Are You Live or Memorex?
Maybe I’m a bit naive but I can’t for the life of me wrap my head around pre-written responses on social media. Particularly those on conversation that happen live such a tweetchats. If you are not familiar, a tweetchat is a live conversation that happens on Twitter where parties come together to have a conversation on topic. I happen to moderation such a beast called #bealeader™. Typically with Tweetchats, there is a framing post that is created to give an idea of the topic and I’ll go the extra step of posting the questions ahead of time as well. What I didn’t consider is that participants would write their answers before the chat as it if were a test. No one is grading you at tweetchats. You are not being judged. It’s a conversation. When you come to a tweetchat it’s similar to a network event, you are being invited to come join in the conversation, not show up and one up each other with your “wisdom”. You are there to participate, give your expertise and share your knowledge. Apparently somewhere I missed a memo. The conversation in tweetchats can take turns you may not be able to see ahead of time. Guests may have questions you might not be able to see ahead of time – and as the facilitator you need to allow that happen. Some facilitators frown on going off the script. They just want to ask the predetermined questions and get the responses. I don’t work that way. I want my guests to be inspired to think. If my questions inspire more conversation – GREAT! Let’s riff off that. Let the guest talk to each other, let there be more conversation – screw the original questions – let’s go with your questions. After all, is the chat about you or your guests? Are doing this for your ego or growing the base of your community? Your guests are going to tell you whether or not you have a good chat. If all you are getting is answers to your questions and at the end of the chat no one took away a good chunk of information or a new contact, what was the point of spending the hour in your chat? Put yourself in the audience of your chat for the moment – would you want to spend an hour in your chat?
If you are pre-writing answers to tweetchats – stop. Why bother going to the chat if you have answered all the question ahead of time. Just submit the answers to their Facebook page (if they have one) and spend that hour doing something else. Tweetchats are a chance for you to be real. They are a chance for you to show that you are not bot on Twitter and to network with others who may want to get to know the real you. Why not participate in a tweetchat and let your words showcase who you are to the world.