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Using Twitter to Chat About Politics, #hashtag-Style

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, July 5 2011

Want to know when to get on Twitter to chat with fellow users about such topics as community building, optimizing your conversion rates, fundraising or new developments in mobile tech and social media?

Check out Twitter Chat Schedule, the Google-doc-powered TV Guide of Twitter talk. It's got more than 450 hashtags listed for more topics than I knew existed under the sun, including many of sure interest to folks in the poli-tech world. See for example:

  • #commbuild, a monthly chat that happens on the third Thursday of every month, from 4-5pm EST, moderated by Amy Sample Ward, NTEN's membership director (she also integrates CoverItLive into the chats and keeps archives!);
  • #CROchat, a weekly chat Thursdays from 1-2pm about conversion rate optimization;
  • #fem2, a weekly chat Sundays from 10-11pm EST for "feminists, womanists, and progressives about modern day women's issues" from the Feminism 2.0 conference;
  • FOIAchat, on Fridays from 2-3pm EST, for people who follow state sunshine laws and work with public records requests;
  • #fundchat, a weekly Wednesday chat from 8-9pm CST, for fundraising professionals;
  • #govchat, a monthly chat on the first Wednesday at 8pm EST, on topics relevant to the public sector and Government 2.0;
  • #journchat, a weekly chat on Monday nights from 8-9pm EST for journalists, bloggers and PR folks;
  • #localgovchat, a weekly chat from 9-10pm on Wednesdays, for people to discuss challenges for local government like citizen engagement;
  • #mbgeeks, the first Friday of each month, 8-9am EST, to discuss mobile technology and social media;

If you aren't familiar with how a "chat" works on Twitter, the simplest answer is just pick one of these hashtags and set up a search for it, or set up a column in whatever tool (TweetDeck, HootSuite, etc) that you use to track Twitter conversations. Then, at the appointed hour, dive in. It's like talk radio, or more like a party line.

(With Becky Kazansky)