Mental Acceleration, Crowdsourcing and Online Chats

Editor’s Note: Dave Ryan is one of the most dedicated #TChat members. Every week, as the tweets fly by and the twitter stream becomes ever harder to keep up with, we see one or two people ask desperately, what is #TChat? They see the hashtag but don’t quite get it. So from one of our earliest and most helpful members, here’s a break down on why #TChat is important and some fun ways to participate.
I have become an avid particpant in the TalentCulture (a.k.a. #TChat) chat – and I think you should join #TChat as well. #TChat is quite simply a conversation online about a pre-determined topic. Every Monday, new questions are posted (along with helpful links and resources) for #TChat, which happens Wednesday nights at 6 CST.
If you have done an online twitter chat, you will understand what I am about to say. For those of you who have not followed a twitter chat you try it. Twitter chats are mentally invigorating. The online chat makes the particpants work, really work, to keep up. The streams are sometime so fast or full that they can shut down, or severly throttle down your twitter feed.

Participating in an online chat will also drive many folks to look at alternative ways to view twitter feeds. Whether it is tweetdeck, seesmic, hootsuite or twubs there are many alternative ways to follow the streams. When I particpate in the TChat chats, I follow the stream on one computer, and then tweet on a different computer. Yeah I use two computers to do an online chat – I know – can you say geek? Try it, it works. But seriously, enhancing your technical skills is just one of the benefits of participating in a twitter chat.

Another benefit is touching on all aspects of the job we do. TalentCulture, the group that runs #TChat, has a tagline: World At Work. This means, that while I might be an HR Generalist and you might be a Social Recruiting Expert or Compliance Pro, we have a chance to catch a glimpse into each other’s professional worlds. In fact, we can even help one another solve thorny issues on #TChat! Like all chats, #TChat helps us hone our acceleration skills. This is how fast you can ramp up to an issue, a conversation and dive in, without causing any waves, a skill that is becoming more and more essential. Life, business, technology are all accelerating and we all must keep up. I find the online chat a way to improve this skill.

Now what I have talked about to this point is really generic to all online chats, but now I want to talk about tchat, its founders, hosts and participants. #TChat is the brain child of Kevin Grossman and Meghan Biro a couple of highly respected, well-versed leaders in Human Resources. With their efforts, Kevin and Meghan have created a great event and developed a tremendous following (the participants). To me, the participants are also a huge part of any on-line chat.
Time is a precious commodity, and how people spend their time is one measure of value.

#TChat has an impressive list of regular participants and supporters, I am not going to play the name game and run down the list, but there are many HR thought leaders who make it a point to participate. The relationship between chatters flourish during the chat and many have gone on to create off-line professional relationships. The community builds during the chat. After the chat, we toss some accolades at one another. We also review what was said, and what we all learned from the hour-long escapade.

TChat is envigorating, mentally-stimulating, thought-provoking, and just plain entertaining. I am proud to be part of this community. Join us and we will see you on the tweet stream.