Friday, August 30, 2013

Thanks to All Who Participated in Last Night's Tweet Chat

Tweet Chat.png
 
First of all, for all of you who joined in last night, thanks!!!!!  

If you don't know, or missed yesterday's post, last night we at Dental Product Report held our first ever Tweetchat.
 
The idea is a fairly simple one.  We utilized Twitter to conduct a live, fast paced event that allowed anyone with a Twitter account to participate, follow, read, and (if they wanted to) save the entire event.
 
How did we pull it off?  In actuality it's very simple to do.  Here's the scoop:
 
Utilizing a free website, Tweetchat.com, allows you to simply enter a hash tag to follow.  Last night, our DPR Tweet Chat was done using the hash tag #dentaltalk.
 
On the Tweetchat.com page where users had entered #dentaltalk to follow, the conversation simply scrolled down the screen.
 
I monitored the page and responded to the questions as they came in.  The nice part about Twitter for this is that it allowed me to not only respond with words, but to also show photos to help better make my point or to help educate.  It's a great way to do distance learning and much more conversational than a webinar. 
 
Webinars are an interesting animal as they are an attempt to take a traditional presenter and audience and adapt them to the world of the web.  In most instances the audience logs into a website at a particular time and watches a traditional Powerpoint type slide presentation on their screen while the presenter's voice is utilized over the slides.  While this format allows for a very "graphics intensive" format (meaning photos, diagrams, etc can be easily shown), it removes the high level of interest & interaction that comes from audience/presenter  interaction.  From my personal experience of doing literally hundreds of lectures over the years, I can tell you that interaction is a key part of the learning environment.  Some presenters will even utilize webcams to enhance the experience with video, but it still isn't the same as live interpersonal communication.
 
Tweet Chats are much more like sitting around a large table in a conference room and having a discussion.  The interaction is high and because everyone is limited by the number of characters, things move fast and furiously.  While not as graphics heavy as a webinar, you are still able to share images and even video if you wish.
 
The ability of Twitter to allow everyone to ask questions and get the answers gives the participants the info they need guaranteeing that the only way you don't get your question answered is if you don't ask it.  

I also like the format because it forces me to be concise & make my point quickly.  That means that the audience gets much more into in a faster manner and probably more directly than they might expect.
 
Then, when the Tweet Chat is complete you can select the text from the Tweetchat.com page and save it.
 
As I said at the beginning of this post, this was our first foray into Tweet Chats here at Dental Products Report, but it certainly won't be our last.  We'll have others featuring a wide variety of topics and speakers.  This is only the beginning and from my personal experience with last night's event, I think there are good things ahead with the medium.
 
If you participated last night, I'd love for you to post in the comments section anything you think about it.  Good or bad, it doesn't' matter.  this is a learning environment and we'll only be able to address your concerns if you voice them, so feel free.
 
Also, I truly am blessed to be able to do what I do and I thank all of you for  helping that happen!

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