If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you very likely have seen me mention Blogchat, a Twitter chat that happens on Sunday nights. There is good reason to talk about Blogchat often. Blogchat opened my eyes to all of the potential that Twitter carries. Blogchat introduced me to many people whom I now consider friends. All of that, of course, is in addition to the fact that I have learned an incredible amount not just about blogging, but also about networking on Twitter, sharing on Twitter, and how to meet new people with similar drive and interests.
I am not the only one who will praise Blogchat and its founder, Mack Collier. It is the largest chat on Twitter and perpetually attracts new people, which is awesome.
So understand that when I say there is one thing I am worried about, the intent is not at all to smack down the whole concept. It’s more like expressing concern about a job choice a relative is making – when you’re not quite sure if they’re going the right way.
This issue really came to light for me a couple of weeks ago. The topic was how to promote a brand new blog, which opened the doors for lots of people who were new to blogging and who were perhaps also new to Blogchat and/or Twitter. My hope and expectation was that there would be a lot of questions flying around from new folk, and that some of the Blogchat veterans would be sending answers back.
There was a little bit of that, but there were also a lot of people tweeting out very wise information, but not directly at anyone. With the usual retweeting of great information that happens, I fear that a lot of the newer folks were intimidated by the speed of the chat and didn’t really get to have a lot of their direct questions answered.
Remember what it’s like to be new
I would like to toss out a little thought for those of us who have been participating in blogchat for awhile. All of us, at some point, were new to the chat. All of us, at some point, decided to dip our toes in for the first time and ended up making a habit of it. Every week, the pool that new folks are dipping their toes into is getting deeper and deeper. There are more and more people who have been coming every week. Because the chat is getting so large and is attracting so much attention, it is attracting more “big hitters,” which in turn gets even more people using the hashtag for the chat.
I want to make sure that people who start coming to Blogchat now have the same powerful opportunity I did when I first started participating. I want them to feel welcome and important. I want them to be able to toss out questions and get bombarded with answers to their direct attention. I want them to learn what they are hoping to learn. I want them to come back.
I am going to try harder in the coming weeks to seek out question marks and people who say, “Woah, this is really intimidating,” or “I’m new here.”
I think that networking with those people is where the popularity and power of Blogchat rests. I’m a little worried that we might stray away from that a bit as people realize that their chances of getting attention and retweets are pretty good on Sunday nights. The essence of Social Media, and the true essence of Blogchat, is to lift up and help other people who need it.
I’m going to do a better job of sticking to that from now on.
Image by sanja gjenero. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/lusi