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Why Twitter?

Twitter is a broadcast medium with no barrier to entry - anyone who is tuning into Twitter can pick up anyone else's signal.  

The power of twitter for group discussions is that it enables a parallel threaded discussion where many people can talk at once and the discussion is captured in one place, as opposed to a webinar or telephone conference which (only allows a serial threaded conversation and) limits the conversation to one person talking at a time and requires others to be muted.

You can read what people are tweeting, identify and reach out to others who have similar interests, and engage many people in an actual conversation in real time, as well as respond to a conversation after it has occurred. No other platform enables you to search by topic and directly engage with the originator of the content without jumping over obstacles, having to register within the platform, downloading software, or providing personal information to participate.

5 Simple Reasons Twitter Is An Amazing Place To Be

5 Examples Of Innovative Ways To Use Twitter

What is a Socratic Discussion?

The Socratic method of discussion is based on the way Socrates taught students in Ancient Greece. All of his students were encouraged and expected to share their thoughts regarding both the written and the spoken word. Socrates students were provided materials to read, analyze and evaluate prior to class so they could prepare to contribute to the discussion. During the class, Socrates would often remain silent to allow the students to share their knowledge.

The Global Product Management Talk models the Socratic method of discussion by posting the questions to be discussed and providing background material for participants to review before the event.  During the event, the speaker participates on an equal level with participants, by reading and commenting on tweets. We also include both the written aspect of the tweets and the spoken word by recording the commentary and banter of the speaker with the co-hosts.

Following the event, participants and others can read the transcript and listen to the recording to further analyze the discussion, follow through to resources mentioned during the event, and blog their responses.  The Global Product Management Talk is the only venue of this nature available for product professionals to share their knowledge and resources, discuss pertinent issues, stay up to date with the most recent methodologies, procedures and tools, and learn from others while engaging in a community of peers.

What is a Twitter Chat?

Twitter chats are scheduled gatherings of people on Twitter to discuss pretty much anything that interests them, using a #hashtag to keep track of the conversation. There are chats for everything from blogging to art to agriculture.

Twitter chats offer participants a great way to network, share knowledge and increase their own influence. It’s similar to a chat room in that it’s a topic-driven conversation happening in real time; it just happens to be housed on Twitter.

There are many different Twitter chat formats, i.e.;
  • No Agenda & No hosts: casual meetings of people with shared interests, 
  • Posted topic: everyone tweets whatever about the topic, 
  • Hosted meetings: participants ask questions of the speaker,
  • Add-ons to another event: such as a TV show, sports event, or press junket with live streamed speaker, where participants comment on what they are watching, (including tweet stream from in-person events)
  • Socratic method format: pre-posted questions provided by speaker for participants to answer.

The Global Product Management Talk is a pioneer in implementing the Socratic Method on Twitter, to cultivate community, facilitate networking and encourage collaboration around product management knowledge.

Twitter Chat schedules
Twitter Chats are a growing trend.

Tweeting Best Practices

1. Recognize that tweets are public, not only are your Twitter followers reading your tweets, everyone following the hashtags you use are also reading them.  Your followers may recognize the nature, purpose and pattern of your tweeting habits, but those who picked up your individual tweet with the hashtag, do not.

2. Notify your followers what you are doing, what twitter talks you are participating in, where you are tweeting from and why you are tweeting this information. Be cognizant that people reading your tweets may take them out of context - timing and location of your tweets are pertinent. 

3. Include URLs in your tweets to provide context! 

Re: Repercussions from "Know Your Enemy" http://bit.ly/r8kh8K                                                                                            Had the tweeter actually referenced the URL of the transcript, and had the decision makers followed through to the source material, they may have recognized that the tweeter was neither a spy nor a threat, but rather someone whose intention was to share their enthusiasm for the education of the training, excitement regarding the relevant timing of the previous week’s Global Product Management Talk content to their current training, and promote the quality of education being provided at the training to a global audience of attendees at the Global Product Management Talk.

Having said that, you cannot assume that people will follow through to read the URL, even if you do include it.

4. You are your own brand.

Be responsible for all your online information.  Twitter is a public broadcast medium as is every social media vehicle (including Facebook, Google+, Linkedin), public website, blog and any content that can be indexed and searched.  Track all your profiles and update them regularly. 

