Why Twitter Chat?

Since launching #lrnchat last week I’ve received several queries into why we chose the Tweet Chat format rather than a dedicated chat or even IM tool which would allow for more detailed and threaded discussions. While I’m not apposed to conversations using those tools, too, I had several reasons for suggesting Twitter as the medium.

I find the fast paced, short succinct posts refreshing. As a group, people passionate about learning can be a bit long-winded and I like the idea of helping them say more with less.

This is a venue that hasn’t been tried before. There seem to be ample opportunities for closed and deep-dive conversations at conferences, in online communities, and through ad hoc meetups learners and educators employ.

Twitter offers an easy way to help people who don’t necessarily consider themselves “learning people” to see, through those of us chatting’s tweets, we’re talking about topics interesting to them and so new faces may join in. Think of this as a transparent fishbowl where newcomers enjoy what they see and self select themselves to join in. This approach helps us widen the circle of people we can learn with and who will surely offer fresh perspective so we can learn more. Rather than see “overflow” as a problem, I view it as a benefit! If someone has already chosen to follow someone passionate about learning, they may also begin to realize they are passionate about learning too and join in themselves.

As we so often mention when we meet face to face, this is a venue where people can also vote with their feet (err, their fingers). If this appeals to people, they’ll join in. If it isn’t for them, they can walk off. Like everything, it’s an experiment in learning together, seeing what doesn’t work and what does, and improving ourselves through learning along the way.

I hope you’ll consider learning with us again this coming Thursday.


  1. Marcia, how about a primer on the basics: initial introductions, a series of questions streamed out over session to be discussed, last 10 mins are for promoting/asking?

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