Twitter Chats rituals

Did you already participate to a twitter chat? You will notice that each chat has it’s ritual. The ritual pretty much define the voice of the chat.

When I started #PKMChat I took time to observe existing rituals and introductions from other chats. Being a techie guy I turn it into a feature of Kneaver for Chat Hosting.

There are really two phases: Shoutout of invites and the chat itself.

Because most of the ritual is stable from chats to chats it stays in a separate script file. The ChatRunner will merge the ritual and the chat script at the last moment to provide a complete experience. It is automated but under control, the script can be changed at any time before or during the chat and it will update the remaining queue. It’s far easier and having now done several chats with it it releives completely from the stress of running a live event. Instant benefit the host can also participate to the chat and concentrate on facilitating it. At some points I was so relaxed I almost forgot I was the one in charge.

Here is an extract of the #PKMChat base ritual file.

The script language is very simple. It allows to set any kind of variables reusable after in Tweets. Variables names like DedicatedHosts recoup those of the Open Twitter Chat Directory. Background is an SVG picture. Many popular packages can produce SVG. A direct link to is under work. Variables will be merged with variables defined in the event script. For example %%TOPIC%% don’t appear in this basic ritual file.

PictureTemplate: TemplateQues.svg
Background: Backgrounds/79.jpg
DedicatedHost: @PKMChat
Hosts: @BrunoWinck

Invites are done based on timezones. This means that the local time will be used and also the shoutout will be sent at times corresponding to the timezone. It would be a non sense for example to tweet for Australia at 3:00PM GMT, or 11:00AM GMT for the East Coast. Extra beefit all invites are not processed in a single bloc.

Invite: Australia/Melbourne,OZ                   ,%%=Mentions%%\nOZ-> %%=Hashtag%%\n%%=TT%%\n%%=Topic%%\n%%=Prereadings%%
Invite: Europe/London      ,Eur+L&D              ,%%=Mentions%%\n%%=Hashtag%%\n%%=TT%%\n%%=Topic%%\n%%=Prereadings%%
Invite: Europe/Paris       ,Eur                  ,%%=Mentions%%\n%%=Hashtag%%\n%%=TT%%\n%%=Topic%%\n%%=Prereadings%%
Invite: America/Los_Angeles,Ame+WestCoast+SoMeMrk,%%=Mentions%%\n%%=Hashtag%%\n%%=TT%%\n%%=Topic%%\n%%=Prereadings%%

Next are the reminders. There is not real oder in the file since Tweets starts with the time offset relative to start of chat.
So -30 means 30 minutes before scheduled start of chat. Extra \n visible are the new lines necessary to split the tweet for automatically generated pictures.

-180;%%=Hashtag%% is %%=TT%%\nJoin us!\n%%=TOPIC%%\n%%=PREREADINGS%%
-15;%%=Hashtag%% is %%=TT%%\nJoin us!\n%%=TOPIC%%\n%%=PREREADINGS%%
-10;%%=Hashtag%% is %%=TT%%\nJoin us!\n%%=TOPIC%%\n%%=PREREADINGS%%
-5;%%=Hashtag%% is %%=TT%%\nJoin us!\n%%=TOPIC%%\n%%=PREREADINGS%%

Next is the introduction. Welcoming new chatters, linking to prereadings. Make sure you give your participants an occasion to present themselves with an open question. We all have different motivations when participating to a Twitter chats among them the opportunityto network. So letting tweeps introduce themselves is more than politeness it is an opportunity for all to let learn about each others.

0;Welcome to %%=Hashtag%%\nToday' topic:\n%%=TOPIC%%
0;Today %%=Hashtag%%\nFraming Post, Questions\n%%=PREREADINGSForce%%
1;%%=Hashtag%% is about how we\nmanage our Knowledge:\nLearn,Share,Explore,Create,Retain.\nWe are from various horizons today
1;Please introduce yourself,\nfrom where you tweet,\nyour passion(s)?

Variables to define the questions format and how questions should be spaced depending on the number of questions. Again all the variables can be overloaded by the current chat script.

QuestionsTemplate: Q%%=N%%: %%=Label%%
QuestionsRythm6: 08, 18, 28, 38, 48, 53
QuestionsRythm7: 07, 15, 23, 31, 39, 47, 55

Middle and final. The command “Questions” process the questions according to above rythm.
Introducing next topic is a great practice.

2;Q0: What did you learn,\nshare this week?\nWhat did you enjoy?
58;Thank you for joining %%=Hashtag%%,\nsee you again next week!
60;Next Chat is %%=NextDate%% on\n"%%=NextTopic%%"

That’s all folks. Any suggestions, questions ? feel free to comment and engage here and on Twitter.