Twitter Chats are everywhere these days. From topics such as child rearing to backpacking, there is a twitter chat for everything it seems. If you’ve ever seen a bunch of tweets show up in your timeline that start off with “A5: …” you know you’ve just been swamped by a twitter chat. This is frustrating.
In the old days, we used to have chat rooms. They were private and unfortunately anonymous, and they quickly gained a reputation for bad things like sexual predators hunting down young children. So we basically stopped that game.
Now, we have evolved it into the open with twitter chats. People chat away on their twitter clients as if it were a chat room except everyone else has to listen. What’s worse, the interface for chats is terrible. Following a hashtag is useless really and the best comments get swamped with all the volume and noise. The length of comments also leads to a shallow discussion. Lastly, while I applaud the idea of inclusiveness, it really ends up becoming a shouting match of self promotion. This needs to change.
There are services like Stack Exchange (among others) which have done the Q and A game well. It allows for answers to be posted to questions and the better answers to rise to the top through proper voting. It leaves value behind since the discussion persists after the chat is done and it doesn’t pollute the public stream.
In short, twitter chats are an overloaded use of twitter. They are the loud obnoxious guy talking on his cellphone while you ride the bus. There are better, more appropriate tools that can accomplish the goal without hindering on the openness of the discussion while simultaneously adding value.
Twitter chat users! Stop the insanity. For the benefit of your followers, I ask one thing: Get a Room!