Sunday January 5 at noon Central time, the Northeastern Iowa Synod is going to host a tweetchat for our Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGMs) in Hungary.  #HungaryYAGM is the hashtag.  Some of the YAGMs in Hungary will be on Twitter at that time to respond to questions about their mission and ways we can support their ministry.

You can participate by going on to Twitter (you do need to have a twitter account to participate) and search for #HungaryYAGM at noon on Sunday, Jan 5.

But what IS a Tweetchat?, you may be asking.

Among the many ways to use social media for communication and resource sharing is the use of a Tweetchat on Twitter.

At Tweetchat is a pre-arranged chat that happens on Twitter through the use of Twitter posts (called tweets) that include a predefined #hashtag to link those tweets together in a virtual conversation.  You use the #hashtag to identify tweets during the chat and to find the conversation afterwards.

Tweetchats are a great way to connect with other people around the country (and even world) who share your interests, to share resources and ideas.  They are also a lot of fun.  Recently our own Bishop Ullestad participated in a #Bishopchat tweetchat.

There are some websites and apps that make it easier to follow tweetchats.  Currently the one used most by church social media folk is http://twubs.com/.  Simply type in the hashtag #HungaryYAGM and you will find all the tweets under that hashtag.

Tweetchat Tips:

  • Remember you can only post 140 characters! One of the advantages is that this keeps us from being too wordy!  Whittle down what you want to ask or say to the bare essential.
  • Let your Twitter followers know before the tweet chat that they’ll be seeing a lot of messages with that hashtag from you. They’ll appreciate the warning and won’t be confused by your Twitter stream. You could even invite them to the tweet chat if you think they may be interested in the topic.

Example:

For the next hour I will be joining NEIowa Synod TweetChat #HungaryYAGM with young adults in mission in Hungary.  Feel free to join us!

  • Make sure you add the tweet chat hashtag to your tweets.  If you are using Twubs they will automatically be added.
  • If you come into the middle of a chat, you do not need to announce or apologize that you are late.  Nobody cares. Just jump right in!
  • Questions will be numbered Q1, Q2, ect.  When responding to the question include the number which you are responding to.  There is a lot of conversation going on at once and it can be confusing and people might not know what you are talking about.
  • Stay on topic! If the topic is mission in Hungary do not talk about your Christmas plans.  Nobody cares.  It is fine to engage in an off topic discussion with someone else, just take the hashtag out of it.
  •  Feel free to retweet! If you have nothing to add but someone says something that impresses you, it is fine to retweets or favor their tweet.  In fact retweets help people keep up.

If you would like to practice taking part in a tweetchat before Sunday and learn more about church social media, there is a weekly tweetchat on church social media on Tuesdays evenings, 8 pm CST under the hashtag #CHSOCM (It is on Christmas vacation now and will resume January 7)

Most of all have fun and we hope to see your handle on Sunday, Jan 5.

Follow me on Twitter @PastorJoelle

Follow the Synod on Twitter @NEIowaSynodELCA

Friend me on Facebook.  I’ll friend anyone.

By Pastor Joelle Colville-Hanson, Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA

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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.

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