What is #Blogchat?

What is #blogchat?

#blogchat is a weekly conversation that takes place every Sunday nite starting at 8pm Central, on Twitter.  Each week we discuss a different blogging topic.

So what do you talk about?

Each week we pick a different blogging topic, sometimes we talk about personal blogging topics, other times we talk about business blogging.  One week we might talk about how to optimize your blog for search engines, the next week we might talk about how a company can pick its blogging team.

You said it’s ‘on Twitter’.  How does that work?

If you’ve spent any amount of time on Twitter, you know that there are a lot of conversations happening at any one time, and it can sometimes seem like a jumbled mess.  But when we add a hashtag like #blogchat to our tweets, then it becomes much easier for us to track and keep up with the conversation that’s happening!  Think of the #blogchat hashtag as a ‘mark’ that we add to our tweets, then if you are searching for the term ‘#blogchat’, you can quickly and easily see all the tweets that are related to our discussion!  Without that #blogchat hashtag included in the tweets, then they would be scattered all over the place, and you’d miss a LOT of the conversation!

So how long has #blogchat been around, and how did it get started?

The first #blogchat was in March of 2009.  One Sunday nite I wanted to ask my Twitter followers a question about blogging.  I knew I would get a ton of great replies, and I was worried that some other people that I wasn’t following would reply to those replies, and I’d miss them.  So I decided to ask my question, but I added the #blogchat hashtag to my original tweet.  That way, the people that replied would be more likely to add the same #blogchat hashtag to their replies, and then I could more easily find them!

The first #blogchat went on for a couple of hours, and was an instant hit!  Everyone wanted to make it a weekly affair, so I decided to have a #Blogchat every Sunday nite, at the same time!  The chat is now one of the most popular on Twitter, and each week we have hundreds of active participants, and the biggest #Blogchat so far had just over 6,000 tweets!

So is there a structure to #blogchat?  Do you ask us questions, or how does it work?

The format of #blogchat is very simple: We start with a general blogging topic, and the conversation flows from there.  I know a lot of Twitter chats have a very rigid structure, only allowing a few minutes per question, but I wanted to encourage a free-flowing discussion with #blogchat.  I want #blogchat to be like a coffeehouse where everyone is discussing the same general topic, but each table is talking about a slightly different take on that topic.

So are there any guidelines or ‘rules’ to using #blogchat?

No real ‘rules’, but we do have a few ‘common sense’ guidelines:

1 – Stay on topic.  #Blogchat has a really loose format when it comes to structure and topic.  A lot of other chats ask the participants new questions every few minutes to guide the conversation.  #Blogchat doesn’t, at most we’ll ask everyone two questions, and that’s usually when we have co-hosts.  So we’re pretty open, but I do appreciate it if you stay on topic.  If you want to discuss a different blogging topic than the one we are for that #Blogchat, please send me a reply @ on Twitter and let me know, as I am always looking for new topics.  Also, check out our OPEN MIC #Blogchat, which is the last Sunday of every Monday.  The format for these chats are unique in that there is NO set blogging topic, everyone discusses whatever they want!

2 – Please DO link to your blog posts and add the #blogchat hashtag to your tweets but ONLY if your post is relevant to that week’s discussion, and ONLY before or AFTER 8pm-9pm CT on the Sunday of that week’s #Blogchat. For example, if we are discussing how to get more comments on your blog this week, and you just wrote a post titled ’10 ways to get more interaction on your blog’, then ABSOLUTELY share that link with the #blogchat community!  But if we are going to discuss ways to get more comments on your blog, and you are promoting your post on ‘How to pick a great WordPress template’, and you add the #blogchat hashtag, then it comes across as ‘spam’ to the #blogchat community.

3 – Please do NOT link to your blog posts DURING #Blogchat.  This is a courtesy to other #Blogchat participants.  There are SO many tweets coming in that if you link to your post, we probably won’t click it anyway.  During the chat, we are there to talk, not to click a link.  #Blogchat moves so fast that people aren’t going to click your link to open a page.  By the time your page comes up, 100 new tweets from #Blogchat have come in, and I’m behind.

