A tweet chat happens in the middle of all the twitter frenzy. These organized group conversations discuss a specific topic and note the chat is part of that topic with a hashtag (#). People sharing an interest in a topic create these chats to discuss the various aspects of the topic. Some pose questions to the group and others build a dialogue around the topic.
So far, I’ve seen three types of twitter chats:

  • Pose questions for group to answer.
  • Bring in a guest speaker to lead conversation.
  • Open dialogue.

Some groups, especially the large ones like #journchat, have rules to help the chat move along smoothly. Smaller groups don’t struggle as much with tweets flying like crazy. Usually the groups have a moderator — generally the person who started the group. Some bring in guest moderators to step in for the moderator.

You can weed out the rest of twitterverse to view just the conversation on the selected topic using a Twitter chat tool. You can also enter the hashtag group (i.e. #journchat, #editorchat, #b2bmktgchat) into Twitter search to find all the tweets on the topic and reply to those.

Tools to Track Chats

TweetChat: Web based app where you enter chat room name, click User Control to enter names of users to feature (their tweets show up bolder) and users to block. Enter your comments into the box without adding the hashtag. TweetChat does this automatically. You can participate in more than one chat by opening another tab for another chat. My favorite.

TweetGrid: Web-based app that can monitor more than one hashtag or chat. Enter the name or hashtag into the search box, sign in so you can tweet. You’ll have to enter the hashtag name so it will go to the right group. My fallback.


TweetDeck: Desktop software that lets you create a new column that filters the hashtag or chat name.


Moniterr: Web-based app that lets you monitor three hashtags or keywords. But you can’t tweet from within the app unless you Reply.


TweeTree: Web-based app that monitors hashtags and keywords. No replies, but includes ellipses (…) for seeing the original tweet or viewing the link to post within TweetTwee. Also allows you to share conversation with others by sending the unique URL, i.e. http://tweetree.com/search?q=%23editorchat


Roomatic: Web-based app that monitors hashtags and keywords. No replies. Clunky, but lets you share the conversation with others by sending the unique URL, i.e. http://www.roomatic.com/%23editorchat (%23 is the code for #).


Twemes: Follows tweets with hashtags. This service provides an easy to remember URL to chats, such as http://twemes.com/editorchat. Twemes has a right column that highlights hot topics, links and photos for the hashtag group.


RSS Feed: If you like reading feeds, you can grab a feed for your hashtag group in Twitter search. Enter the hashtag and then copy the link in “Feed for this query” into your feed reader.

twitter search

Now that you know how to follow along with twitter chats, join a chat.
How do you track twitter conversations?