Geoscience folks on Twitter share resources ideas and information all the time. The sharing usually happens spontaneously and informally, which is one of the joys of Twitter. In watching the success of other community twitter chats, I’ve been thinking that a chat might be a useful tool for the geosciences twitter community, too.
Would you be interested in an organized, periodic geoscience twitter chat? Post to twitter with your interest (#GeoSciChat) or comment below.
Why a Chat?
A regularly scheduled Twitter chat with a particular topic or focus would allow us the time every so often to get together online at the same time and share those resources in a more organized and focused fashion.
A chat also provides an informal structure in which to make connections with other geoscience tweeters (or tweeps, or geotweeps, as you prefer!), thereby creating opportunities to expand or strengthen your existing networks. Chats would also provide an organized way for new geotweeps to find and connect with others with similar interests. As we’ve seen, what happens on twitter doesn’t stay on twitter – many folks in the geoscience twitter community have engaged in online and offline collaborations and projects.
What would we chat about?
To the best of my knowledge, there haven’t been any organized chats about geosciences and twitter, or geosciences and social media in general.
A twitter chat focused on geosciences and social media could explore:
- How do we use twitter and social media tools in our day-to-day work lives?
- What social media tools or resources out there do we find particularly useful?
- How do we use different social media channels or formats to collaborate or communicate with different audiences?
- How can social media support our professional networking?
- A recent paper, report, or resource.
- Anything people are interested in chatting about!
How would a chat work?
Chats could take any format the community is interested in. In all chats, a specific hashtag is used to provide the common thread for finding, following, and participating in the discussion. Some common formats include:
- Open discussion on a topic, where folks just jump in for a free-form discussion.
- Open discussion in response to a set of questions on a given topic. In these, the host posts a series of questions (Q1, Q2, etc.) and folks respond to and discuss each, typically in order.
- Inviting a “host” to share a particular tool, case example, or success story and then engage in a community Q&A and discussion. In these chats, the host could post some tweets and links, to which others can respond and engage with questions and discussion.
The geosciences blogging community has had great success in rotating the “host” role of community-oriented collaborative events, including the Accretionary Wedge and Where on Google Earth? A similar approach could be used for chats, where a basic approach or hashtag is agreed upon, and then the individual chats are hosted and organized by volunteers who drive the topic and approach for that chat. This approach allows for different voices and interests to speak up.
What say we all?
Interested, not interested? Interested but would prefer a different approach or theme? Post to twitter with your thoughts (#GeoSciChat) or comment below.