If you want to link to a post that you think is relevant to that night’s #Blogchat topic, then please wait till AFTER the chat is over, and then you can point out your post to participants.

UPDATE:  I am adding the above after receiving feedback from #Blogchat participants.  Please be mindful of linking to your own posts during #Blogchat, and how it affects everyone else’s experience.  Thank you :)

For more tips, check out this post on how to use #blogchat for self-promotion.

Ok you’ve convinced me, I want to start following #blogchat, what’s the best way to do that?

If you use a Twitter client like Tweetdeck for Chrome or HootSuite, create a search column for the term ‘#blogchat’.  Then as we leave new tweets with the #blogchat hashtag, they will show up in your column.

Or you can follow #blogchat right here:


Whoa…ok I checked some of the tweets from #blogchat and you guys are way over my head.  I’d better lurk for a while.

Stop.  Seriously if you want to join #blogchat PLEASE do.  A big reason why #blogchat works is because EVERYONE is welcome to join us.  Even if you are completely new to blogging, we can still learn from your experiences, just as you can learn from us.  #blogchat is a place where we all come to learn together.  So if you are new to #blogchat PLEASE leave a tweet introducing yourself, at least.

So what if you guys aren’t talking about the topic I want you to cover?

Then feel free to suggest a topic for a future #blogchat!  I will often ask #blogchat participants what topic they want to discuss that week!  So if you have an idea in mind, please let us know!

Holy Cats this #Blogchat is fast, just how big is it?

It varies.  Typically, #Blogchat generates 20-30 million impressions each week, about 2,000 or so tweets from around 500 participants.

Yeah, we get chatty ;)  Won’t you join us?

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonathan Saar April 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Great post Mack. If I could add one item regarding RT’s on #blogchat. I actually appreciate the RT’s because the stream is going so quickly sometimes, I don’t always get everything. Maybe the stream is filled quicker as a result of the RT’s but folks are genuinely showing appreciation for some great comments, which there is always plenty. Thanks for the post!

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Sue Anne Reed May 18, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Also need to add my slight disagreement on the RT issue. Couple of points, I agree with Jonathan that sometimes #blogchat is moving so fast that it’s easy to miss some things. RTs help raise those things back up to the top. Also, some people that are following individuals, but don’t participate in the chat find the RTs helpful because they set context or add to the discussion. I’ve had off chat discussions based on something I RT’ed (not necessarily something that I came up with as an original thought).

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Paintball Fan May 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Also need to add my slight disagreement on the RT issue. Couple of points, I agree with Jonathan that sometimes #blogchat is moving so fast that it’s easy to miss some things. RTs help raise those things back up to the top. Also, some people that are following individuals, but don’t participate in the chat find the RTs helpful because they set context or add to the discussion. I’ve had off chat discussions based on something I RT’ed (not necessarily something that I came up with as an original thought).
+1

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Mack Collier June 2, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Guys I hear you on the RTs. And I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence, but since I posted this FAQ, the RTs seem to be down a bit. Thanks for the feedback, if you have any other issues or concerns, let me know!

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Krithika Rangarajan October 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I had never heard of #blogchat until now. I am definitely participating from next week. The timing is very convenient too – thanks! :-)

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Clay Franklin July 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm

I love the concept. I can see how this process could be used for other topics or niche areas. I especially like the same time same hashtag every week process.
@ClayFranklin

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Michael August 19, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Please add me

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Allison Beasley March 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I will try to be there every week I can! I love #blogchat! :)

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Sharon March 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Hey Mark, thanks so much for this – really appreciate your clear explanation. Just watched ur video and now wondering… there are two sites you used when you made the video that are no longer working (at least right now). Wonder if you have alternatives? Two sites are: whatthehashtag.com and createpdf.in. Did you have something else you’re using now to pull transcripts and create PDFs? Very helpful! Thanks very much!

