A Little Bit About Twitter Chats
I have to admit, when I first heard about the concept of Twitter chats, I was a bit skeptical. Basically, I’ve always thought that Twitter’s format was a bit unwieldy for in-depth discussions – especially when compared to other social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and the newer Google Plus. While hashtags do make it easier to follow conversations on Twitter, it’s not uncommon for those same hashtags to be picked up by others and used for posts that really don’t fit in with the tag’s original intention.
Still, I was very interested in hearing the thoughts of this group, so I pushed away these pre-conceived notions to follow the Friday chats. That’s actually a big point in favor of the Twitter format – you can watch and read what’s going on without actually jumping into the conversation until you feel comfortable doing so. In fact, there’s a free application called Twebevent that makes this even easier. If you click here, you’ll be taken to the Twebevent that follows the #PMChat hashtag.
Of course, if you’re a Twitter pro, you won’t be worried about any of this. But, if you are a little apprehensive about getting started, try going to the Twebevent link on PMChat day and following the conversation anonymously for a bit.
Although our entire conversation was great, I was particularly struck by one statement Kelly made: “I think I learned more in the last year through social media outlets than I did in all of my project management classes." Nowadays, we all keep hearing how important social media is for professional development – maybe even to the point that we’re sick of listening to that same message. No matter what your stance is, however, traditional books and coursework are really only teaching the lessons of yesterday.
Yes, those lessons are still important, but they need to be combined with the lessons of today – the ones we can only get from experience and discussions with others in our field. Even if you have a strong local network, there’s a huge advantage to tapping into the global communities which are so easily accessible today via avenues like Twitter and LinkedIn.