Happy One Year Anniversary! #TChat Preview

Everyone loves a celebration, particularly me. So join us in celebrating the first anniversary of TalentCulture’s #TChat this Wednesday, November 16th at 7-8pm ET +. Yep, one year old this week. How can that be?

When Kevin W.Grossman and I first started bouncing ideas back and fourth about #TChat, we had no idea of what to expect. I knew I wanted to tackle “The World of Work” and that it was not going to be an easy road to find an audience as we rotated our chat topics weekly.

There are certainly other, more niche chats on Twitter where chatters know what to expect each week, but #TChat has been a bit more widespread in terms of scope. It certainly has been an exciting ride to date. We’ve covered Leadership, Career, Workplace Culture, Recruiting/Retaining Talent, HR/Technology and Social Media topics on a weekly basis for what now seems like an enternity in Twitter years.

Twitter wasn’t really being used to facilitate large group communications in this way when we started. It seemed like one giant experiment to me (and still does in some ways) – which makes it all the more alluring to me. No one had a Twitter Chat playbook, really, so we simply figured it out as we went. But I sensed enormous potential to create an organic community of questioners like ourselves – people trying to answer hard questions about the World of Work and Social Engagement who were looking for a larger group with which to interact.

And we were right. Today we’re still alive and we’ve been lucky enough to be amongst several top Twitter Chat lists, drawing fabulous people each week into our conversations. We certainly don’t make it easy by talking about the same thing every week, which is what I think makes us special from other niche-focused chats. Each #TChat has a fresh topic to attract new participants and perspectives. Participation grows and flows every week – kind of like a real community of people (pretty cool stuff!). We’re still asking the questions, will always be seeking new answers from an ever-growing group of participants. What is this World of Work? What are people really concerned about? What really matters in social media? What is a Talent Community? How can we recruit, develop and retain great leaders? What cool new HR Technologies are enabling us to collaborate more in the workplace? And my list goes on….

We were very fortunate in our fist year to have the support of Monster, their Social Media Team and a friend by the name of Matt Charney who has been a key player with us this past year. Monster remains a venerable brand in the recruiting/talent world and I appreciate their support in our first year. I would also like to thank Focus.com and namely Caty Kobe for believing in our mission and giving us a radio voice. And a lot of laughter and bloopers along the way. Organic community building is where it’s at! Smiles. We couldn’t have gotten here without these two – both as individuals, and as the faces of the brands that partnered with us in our infancy. It’s so exciting to me to see more and more brands humanize via social media channels. Thanks to YOU the people and many friends who have jumped in and helped us out along the way. I hope to continue to see more of this into the future. Big Cheers.

As with anything in the social media marketplace, the times are changing and #TChat is broadening its horizons as we look to 2012. We’ll still be here every week – same Bat time, same Bat channel – a brand, and a community of people, moving in to the future, asking difficult questions along the way, formulating insights and sharing innovations. I want us to commit to staying in social media and believing in the idea that engagement that is thoughtful and interesting (and FUN) still matters. I never listened to the social media “doubters” who always asked me “What is the ROI of engagement?” “Why on earth are you wasting your time?”  “Twitter will eventually die as a channel” “Are these billable hours?” “Why invest your time on a weekly basis?” and the list goes on…

My answer is still the same: I believe in people and I believe in social engagement – both “personal brands” and “corporate brands” and Leadership at large. People and Relationships Still Matter. We have more work to do. So… Onward we go.

It’d be a bit Larry David “Curb Your Enthusiasm”-esque to have a Twitter Chat about, well… Twitter Chats, but that’s what we propose to do this week to celebrate our one year anniversary. Wink. I will be sharing some more exciting news regarding our team and this community as we move forward.

We’re going to ask questions about the role of #TChat for our participants, Here are this week’s questions:

1. What are the biggest values of participating in Twitter chats like #TChat?

2. What makes a Twitter chat interesting or compelling?  Content, community, both?

3. How would you describe a Twitter chat to someone who’s unfamiliar or new to them?

4. What cool tools or products would you recommend for getting the most out of Twitter chats?

5. Here’s your chance: Other than #TChat, what are some of your favorite Twitter chats and why?

6. How can #TChat be improved? What would you like us to do in year two?

We hope you can join us this Wednesday, November 16th at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT for this week’s very special #TChat. Don’t miss it as we celebrate year one and anticipate year two. Be there prepped to discuss the why, who, when, where and what of Twitter chats. It’s time to look into the future a bit, plan for upcoming chats and celebrate past chats. It’s a party, people. Bring your hats.