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Sharon March 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

goodness, sorry MACk, said Mark before… my apologies!

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Ali Handscomb March 28, 2011 at 3:21 am

Missed it last night as it was just too late for me with the clocks moving to British Summertime and everything. Please could you put up a working link to a transcript?

Thanks

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Marie April 23, 2011 at 9:28 am

I’m going to bed tomorrow, but I’m with Ali. I’m 7 hours ahead of Central Time. Participation is not even an option.

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Mani Viswanathan @ Blogging Tips April 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm

This is something new to me, but certainly sounds interesting. Will check the tweetchat link during the times you’ve mentioned.

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kapilprotocol June 17, 2011 at 1:56 am

Do you also have a fan page on facebook?Please share the link.

http://www.3rdprotocol.com

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hannahj August 12, 2011 at 5:24 am

Thanks for making the sincere try to provide an explanation for this. I feel very sturdy about it and wish to learn more. If it’s OK, as you attain extra intensive wisdom, can you include more posts similar to this one with more information? It would be extremely useful and helpful for me and my colleagues.

http://www.heavenlytreasures.com

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Bruce Sallan (@BruceSallan) December 31, 2011 at 8:45 am

YOU started it all Mack. I learned so much from #blogchat and you. Plus I met truly great people that have become genuine friends. I joined other chats but none engage me like yours.

And, finally, I started my own – #DadChat – learning all the way from #blogchat. I’ve made #DadChat my own but I owe the idea, the fun, the variety of topics, and so much more to you and #blogchat.

See you tomorrow night for Open Mic and have an absolutely wonderful and Happy New Year!

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Mack Collier December 31, 2011 at 9:53 am

Thanks Bruce, congrats on the success of #DadChat! See you tomorrow!

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SarahSideways January 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Alrighty! For some reason it seems like there would just be an overwhelming amount of information thrown at you in a matter of seconds. But, I’ll try it. Why the hell not? ;)

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Kelli Schmith January 30, 2012 at 9:04 am

Proud to say that #Blogchat is a recurring event on my calendar. Thanks for the commitment to keeping it alive and thriving.

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Jared Erondu February 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm

How are curators chosen? I’d love to lead one someday. Thanks for such a great chat session btw!

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Boomergirl February 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm

WOW!!! #blogchat numbers.

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Matt Brennan March 11, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Excellent post. I just found this last weekend, and it’s really informative!

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Travis Miller October 14, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Thanks so much for the post, it was very helpful! I look forward to networking with others in order to improve my Blog, Techazoid!

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xfallenmoon December 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm

awesome! i’ve been looking for a tweet chat for blogging for a while. thanks for introducing it and explaining it! :)

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Anita Mac March 11, 2013 at 11:52 am

Thanks for the tips! I jumped in midway through last week and was swimming trying to keep up! Now that I have a better idea, I hope to participate more! So many wise words out there – so much to weed through! Looking forward to more chats down the line!

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Farida April 8, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Oh this is so awesome! I’ll be there next Sunday! cant wait !

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Andy Kuiper June 28, 2013 at 10:50 am

#blogchat looks like an interesting way to “structure” communication on Twitter… I’m going to see if this is still active – thanks Jonathan :-)

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Mack Collier June 28, 2013 at 10:51 am

Andy it sure is, every Sunday night on Twitter at 8pm CT for the last 4 years ;)

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Andy Kuiper June 28, 2013 at 11:04 am

Thanks for the quick replay Mack :-)

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Dan Carter December 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm

WOW!!! #blogchat numbers.

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yael kochman January 27, 2014 at 1:06 am

This is great, thanks for this post!
How can i suggest a topic?

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David Olivares February 22, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Great content, I would like to see an update for 2014

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Crypto July 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm

I just started to get involved with the hashtag, but do you guys have any affiliation with blogtalkradio? I guess it be a good move to get other bloggers to provide advice / feedback, definitely brings forward a perspective.

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