Another frequent participant and past ProdMgmtTalk speaker, Larry McKeogh addressed this in his Product Camp Radio interview http://bit.ly/rlH1FP discussing his presentation at Product Camp Austin, “The Product of You.”  Product Manage your own online presence.  Have a strategy for positioning yourself, your purpose for being online, for participating and having a presence in the online locations you do.  Manage your own positioning.

5.  Make sure everyone reading your tweets attends and actively participates in the Global Product Management Talks so they understand your references and are engaged in the discussion!  Point them to the website http://www.prodmgmttalk.com

6.  Blog about your learning weekly to provide context for people following your tweets.  We welcome contributions to the Global Product Management Talk blog, we’ll mirror your blog posting and point back to your blog. http://bit.ly/eOFmB6

7.  Attend other Twitter talks, such as #PR20, #smmanners, #blogchat, #custserv, where weekly people are discussing the opportunities, etiquette, ethics, legalities, and challenges of having an online presence, implementing social media in corporate environments, and sharing lessons learned from social media mistakes by companies and individuals. You can view the Schedule of Twitter Talks http://bit.ly/qzKb7V There are currently almost 500 different regular Twitter Chats, many also post transcripts of their sessions.

8.  Evangelize the intention of the Global Product Management Talk! ProdMgmtTalk exists to provide a forum for discussing these kinds of issues, and to;

  • Engage Product people in utilizing social media effectively,
  • Showcase Product Management Professional experts, speakers, bloggers and thought leaders,
  • Evangelize Product related job titles as exciting, challenging and rewarding career endeavors,
  • Raise important issues that all Product Management Professionals confront,
  • Educate and share resources across industries and borders,
  • Facilitate on-going dialogue, networking, mentoring and support beyond weekly events,
  • Create global community around product management professional knowledge, 
  • Educate and defend the value of the Product Professional.

How do I participate in the Global Product Management Talk?

While it may sound intimidating, Twitter Chats are just like joining an online chat room. Here are a few handy tips to having a fun, useful chat.

We suggest you start with using Tweetchat, which is easy to use immediately. As you get familiar with the flow of a twitter chat conversation, you can advance to tools with more features. 


Other tools you can use to identify #prodmgmttalk during event (some links are prepopulated):


1.  To find our chat, simply log on to our Twitter Chat Room with your regular Twitter username and password. The screen will look like a chat window and you should see a list of all the tweets so far. 

2. To add a tweet, simply type your comments (140 characters or less) and hit Update. 

3. Your tweet will show up in bold type. Anyone who responds to you will also be in bold type. 

4. To reply to someone, click the Reply arrow. To retweet, click the Forward arrow. 

5. The navigation buttons under the tweet window allow you to pause or increase the speed of tweets that show up. The User Control button lets you block retweets if you don’t want to see them. 

6. Be patient. Sometimes it takes a moment for tweets to show up. If you ask a question and the guest doesn’t respond, you can ask your question again, but please understand that it may take them some time to respond. 

7. Please remember that everyone’s there to have a fun, informative chat—so treat your fellow chatters courteously. 

8. Inform your followers ahead of time that you’ll be on a Twitter chat, since they will see all the tweets you send during the hour-long chat. Invite them to participate!

9. @ProdMgmtTalk co-hosts are Cindy @cindyfsolomon and either Adrienne @brainmates (or other product experts) who reserve the right to remove any comments they deem unacceptable.

What is a hash tag?

A Hash-tag is a user-created standard for identifying tweets belonging to a topic. Simply include the tag in your tweet and other people searching for the same tag will be able to find it.

Every Twitter chat comes with a designated hashtag. Protocol is pound sign preceding designated abbreviation for chat (#prodmgmttalk). The tag is key as it will help you and everyone else to keep track of the conversation happening as part of that discussion.

In order to participate in the chat, all of your tweets should include the appropriate tag. If you tweet without it, your tweets are going to fall on mostly deaf ears and fragment the conversation. You want people to see that you are participating in this chat and that you’re interested in whatever the topic is.

Many people who partake in Twitter chats are good about following back other members, so participating in a chat is a good way to increase your influence on Twitter if you prove to be helpful on a certain topic. If you see multiple hashtags pop up, try to include those in your tweet, as well, to make sure that everyone watching can see what you’re saying.

