, it’s kind of broken (more on that in a later post). It seems like there are two kinds of Tweeters: Tweeters pushing things (usually links to content) and Tweeters reading Tweets — often from famous people, sports figures or maybe social media experts. They use Twitter like a personal news feed to stay on top of personal and professional interests.
Establishing an Embassy on Twitter
In The Invisible Sale, I talked at great length about the importance of Propinquity and defining your Propinquity Points. For me, Twitter is certainly a Propinquity Point where I have met and began relationships with a so many people that have been and continue to be important to the success of my company. It was to use my term, an Embassy for me. An Embassy is a place where you, as a marketer, will put down roots. Where you’ll show up a lot and invest in the community because you both care about it and believe there to be gold in dem der hills.
But alas, many of the Twitter Chats that I used to participate in have died off or become less valuable to their members, resulting in less valuable conversations and fewer participants.
Overall, I find the engagement level on Twitter overall is down. It seems no one ever just drops in to chat anymore. Which for me kind of sucks. Because that is the part of Twitter I have always enjoyed the most and derived the most value from over the years.
So today, I decided to try and change that with the help of Mack Collier and Brandie McCallum. Yesterday I read a post that Mack published where he questioned why our discussions about social media haven’t really elevated much beyond those same discussions back in the early days of Social Media. He and I began chatting about it and Brandie popped in to say how much she was enjoying “listening in” on the conversation. But Daddy Duty called and we all agreed to revisit the topic today.
And that we did. But as with all good conversations, we were wasting too many characters on Twitter handles, especially if anyone else popped into the convo.
So to make it easier, I created #DayChat. The Twitter hashtag we used to create an ad hoc chat group for our discussion.
If you’re unfamiliar with Twitter Chats or wondering how you can participate in #DayChat or any other Twitter Chat — I wrote a post about it — How To Participate in a Twitter Chat with step-by-step instructions. Enjoy. For the rest of you, you can catch up by checking out my Twubs #DayChat page.
#DayChat as an Embassy
I’ve always considered creating a Hashtag Chat on Twitter… but never felt confident that I could commit to a regularly schedule chat like Mack’s #BlogChat — one of the biggest and oldest on Twitter I think.
So as I sat around today defining how I wanted #DayChat to work… I factored that “Tom may not always be available” angle. I also gave a lot of thought to the underlying goal of #DayChat — to foster conversation. I’ve been thinking about it all day and here is what I came up with. Some of you may agree with what I’m about to say, others may not. But that’s ok — we can talk about it on #DayChat one day 😉
But in the end, it’s my Hashtag so I get to make the rules. And here they are… all meant to foster conversation and interactions.
- No spamming the hashtag. If you spam the hashtag we’ll immediately report you as a spammer to Twitter and I will do my best to #TwitterBomb any DRUT that breaks this rule. If you don’t know what a DRUT is, simply read the word from right to left and the magical true meaning will be revealed to you.
- No links. Yep, not a single one will be tolerated. If another member of the chat asks you for a link or you decide that you have a link that will be helpful to that person, feel free to share it — but leave the hashtag OFF your Tweet.
- No RT’ing Tweets. Yes, I know… we all love to RT smart remarks and good Twitter Chats are usually full of them. RT all you want, but like the links, do NOT put the hashtag on your RT. Let’s keep the hashtag clean and easy for everyone to follow along with ok?
- #DayChat is a SINGLE topic chat. Each day I will suggest a good, meaty topic worthy of serious consideration, discussion, debate and analysis. I welcome a good debate so please don’t disappoint me. Come ready to challenge the status quo, play devils advocate or just push the conversation to places it might not normally go on it’s own. All of that is welcome. But a few things won’t be welcome.
- NO TANGENTS — and yes, I realize this is a really, really big ask on my part. But one of the biggest challenges I find in Twitter Chats is that a person or five will get off on a side discussion and it starts to make the hashtag really, really messy to follow. I also think tangents represent lazy thinking. It’s easy to just go off on a new idea vs forcing yourself to think through the existing one first. If you happen to drop into #DayChat later in the day, take a minute to understand what the Topic of The Day is BEFORE you start commenting off other people’s Tweets.
- No Assholes. Hey, I love a good debate. I love when others play devils advocate simply to push everyone’s thinking. I like to do that myself. But there will be NO PERSONAL attacks. No name-calling or arguing a point from a place that is 100% emotionally vs logically driven. There is no, I’m right your wrong because I said so allowed. And yes, I know there is no way to stop you as you’re doing it but some day, some place, I or another #DayChat lover will cross your path… and when we do, don’t get upset when we smack you upside your head as we walk by.
- Everyone is invited and you may stay as long or as little as you wish or schedule allows. You can even stop in, leave and come back later.
- #DayChat is just that — a day long chat. It’s going to be my little water cooler on the Interwebs and you’re invited to stop by for a drink of knowledge… a chance to make new friends… or touch base with old ones. We’ll start each day by 8am CENTRAL TIME and the chat will run for 24 hours. The next morning, I’ll start another one.
- There is no moderator. Like I said, I can’t guarantee I’ll be around every day much less all day… so after tossing out the #DayChat topic, I’ll play along as it suits my schedule. I’m relying on all of you to play by the rules and come along for what I hope will be a great ride. So be adults and let’s all just have a great chat…. ok?
Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow (January 16th) on the 2nd day of #DayChat. I’m off to pick a juicy topic.
Speaking of… if you have any that you think would be meaty enough to warrant a day of conversation — PLEASE LEAVE THEM IN THE COMMENTS and include your Twitter handle. I can’t promise I’ll use your idea, but if I do, I’ll be sure to ping you on Twitter and let you know when we do.