15 Steps To Moderating a Twitter Chat

Jemila -  Twitter chat moderator expert reading through her tweets.

Jemila – Twitter chat moderator expert reading through her tweets.

 

 

Tweet Chats (Twitter Chats) are real time/live conversations held on issues of interest. They are opportunities to engage and converse with other Twitter users on relatable topics. Of course, they are held on Twitter!  Here are 15 things to consider when moderating a Twitter Chat:

  1. Purpose of the chat: Ask yourself what you want to achieve with the chat and what you want participants to learn from the chat.
  2. Develop and create engaging questions or topic: The main topic for the chat/debate should sound interesting for people to join the chat. Ask “How” and “Why” questions and not “Can” questions. The former allows for more contribution from participants while the latter restricts people to either agree or disagree with the topic. In the case of Twitter debates, “Can” questions are employed, but are typically followed up with “Why” for further elaboration by participants.
  3. Read widely about the topic: As a moderator of the Twitter chat/debate, you should have a good grasp on the issues in order to guide the conversation. Read widely on the topic to be discussed, focusing especially on the questions that will steer the conversation. That said, you don’t have to be an expert on the topic – instead, include one or two experts on the panel and direct complex questions to them for further insight. Do not leave any major stone unturned. Some participants are experts in the topic so you need to prepare well.
  4. Create a simple, but catchy hashtag: A tweet is composed of 140 characters. A long hashtag will limit how much can be said per tweet. Make sure the hashtag reflects the topic and is easy to remember. Do not use a long hashtag, remember your participants have only 140 characters to use.  Create a hashtag that speaks about the topic and can easily attract the attention of non-participants
  5. Time zones: Choose your time very well. Pay attention to the time zone of your audience and availability of guests (if any). State the time clearly when promoting the chat.
  6. Promote the chat! Tweet at potential participants: Use the Twitter search feature to search for the hashtag and the topic you are about to discuss. Identify and send tweet invites to specific Twitter handles regarding the upcoming chat. Send out periodic reminders about the chat – a day or two before the chat – state the topic, hashtag, time and guests (if any). Reach out to organisations and networks with an interest in the topic and request that they share with their members. A day or two to the chat day Let people know and understand what it’s all about – Promote the chat days before and consistently remind people about it.

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During the Twitter Chat

  1. Start on time: Start at the stated time. Welcome all (don’t forget to mention them, that’s some rapport building), make room for selected participants to introduce themselves and introduce guests (if any) to the audience. Let your audience know if you are running late and use the opportunity to find out who is tuning in and where from.
  2. Ask the first question: Do not ask the main question now, tweet the sub-question as your first question. Example, if the main question is “How can we create jobs?” the first question should be “Why are there not enough jobs in the market?” The idea is to get people more engaged before the main topic so you can make good use of the time and discuss the topic broadly.
  3. Tweet at participants: When asking questions, mention participants’ Twitter handles. It makes them feel part of the conversation and not left out. See if everyone is tweeting and then tweet at the silent tweeps. Monitor both the event hashtag and the account you are tweeting from to ensure you don’t miss anyone.
  4. Don’t just ask questions, Interact!: Allow people to share their thoughts on each question you ask before tweeting the next question. Engage with the audience, join in the conversation. If you are tweeting from your personal account, share your own thoughts. If you are tweeting from an organizational/company account, tweet about overlaps or linkages from that perspective. Let the conversation flow, quote and retweet participants. You can allow people to comment for about 5-10mins before you ask the next question.
  5. Be in control: You are the moderator so be in charge of the conversation. Some participants are likely to divert the discussion. You will need to direct the conversation so such participants don’t distract others. You can do this by tweeting at specific handles and asking them if they agree with a particular tweet by another participant.
  6. Reiterate and Ask follow-up questions: Read the discussion and look out for some questions that can be generated from the tweets from participants. Where necessary, recap key points to ensure everyone is on the same page. It also helps in clarifying submissions.
  7. Retweet as much as possible: Use the search feature on Twitter or Twitter fall to track the participants using the hashtag so you can retweet them, which is a sign that you are reading their tweets. That said, don’t be repetitive with the retweets – be mindful of the 100 tweets per hour/1000 tweets per day limit. Twitter jail looms. Have a backup account for takeover if necessary.
  8. Manage time: As moderator, it is your duty to manage time and ensure that the key aim(s) of the chat are achieved in the allocated time. It’s easy to get carried away, especially with an interactive chat. Close on time and keep participants in high expectation for the next Twitter chat.
  9. Express gratitude to participants, guests and event organisers: Leave on a high note. Say thank you to all who made the chat possible and interesting!