How tagging adds Value to tweets

How to get the most value as a Participant

1. Show Up Prepared

Do a little research on the Twitter chat you’re joining before you show up. Some chats have rules for how users are supposed to participate; for example, you may need to send in questions ahead of time. You want to be aware of the rules beforehand so that you’re able to participate. You should also be familiar with whoever is hosting the chat and get an idea for what they’re most skilled in and what they’ll be bringing to the table.

If you show up late to a Twitter chat, go back in the tweet timeline to see what everyone is talking about. The worst thing you can do is arrive to a chat 15 minutes late and then interrupt it to ask what the topic of the chat is. You should know this before jumping in.

Prepare each week for the Global Product Management Talk! 

A. Search http://pack.li/1d for this week's "Global Product Management Talk" or 

B. Find the speaker info on our site under "Background Info" http://bit.ly/eFAB6G

C. Facebook preposted questions for each talk  http://on.fb.me/ohI9Pt

2. Participate!

Don’t just sit there, say something!

If you know the topic beforehand, you may want to come with some questions already in mind so that you don’t waste time thinking them up. Knowing what you want to ask will help make sure that you’re getting actionable information from these chats. You can also retweet people who you think made a great point or who asked a question you’d like to see answered.

But don’t just focus on your own needs! Keep your eyes open for opportunities where you can help answer other people’s questions or concerns. This is a great way to grow your authority on Twitter and to be seen as a helpful person. The more you can point people to trusted resources, the better job you’ll do at establishing connections with the people you “meet” via Twitter chats.

3. Follow Up

After the chat ends, follow the users you enjoyed interacting with and learned from. This helps keep the conversation going and strengthens your ties with those contacts. You may also want to follow, e-mail, or send a message to the hosts of the chat (@cindyfsolomon @prodmgmttalk @brainmates and weekly speaker) to thank them for putting it together or let them know you found it valuable. Twitter chats are a great networking tool, so you should use them as such. The same way you’d follow up after an in-person networking event, you should follow up here as well.

4. Find Your Tool

You may want to use a Twitter tool to help you monitor the Twitter chat hashtag that you’re following. This will help you isolate the conversation so that your “regular” Twitter stream isn’t polluting it with outside information. 

What Are Twitter Chat Tools?

We suggest with Tweetchat, which is easy to use immediately. As you get familiar with the flow of a twitter chat conversation, you can advance to tools with more features. 


Other tools you can use to identify #prodmgmttalk during event (some links are prepopulated):


developed by Robert Swanwick to provide a framed context to Twitter Chat Events

Twitter Search



These are more sophisticated dashboards that require set up prior to the event and have lots of features:




Getting Started

1. Sign up for Twitter

If you do not already have a Twitter account, you can sign up for one for free at Twitter.com

2. Twitter for Beginners

Twitter 101

5 Steps for Better Tweeting 

3. Navigating through a Twitter chat

How to Successfully Navigate a Twitter Party

4. The Twitter Guide Book 


How to Host A Regular Twitter Chat Event

This question was recently posed on Quora.  Here are CindyFSolomon's suggestions for the Most effective way to host a regular Twitter Chat:


Recognize that a regular Twitter Chat is an event requiring human participation. Even though its digital on an open platform, it still requires similar planning, thinking, and structure as any other regularly scheduled event to guarantee its success.

Think strategically and post your thinking on a webpage (start with a wiki or blogpage, then identify a relevant name that ideally works well for a hashtag and domain name)

Answer these questions in your planning
What is the purpose of the Twitter Chat?
Who is the desired audience?
What is your goal for producing the Chat?
What are your success metrics?
What is your road map?

Break down your event planning into 3 parts
a) Before the event begins (prior to launch and between regularly scheduled events)
b) During the event
c) After the event


Prior to Twitter Chat Launch

Determine the following details:

1. Topic: Decide your twitter chat topic. Search Twitter hashtags and the Twitter Chat Schedule to see if its already covered: http://bit.ly/hbEgyt

2. Team: Choose a partner or two to collaborate, co-host during chat, handle logistics and promote between chats. Sustaining momentum requires group effort between events and when you're not available. If your purpose is to engage an audience around a topic, community nurturance is an ongoing effort.

