Monday, April 23, 2012

Lessons Learned from Live Chats

I needed the better part of the weekend to recover from a live chat on Friday discussing the future of food writing. (Okay, so there were some parties, too.) But seriously, for the precious pearls of wisdom gained from seasoned writers dishing out free advice, there was an awful lot to sift through.

My initial response is I needed to do some research on chat guidelines to make sure I wasn't missing the mark. I found this great article at for a little reassurance that my "virtual whiplash" as one tweeted was not unfounded.

The author Lisa Barone wrote, "If you’re not familiar with them, a Twitter chat is a guided conversation where users interested in a particular topic hop onto the service to chat. The chat is given a hashtag, which makes it easy for anyone looking in to identify the chat and participate. It’s similar to a chat room in that it’s a topic-driven conversation happening in real time; it just happens to be housed on Twitter."

I couldn't have found a better way to say that. She also suggests researching the chat topics beforehand, participating, asking questions, and taking advantage of the chat as a networking tool. All great advice! 

Not sure if this chat was different, or just very busy from a lot of users. I found the re-tweeting got too heavy and created a lot of distance between answers to questions. In an active chat with an experienced panel, I would prefer to keep the little chit chat down so it is easier to follow. 

Favorite things said:

Monica Bhide: parting words: write because you love it. Do it consistently and do it persistently.. The rewards are priceless. :-)

Dianne Jacob: Writers are sensitive. Rejection can be difficult. The most important thing is to keep at it & believe in yourself.

Adam Roberts (Amateur Gourmet): My take on : you can work your way up through established channels or create your own channel. I suggest the latter.

The Foodie Bugle: If food writers don't focus on showcasing artisanal food producers they'll have very little to write about in the future.

Dan Lepard: You are better than today's writing, or tomorrows. Aim to be clearer, gritter every time.

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