by Deborah Corn
If you are unaware, in January of 2011 Quad Graphics created a weekly “tweet-up” for the purpose of exchanging ideas and information within the world of print. Aptly named #PrintChat, word spread through networking circles and soon enough a nice weekly crowd began to gather and participate in intelligent discussions and relevant knowledge sharing.
Quad/Graphics founded #printchat and served as host and moderator in 2011. A weekly topic was set and questions were posed to the group during the hour-long discussion. The format makes it relatively easy to follow along and respond to questions as they are asked of the group.
Quad/Graphics frequently called upon active participants to guest host.
Seeing an opportunity for #printchat to continue to grow among the online Print community, Quad unselfishly passed the hosting baton to PrintMediaCentr so we could keep their vision alive… and we intend to do just that.
The most major change to make note of – #PRINTCHAT has moved to 4PM ET / 3PM CT / 2PM MTN / 1PM PT and 9PM GMT. We feel this will enable more people to attend.
Format wise, why fix something that isn’t broken! We will however evolve it just a bit to include co-hosts and even invite special guests to do Q&A from time to time. As always, topic suggestions, general #printchat ideas and volunteers for co-hosting are always welcomed.
#PRINTCHAT has come to represent more than just the hashtag for a weekly discussion, but a signifier for those actively engaged in the world of print on Twitter. During non-chat times there is great information being shared there, so you should tune into the #printchat stream and check it out.
#Printchat? #Hashags? Twitter?
Don’t be scared! If you haven’t yet dipped your toe into the Twitter pool this is the perfect opportunity for you to test it out amongst your peers with no pressure! In a few easy steps you can join in the #printchat community – whether you just watch or participate.
- Create an account http://twitter.com
- Fill in the basic profile information (it’s like 2 sentences) so we know who you are.
- Put a picture in your profile – this isn’t a must, but the Twitter default is an egg and I’d rather talk to a face, logo, sunset or boat than an egg!
You are now on Twitter – congrats! On Wednesdays at 4pm ET, sign in… you are 3/4’s done already…
In order to follow a subject on Twitter, or search for one, you use a # symbol referred to as a hashtag, followed by keyword – in this case #printchat. Others used in our community are #print, #printing, #printmedia, #digitalprint, #direcmail, #publishing #design, #paper, #wideformat and so on… same formula #, keyword.
In the actual Twitter program, there is a search field. Type in #printchat to see the results. You can watch the chat from here, and if you want to participate, all you need to do is INCLUDE #printchat in your message. Anyone speaking or responding to you or passing your tweet along (called a re-tweet) will include your @twittername so you can see all of that.
For me, the EASIEST way to follow #printchat is to use http://tweetchat.com. Just sign in with your Twitter account, and in the “enter hashtag to follow” field type in printchat, WITHOUT a hashtag before it. A single chat stream will be created for you to watch, and the best part is that “#printchat” will automatically be included in your tweets from this site if you participate.
The Call To Action
With the time change to 4PM ET, we hope to attract more participation so please let your contacts know about #printchat even if you don’t plan on joining. If you do join us, bring a friend or two! And of course, make sure you follow PrintMediaCentr on Twitter!
If anyone out there needs help setting up a Twitter account or wants more information on anything #printchat related, get in touch and I’m happy to help you.
The Wrap Up
We know we have some big hosting shoes to fill and we will do our best to keep #printchat a welcoming place to share information, ideas and experience. Thanks again to Quad/Graphics for trusting us to carry on the mission and see you all on Wed!