3. Audience: identify who is already discussing this topic on and off Twitter, what organizations, events and experts are focussed on it. Make contact and start creating a twitter list to engage those people in conversation and share your plans. Create a means of driving people to your webpage and encouraging them to register or subscribe for ongoing exchange. A Twitter Chat is one potent piece of a community engagement and fully integrated social media campaign effort.

4. Schedule: Choose a schedule that works for a core group of potential participants to guarantee an audience at launch.

5. Format: Your purpose and topic will help define the most effective format for your audience.

Format options range from;

a) the open bar networking type event if you just want to build community and provide a meeting place for people to tweet together during a time frame where they're allowed to promote themselves and self-interests;

b) themed free-for-all where people are encouraged to stay on topic;

c) an expert guest speaker where tweeters ask questions relevant to the guest's subject matter;

d) semi-structured - where the host provides questions for participants to discuss;

e) hybrid event - where the live action takes place on another platform off Twitter, but the conversation occurs within Twitter;

f) Socratic Format
pioneered by the Global Product Management Talk and suggested for professional events. Before the event, the speaker provides links to presentations and questions. Participants are encouraged to prepare to engage in a valuable conversation by sharing their own experience and expertise with both the speaker and other participants. Questions from the audience, suggestions, disagreements and humor is encouraged. The hosts moderate the chat by welcoming new comers, monitoring the discussion to stay on focus, orienting the speaker, watching the time and moving the conversation forward. This becomes a valuable interactive information exchange during the live event time frame. Afterwards, the transcript of tweets is posted and participants are encouraged to blog about their experience and continue the conversation in a static format.

This should get you started. You can check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Global Product Management Talk website for additional details from the weekly #prodmgmttalk Twitter Chat.

Why aren't my tweets showing up during #prodmgmttalk?

Some people's tweets are making it out into the Twittersphere, but since they are not included in Twitter’s search function, they don’t show up in a search for a particular hashtag, even if they tweeted it.


Your account may be functioning properly to some extent: your tweets might still be seen by your followers, but chances are you’ve been prevented from showing up in Twitter search. Since aggregator programs (like Tweet Chat, Tweet Grid) rely on accessing Twitter search to find those tweets containing a specific hashtag, you are thus ‘left out’ of the party.

First, check your profile settings to make sure your Tweets are publicly available: 
1. Go into your profile settings at https://twitter.com/settings/account
2. Scroll down to "Tweet Privacy" and make sure it is unchecked.  "If this is checked, your (future) tweets will not be available publicly. Tweets posted previously may still be publicly visible in some places."


A. To see if your account has been blocked from search, log on to Twitter, and enter the following in the search box at the top of the screen:


If you don’t get any results, your account is not showing up in search. Your followers most likely can still see all of your tweets. However, to properly participate in a chat, your tweets need to show up in Twitter search.

B. Read Twitter's "I'm Missing From Search"

C. If your tweets aren’t showing up in search, what could be happening?

1) Incomplete Bio
You might not have completely filled out your name and bio in your profile (so it might look like an account set up for spamming).

2) New or Low Activity Account:
You might not yet have tweeted much, thus not looking like a legitimate account or your account might be brand-new.

3) Spammy Content
Your tweets might be considered spammy if you tweet the same tweet or link over and over, post the same content across different accounts, use bots or sending automated tweets & replies, you might be marked as a spam account. If you are frequently retweeting tweets from other accounts that might considered to be spam, your account also could be tagged as being a contributor to spammy content.

4) Third Party Apps
If you gave your username/password to a third party app that is updating other accounts with similar content, then you might be blocked.


So what can you do if you are blocked from Twitter search?

1) Twitter Search Best Practices

Try to fix your account (complete your profile, start tweeting if you have a new account, stop tweeting the same link or same content repeatedly). It might take some time, but if you follow Twitter’s guidelines for Twitter Search best practices, your tweets should start to appear back in search. 

2) Dear Twitter, Please Help!

If you’re at your wit's end and feel that your account should be in good standing, contact Twitter to open a support ticket to look into the problem. There’s a chance that you are doing nothing wrong; your account just might be one of the unfortunate ones experiencing an ongoing problem.

Subpages (2): TwebEvent TweetChat
Cindy Solomon,
Apr 26, 2011, 6:54 PM