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By: Jania Matthews Date: 4/5/12

We cordially invite you to join the party—the TwitterParty. 

Just this week, the IFIC Foundation participated in a TwitterParty with @ResourcefulMom and @Togethercounts. The chat’s topic focused on family health and wellness. Perhaps it was the topic or maybe it was just good company, but the chat was great and the discussion lively. Chat topics can range from healthy recipes to gardening tips to automotive discussions.

While discussing the chat with a few people, I learned that not everyone is aware of TwitterParties also referred to as Twitter Chats.  The concept goes like this:

·       •Use Twitter as the platform to host the chat
•A topic is chosen
•A moderator asks questions
•Twitter participants respond to questions using a #hashtag (often determined by the moderator of the chat) so people can follow   the conversation thread

Wondering about the benefits of a TwitterChat? There are plenty. Outside of the chat being fun and engaging, here are a few additional benefits:

·       •Meet new people with similar interests
•Receive useful information and key insights
Expand your twitter following

These are just a few of the benefits. The TwitterChat that @FoodInsight participated in earlier this week, included 153 participants and 2,071 party tweets. Again, a good time was had by all. Also, this TwitterChat included giveaways, which aren’t standard, but in this case proved to be a nice perk.

The one aspect of a chat that many find perplexing is the speed of the activity. While some chats involve a small community and not a lot of participants, other chats are quite large and include a lot of people. In these situations, the chat can go very fast. Not to worry, because there are a number of tools to help monitor and follow these discussions.

Also, if you really like something that someone else says, you can re-tweet (repeat someone else’s tweet), which shows you agree and like what the other person tweeted.  Still, whether the chat is fast or slow, participants can expect to exchange good information and resources.

Here’s an example of a conversation thread of a chat:

Don’t miss out on the fun. If you don’t think you have something to contribute, think again! Not only can you add your opinion, advice, and insights to the discussion, but you can also learn a lot too.

If you don’t already, follow us on Twitter (@IFICMedia & @FoodInsight) and “like us” on Facebook at Food Insight.

Have you participated on a TwitterChat? If not, join a TwitterParty today!  And let us know about your experience!

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