Last week, TrainingZone (where I am interim web editor) ran its first Twitter chat which I helped organise with host Jane Hart (@C4LPT). Jane runs a lot of Twitter chats and is experienced at doing them and she did most of the work :-).

The chat was on social learning and you can see the stream on the #tzchat hashtag. It was scheduled as an hour long, but went over as people continued to chat and retweet.

Here is what I learned from part-organising and participating in the chat:

  1. Use a host who is well respected on a particular topic
  2. Give them freedom to run the chat, especially if they have done them before
  3. Plan the discussion points
  4. When you start, ask everyone to introduce themselves
  5. Time questions through scheduled tweets so that you have discussion that is focussed and moves on
  6. Help participants by responding to questions
  7. Give participants time to retweet questions and points plus answer questions
  8. Ensure everyone is aware the question has changed/discussion has moved on
  9. Thank everyone for attending and stop when you said you would
  10. Don’t feel you have to hang around for the discussion – it will carry on and carry on

Overall, I think they are a great idea – just make sure you marjet them well so people do actually turn up for a chat. You can see the full Tweetreach tweet analysis below.