I’ve been on Twitter for quite some time now, but I was a little slow to join a few “Twitter / Tweet Chats.” In some cases, it was just a matter of me not knowing about them, and, in other cases, it was more a matter of me not being available at the time a specific chat session was held. Once I was able to find the time and some great chats that I was inspired to participate in, I then realized that, like anything, using the right tool for the job makes life so much easier. Sure, I could have used the native Twitter search functionality, but I found that option less organized and, hence, tougher to follow. Along the way, I found TweetChat! This option was really nice, presenting the conversation in an orderly manner! And so, the chat sessions began, and I enjoyed many of them. Many know that #4sqCHAT is definitely and currently my favorite, but I love participating in others (like #LinkedInChat) too!
However, some people have a few concerns about the chats, and that means that the conversation may be missing a great expert in the field or some great ideas that adds value to the great conversations. While there are many concerns that some might have, here are the issues most obvious and common that I have found:
Required to use Twitter
Believe it or not, not everybody has a Twitter account like I do. So, if you are somebody who is mainly on Facebook and/or LinkedIn, you might not know about the chat, and, if you do know about the Tweet chat, you might not want to sign up for a Twitter profile just to hold the conversation. As a result, traditional Tweet chats are still quite limiting in nature.
Each comment in the chat is a Twitter post (some don’t like flooding their stream)
Okay. Some people have Twitter accounts, and they love tweeting each and every day, but the traditional version of a Tweet chat forces you to share your chat thoughts with those who follow you. What if you have a lot of comments to make during the typical one-hour long Tweet chat? Well, all of your followers will see each response in the stream, and some might not like that too much. Some Tweeple will then start to hold back during the chat in fear that they will lose or annoy their followers. In either case, the Tweet chat conversation as a whole loses out!
What happens when Twitter goes down?
Technology failing once in a while? Imagine that. Well, what happens when you are in the middle of a great conversation about a topic you share a great deal of passion about and Twitter suddenly goes down? I’ve been there, and it is not fun. Even if Twitter goes down for a few minutes, it still is annoying if you want to use that service. When this happens, it certainly puts a damper on the conversation and networking that was going on during the Tweet chat session.
Twitter shut down some of their third-party apps that allowed for hashtag transcription
In the past, you could use a transcript services from a site like WTHashtag.com to revisit a recent Tweet chat conversation or to see what you might have missed. Unfortunately, that is not a feature readily available anymore due to Twitter having Terms of Service concerns. Personally, I found this very frustrating in recent months.
So, what is the solution? Do we just have to accept what we have available today? [Thankfully] No! Instead, I have come across a solution that I think has worked well for some of today’s more popular Tweet chats. That solution is Stanzr!
Stanzr to the Rescue
A little while ago, #4sqCHAT gave this beta service a try, and I (among the many other Tweeple in the chat sessions) loved it. I even recommended it to #LinkedInChat because I truly found the value in it! At first, I was hesitant because I was comfortable with the TweetChat features and functionality, but Stanzr really lived up to the hype. Basically, Stanzr offers a lot of cool features. Here are ten of the features I like the best thus far:
- Ability to log into the chat via different social media networks (ie Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Ability for moderators to organize the conversation and flow by separating chat questions and topics (like an author separates a book into chapters)
- Ability to like somebody’s comment instead of merely retweeting them
- Those using Twitter have the option to post their chat comments to Twitter (on a per comment basis… selective pushing is awesome)
- You can see who is in the chat session with you!
- The chat session doesn’t go down if Twitter has a problem!!
- Better way to review the chat at a later day via sharable transcripts!
- Platform is highly flexible to the needs of the chat session
- Great customer support (the Stanzr Team loves feedback)
- More & new exciting features are always being unveiled!
As you can see, this tool is really great. If you have not tried it yet, I recommend that you try Stanzr today. Does your group need a better communication tool for sharing? If so, maybe Stanzr is just for you! For those of you who have experienced the awesomeness of Stanzr, what features do you like most about it? Least? Which features are you hoping that they add in the future? I’d love to hear what you have to say!