Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Tweet-up About Musems and Social Media

Screen shot of Twitterfall from Wikimedia Commons
My first tweet-up today, and I'm pretty stoked about it.

This is an event where a particular hash-tag is chosen, and then a large group of people tweet during a pre-determined time period using that hash-tag. The result is a long-distance, transcontinental dialogue, broken up into 140-character messages. Brilliant!

This one was about museums and social media (= social networking) and the hashtag was #musesocial.

Ideas are exchanged, arguments ensue, explanations are made, questions are asked and suggestions are offered. A lot of learning takes place.

It isn't easy to get the hang of this, of course. Over the space of five hours or 300 minutes, I counted over 1200 on-topic tweets. That's about 4 tweets a minute or one every 15 seconds. And they can come in clusters, so it's challenging to keep up. If you stop to compose an answer to someone you can get lost in a hurry.

I first tried following the action with my normal Twitter feed, but that didn't work because there were lots of people participating who I don't already follow. Then I tried a Twitter search for the hash-tag du jour, but all I got was an out-of-sequence and way-behind series of tweets that could not be used to participate.

My salvation was a nice website called  twitterfall.com. They allow you to search on a particular hash-tag and then deliver a chronologically sequential stream of up-to-the-minute tweets. You can pause the stream if you want, and it pauses automatically if you choose one of the tweets to respond to.

An exhilarating experience of high-octane communication.