Thoughts on Data Science, IT Operations Analytics, programming and other random topics

First Twitter chat

03 Apr 2014

I took part in my first Twitter chat today. Fast and furious and great fun is my basic feeling. I was vaguely aware of such things, and a friend mentioned to me last night how he found them inspirational and a great way to meet new people with well developed interest in the area under discussion. So I was already eager, and somewhere in the back of my mind, waiting for opportunity to participate.

Today an opportunity arose. I vaguely remembered some tweet flying by yesterday notifying about a chat for today. I didn't make a note of it but I guess it stuck in my mind. There I was on some remote joint-debugging session and I saw the kick-off tweet of 'the chat'. Must get in on that was my immediate thought and I paused the debugging and switched gear.

#P4SPchat was the hashtag in question.

I had a notion that questions were being asked, due to answers tweeting by. However, in a blink of an eye, or so it seemed, the answers were up to number 4 or 5, I hadn't even seen question 1. Lots of good comments, but what the heck were they answering. To get some focus, I set up a separate stream in Hootsuite, then working in that stream, scrolled back and found the questions interleaved with responses.

I didn't want to passively lurk. I was here to participate. My task was to find a question or indeed an answer that I might have an opinion on. I've got lots of opinions on lots of matters. However, having a crisp opinion ready to hand that might stand up in the public forum and not be too embarassed in hindsight - slightly trickier. Remember too that there's only a few short seconds to blurt it out. In any case, the dialog was good, and so I jumped in and fired off a few tweets. Some folks even engaged in reply. You know who you are, and thanks for the engagement!

I was on a roll now. Half-way through I decided to try another tool. I fired up TweetChat. Was up and running in literally ten seconds (love this SaaS computing ). I liked the interface a lot and finished out the rest of the chat using it.

When all was over, my initial thoughts were, wow, that was quite frenetic. Fun, but frenetic. Now, with the relative calm of the post-chat phase, I mulled over the proceedings a little bit. I really liked it. To me, it was very much like brainstorming, with a bit of interaction thrown in.. It felt like such a great mechanism for generating new idea, rapidly exploring some progressive thoughts one where things are going from some extremely well informed people. Tomorrow I'll probably review the chat as I thought there were many great points made and items to think more deeply about.

So my first Twitter Chat - All positive for me. I look forward to participating in another one soon. Even more than that, once I get the hang of it, I'd like to host one myself!

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