Twitter workshop #tw101 evaluation
When the Patients’ Association of Canada (PAC) asked me to give them a workshop on how to Twitter, I dreaded the thought of presenting a slide deck of screen shots and bulleted lists. I thought why not show them Twitter in action.
So I turned to my followers. First I asked:
“Can I give a workshop about the basics of Twitter in person and on Twitter simultaneously? Any tips?”
Thus the hashtag #tw101 was born and yesterday at 5 pm I held a small workshop with 7 people in PAC’s offices and 39 contributors on Twitter. You can read the transcript here. Participant knowledge ran the gamut from Twitter naïve to expert. Attitudes ranged from skeptic to curious to evangelist.
After introductions, I asked the Twitter group 3 questions:
- Q: Tell us why you Twitter. What’s your single biggest benefit of using Twitter? #tw101
- Q: What is your favourite Twitter learning resource? What demystified Twitter for you? #tw101
- Q: So how should a newbie get started? #tw101
The #tw101 Twitter stream generated lively discussion off and online. When the chat was over, I reviewed the stream with the participants in the room.
- The collective knowledge from the Twitter participants offered a wider range of perspectives and tactics than I could have alone.
- Seeing Twitter in action spoke volumes to the participants who had never followed a Twitter conversation. Immediately they started to see how it could work for them before I spoke a word.
- The offline debrief following the Twitter session was as important as the Tweet chat itself. The participants asked questions that were particular to their goals and needs.
- Having another avid Twitterer in the room was critical. I was lucky that Rob Fraser (@rdjfraser) joined the workshop in person. We didn’t plan to present the workshop together, but ultimately we did. Rob helped keep the Twitter stream rolling during the chat if a question from the room kept me busy. Similarly, as I was wrapping up the chat, he kept the real life discussion going.
What I would change
- Find a less intrusive way to transfer prepared tweets to Tweet chat with a live audience.
- Officially conduct the workshop with a co-presenter. (Thanks Rob for being there.)
All of the participants left with a better understanding of how they could use Twitter. I hope you’ll welcome @PatientsAssocCa and @Sholomg. The others can now make an informed decision about whether Twitter is right for them and when.
Overall, I think the experiment was a success. However, I wonder if I could do it again without fatiguing my followers? What do you think?