Here are the details of how I prepare for, engage and follow up with a TweetJam.
This is from a CollabTalk Tweetjam held on Jan 31st 2017.
The Tweetjam was all about the “Evolution of the User Group”
The questions, responses, key points and challenges are listed below.
This is a three part series.
- Tweetjam Format, InfoGraph and Responses (this post)
- Tweetjams Done Right
- How I Prepare for Tweetjams
Check out the InfoGraphic below. Click on it. It’s a live link to an interactive graphic. There are 6 active pages … look for the arrows on the bottom of the live InfoGraph.
I have two parallel write ups to this post. You don’t need to read thru all of them, but to get the whole picture it might be helpful. The point I am trying to make it that Tweetjams are an art form and when done right can be very beneficial to a community.
Here are the Three Posts (including this one)
The details of the Tweetjam, including the participants, the ground rules and a bit more are posted to Christian Buckley’s blog - Will Groups Impact Your Organization?
Below are the details I create and track in a OneNote page.
The questions will include:
- Have the needs of your user group community changed? If so, how?
- What does your user group get right?
- What does your user group get wrong?
- What should your user group do to get more members / better engagement?
- What is your preferred format for user groups, and why?
- What is the role of the user group board, or its leaders?
- Besides “I’m busy” what is keeping you from getting involved in your user group?
Key Points: Culture, Distance, Philanthropy
Note: I use key points as a framework for some of the points I want to align to during the Tweetjam. You may not want to use this model, but it works for me to insure a theme is carried throughout.
Challenges: Value for the time and money
Note: Again, this is somewhat of a key point or a theme.
Questions with the Responses:
I list all the questions separately, then my 140 character (or tweetstorm) response. Note: I leave space for the preferred hashtag. This is important. Otherwise your response will not be logically associated with the Tweetjam.
Also, note that the responses all start with A(n) – where n is the question number. This is spelled out in Christian’s blog post, but for clarity it is to insure people reading your reply can associate it with the right question being posed.
Pro Tip: You can ALWAYS answer questions out of order. If you see someone’s response and it spurs and idea or you want to RT or otherwise comment on it … that’s OK.
1. Have the needs of your user group community changed? If so, how?
A1. The needs have changed because people have changed. People have less time to commit to a cause. #CollabTalk
A1. Overall people want to contribute and the will. It just needs to be easy for most to get started. Then the #CollabTalk
A1. I'm involved in a several groups. Some are very tech oriented and some are more social in nature. Balancing is key #CollatTalk
A1. The biggest change has been to NOT get sucked into every new tech that comes out. Video is not for every community. Same with chat #CollabTalk
2. What does your user group get right?
A2. We get the Philanthropy right. People do want to give back. Which is not always money. It can be time, expertise and more. #CollabTalk
A2. We get the vocabulary right (for the most part). We always try to speak "their" language. Otherwise we lose 'em. #CollabTalk
A2. We also are working on getting the format right. Making sure people know what they can expect - before, during and after #CollabTalk
A2. We've done right by ASKING what people want to see. Then working like crazy to deliver it … every time. #CollabTalk
A2. We've done right by getting people involved. Sometimes by pushing them outside their comfort zone … because we know they can do it. #CollabTalk
A2. We've done right with a shared leadership model. Let everyone have their chance to "run" the meetings. It's hard, but worth it #CollabTalk
3. What does your user group get wrong?
A3. We've gone wrong by trying to be everything to everyone. (full stop) #CollbTalk
A3. We've gone wrong by not doing proper before, during and after setup. Consistency matters. #CollabTalk
A3. We've gone wrong by settling. Settling into our comfort zone. Settling by not including others. Settling because it was easy. #CollabTalk
A3. We've gone wrong by not trying to include new tech --- dial-in meetings, webcasts, unproven (to us) tech, etc. #CollabTalk
A3. It's easy to say where we've gone wrong. It's harder to put the measures in to fix them. We're trying and we ask people to hold us accountable. #CollabTalk
4. What should your user group do to get more members / better engagement?
A4. The number one thing is being respectful of peoples time. Everything cannot always be perfect, but we need to provide value #CollabTalk
A4. We encourage new members / attendees to speak. Even if only for 30 seconds to get them "into" the group dynamic. #CollabTalk
A4. We encourage follow up. We recommend people get each others contact info. We also send out a list (with their permission) of all attendees. #CollabTalk
A4. Food and Beverages can get more members, but often it's different members to engage. It's another channel of comms. #CollabTalk
A4. Reaching out via multiple means --- email blast with a personal follow up call. It works well for #Toastmasters --- use it! #CollabTalk
5. What is your preferred format for user groups, and why?
A5. My personal preferred format is irrelevant. It's what works for the group. Hence we are trying webcasts, skype, and more #CollabTalk
A5. The preferred format is the one that works. I know … it sounds cliché. But, it's true. #CollabTalk
A5. With that said … Try New Things! Even something simple like … "An All Standing Meeting" (Take the chairs out) changes things up. #CollabTalk
A5. I'm seeing a "preferred" format pop up of … "On Demand" --- where people can catch up when they have time. #CollabTalk
A5. One preference I'm seeing more and more is … Make the content available online. Then I will consume it when I can. #CollabTalk
A5. I've seen a 3 to 5x increase in consumption of "On Demand Content" --- meaning, we are reaching a bigger group. That’s a win! #CollabTalk
6. What is the role of the user group board, or its leaders?
A6. The role of the leaders hasn’t' changed much over time. But, there is a shift towards inclusiveness. #CollabTalk
A6. The leadership sets the pace. And, also is open and asks for guidance. Then, as needed, re-sets the pace. #Servant #Leadership #CollabTalk
A6. The role of leadership is … Get out of the way. Allow the group to form, change and morph. #CollabTalk
A6. IMHO … the biggest role of leadership is to have a succession plan. And, to follow it. #CollabTalk
7. Besides “I’m busy” what is keeping you from getting involved in your user group?
A7. LOL. For everyone that knows me … I have a hard time saying no. #CollabTalk
A7. My biggest challenge is not getting involved. It's sharing the workload. Slack, Groups, and OneNote (on SharePoint) help a lot here. #CollabTalk
I always thank the host. In this case it's my best good friend Christian Buckley. As I noted on this blog post Tweetjams Done Right he KNOWS how to create a great Tweetjam.
I realize this is a long blog post. However, several people asked for how I use and interact with Tweetjams and thought it was worthwhile to spend the time and show you exactly how I set myself up for Tweetjams.
If you have another model or method that works for you please share it in the comments. I look forward to seeing you on the next Tweetjam.
Liked this article? I would appreciate it if you'd share it with a friend, family member, or colleague! Better yet … with a Tweetjam Enthusiast
image credits: Christian Buckley, Beezy, CollabTalk, TyGraph
This is cross posted on Medium