I feel a little strange calling it a “VizEds” chat, since this blog is no longer affiliated with the wonderful folks at VisualEditors.com.
However, that’s what they’re calling it. A VizEds chat. And they’re planning another one for tonight at 9 p.m., EDT.
The chat is headed up by Jim McBee, assistant news editor of the Star-Tribune of Casper, Wyo. And it’s held via Twitter. Which can bring a number of challenges, if you’re leery of spamming your followers with a conversation they can’t possibly follow.
Last spring — when we were trying this on a weekly basis — Jim wrote up a number of tips for us. Perhaps those tips will help you tonight:
If youâ€™ve never participated in a Twitter chat, here are simple instructions:
1. Sign up with Twitter if you donâ€™t have an account. Log in to Twitter. Twitter is a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover whatâ€™s happening now. Itâ€™s extremely democratic, and famously limits you to 140 characters per post.
2. Go to tweetchat.com (Tweetchat is just what I use; if you prefer a different chat provider, go for it.) When you log in, it will authenticate your Twitter account.
3. Tweetchat will ask you for a hashtag to follow. Hashtags are tags that add context to your tweets and make them searchable. Our hashtag is:
When you use Tweetchat, you only have to type in #vizedschat the one time; it will append #vizedschat to every post during the discussion.
Which, of course, is the reason to use an app like Tweetchat. In the few weeks we tried this, a number of folks found they couldn’t participate in the chats. For several of them, it turned out the problem was they were forgetting to add the hashtag.
Once you get logged in, youâ€™ll soon see how it works. Itâ€™s very much like the old Internet relay chats of the â€™90s. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to jump in and say whatever you want. Be as serious or as silly as you choose.
If all this seems complicated, it just might be at first. At first, it all baffled me, as well. It’s certainly not quite as intuitive as an old-style chatroom.
But — as long as Twitter itself doesn’t crash — it should work just fine.
Our timetable? We’ll begin at:
- 9 p.m. Eastern
- 8 p.m. Central
- 7 p.m. Mountain
- 6 p.m. Pacific
And, for that matter:
- 2 a.m. London
- 3 a.m. Berlin
- 3 a.m. Johannesburg
- 6:30 a.m. Mumbai
- 9 a.m. Beijing
- 10 a.m. Tokyo
- Noon Sydney
- 3 p.m. Honolulu
Need help? Ask one of these folks:
We’ll keep an eye out for you…