From industry-specific Twitter chats to TV shows, sporting events, and most recently, the debates, the hashtag explosion has enabled real-time conversation from a much larger audience. This week’s presidential debate alone had 7.2 Million Tweets surrounding the hashtag #Debates in just under two hours.
Live-tweeting has become so popular in fact, that Twitter has actually defined it.
Live-tweet (v.): to engage on Twitter for a continuous period of time—anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours—with a sequence of focused Tweets. The focus can be a big live event that everybody’s paying attention to (e.g. a TV show or an award show) or it can be an event you create yourself (e.g. a Q&A session with your fans).
The problem with this influx of live-tweeting is that up until now there has been no way to keep track of them all. And while some pulled together lists on blogs or in Google Docs, there was no true centralized schedule for any and all live-tweeting taking place.
Enter: Chirp Guide.
Reading almost like a “TV Guide for Twitter,” the Chirp Guide site catalogues live-tweeting communities across a number of popular categories to answer the simple question: “Is someone live-tweeting that?”.
Users customize feeds based around categories and can drag selected tweeters in (and rejected tweeters out), to create personalized streams within those categories. Anyone who has fallen victim to “hashtag hijacking” by spammers will appreciate this feature.
“Chirp Guide is a resource for social media savvy consumers to find out who is live-tweeting about events and topics they love,” said founder Rob Schutz.
It’s not just about consumers though, anyone hosting a live-tweeting session can register them on the site too, offering brands or organizations the ability to have more reach for their own events. Chirp Guide not only offers a great directory, they actually suggest new chats for users to participate in.
If you haven’t tried your hand at live-tweeting, now is definitely a good time to start. Here are a few tips:
1. Introduce yourself
Make sure you introduce yourself in the Twitter chat so people know who you are, what you’re representing, and it’s a great way to break the ice.
2. Talk to others
Part of the fun of a Twitter chat is the ability to meet new people anchored in a particular interest. React to other’s responses, create side conversations, and build your network.
3. Warn your followers
While Twitter chats are great, they also can turn off others easily. Sometimes a quick tweet saying “I’m going into #xchat for a while – pardon the tweets” or something similar helps to alert your network. It also may also bring in new people to the conversation, you never know!
I’m always looking to find new groups of people to tweet with, so leave your favorite Twitter chats or events to live-tweet in the comments below.