Last night I participated in the fourth #journchat on Twitter. (It was an abbreviated one because of the holidays but I might lobby for the shorter length to become the standard. I think the longer ones are too long. I don’t want to leave because I might miss something good but 3 hours at my dining room “desk” leaves me looking like the Hunchback!)
The Monday evening #journchat on Twitter has become a gathering place for journalists and those who want to reach them — read “PR people.” Yup, I do worry that the PR people outnumber the Journalists but it is inevitable, I suppose. We all want to build those elusive relationships with Journalists because that is what they tell us to do — and we know it is the right thing to do. Twitter provides an “easy” (albeit somewhat time-consuming) way to get to know the writers and reporters better. Often the profiles take you right to the reporter’s blog or website too. And, by following their Tweets, you know what they are writing on. How awesome is that?
#journchat is the brainchild of @PRsarahevans
Big Kudos to Sarah — total genius. And, she is now even offering #journchat sponsorships. Check it out her blog and follow things along to find out more about #journchat.
Now #journchat has been a top trending topic on Monday nights for the past few weeks — it comes fast and furious. So fast that I can’t keep up and I am an exceptionally fast reader. The first time I used “Search” http://search.twitter.com and continually refreshed the page. It wasn’t too bad but getting the little messages at the top of the page that there are 12, 28, or 57 new results since you last refreshed is intimidating. And, #journchat has become more popular since then. Plus, you don’t see any messages being sent to you without the hash tag, and you end up with a few dozen tabs open if you click on anyone to find out who they are. I didn’t contribute much to that chat but I was able to follow along pretty easily. (This was on purpose — better to listen before opening mouth. And, when I forget, well, I end up paying for it, somehow.)
So, the next week I tried TweetGrid. I set up a couple of grids before I found that the three grids in a row approach worked for me. I was in business. I still kept my “home” Twitter open, just in case, and a couple of times I reverted back to “Search” to find specific threads in the conversation.
Tweetchat also made an appearance on my desktop one week — until #journchat overwhelmed it. I know it wasn’t just me because several other people commented that it was “slowing down” or “freaking out.” Several times I had to revert back to Search to see what was really happening while I refreshed Tweetchat. Still, the single column was a (relatively) easy stroll through the Wow-fast conversation. It was fine if you didn’t ever meander off to “talk” with any new friends, answer anything or breathe funny. I also suspect that it has some kind of limit on it because twice it hasn’t allowed me to post when I get toward the end of the chat. Sarah made a similar comment one night but I am not sure she is using the same tool.
Last night I tried Tweetdeck. For starters, oh yuck, a download. I always have that brief moment of panic when I get all those warning messages — what am I doing? Do I really KNOW this application? Three columns across, was this going to end up looking like Tweetgrid? No, darker, and it took me a few minutes to get things set up to view the #journchat scroll. I really didn’t need to see everything going on in Twitterland. It was pretty good — I could get used to the pop-up while I am working but for a fast moving convo like #journchat, probably not necessary.
There are tons of great Twitter tools out there — these are just a few that seemed appropriate to this use. What’s your favorite Twitter tool?