Post Chat

Document the chat: You can use storify to document the chat or submit it to Global Voices Online for publication. Share the storify article with your audience for those who missed the    chat.

Evaluate the conversation: Assess the whole conversation to find out if the right message was communicated or if the intended purpose for holding the chat was achieved.

 

This post was written by :

Cecil Kwamena Ato Dadzie (@GhanabaKwamena), social media strategist, blogger and Youth Development Advocate.

Kofi Yeboah (@Kofiemeritus), social media strategist, blogger and Communications Officer for Clean Team Ghana – an organisation that provides innovative and portable toilet facilities to the urban .

Thank you to our editor Jemila Abdulai (@JAbdulai)  – Founder of Circumspect.

 

 

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$20,000 Golden Baobab Prizes Call for Submissions

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The 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes have been launched and are calling for submissions. This year, Golden Baobab will award 6 prizes worth $20,000. These 6 prizes are:

  • The $5,000 Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Book
  • The $5,000 Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Book
  • The $2,500 Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers
  • The $5,000 Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators
  • The $2,500 Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Illustrators
  • The Golden Baobab Lifetime Achievement in Children’s Literature Award

This year marks the 6th anniversary of the 3 Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature. These prizes invite entries of unpublished stories for children written by African citizens irrespective of age, race, or country of origin.  In November 2013, Golden Baobab launched the fourth and fifth prizes, The Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations, to do for African illustrators what the organization has been doing for African writers for the past 5 years: discovering, nurturing and celebrating their talent, passion and contribution to the African children’s literature space. Entrants will submit illustrations as per Golden Baobab specifications.

The newest addition, The Golden Baobab Lifetime Achievement in Children’s Literature Award, which is the 6th prize, has been set up to recognize African writers/illustrators who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding significance to the development of African children’s literature. At the appropriate time, Golden Baobab will communicate how this prize will be run.

Last year, the three Golden Baobab Prizes for literature received 180 submissions from 13 African countries. This year, the coordinator of the Prizes, Nanama B. Acheampong, is confident that these numbers will improve: “We expect to receive many more submissions for the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature this year. We have also had such positive reactions to our newly launched Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations and are looking forward to being pleasantly surprised.”

The 2013 winners were Liza Esterhuyse from South Africa who won the Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Book, Karen Hurt, also from South Africa, who won the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Book and twelve year old Kanengo Rebecca Diallo from Tanzania who won the Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers which awards promising writers below the age of eighteen.

Entry information for the prizes can be found on the organization’s websitewww.goldenbaobab.org. Entrants should note that the copyright of each entry submitted to the Golden Baobab Prizes remains vested in them. However, by submitting an entry, entrants declare that they are legally entitled to do so and give Golden Baobab permission to make their entry available for exclusive worldwide royalty-free usage, reproduction and distribution. The deadline for the 2014 prizes is June 29th. Winners will be announced in November 2014.

For information on how to enter the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes, visit Golden Baobab’s website or contact the coordinator, Nanama B. Acheampong at info@goldenbaobab.org.

The Kwibuka20 Blog Post Competition

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Are you a young writer, researcher or academic? Enter the Kwibuka20 Blog Post Competition and share your voice with the world.

The Kwibuka20 Blog Post Competition is a chance for young people to explore issues of genocide, atrocity prevention, conflict and peace-building and show the world the discussions that are taking place in the global youth community. You can answer one of three questions, each related to part of the Kwibuka20 theme: ‘Remember, Unite, Renew’. Entries will be judged by a panel of experts on genocide prevention and the international media. Winners will be published in the international press and alongside shortlisted entries in the inaugural edition of the Generation for Change journal, Our Voice.

  1. Why is it important to remember the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and mass atrocities elsewhere?
  2.  How can we tackle division and prejudice, and unite around our shared humanity?
  3. How can societies rebuild and renew after state sponsored discrimination, hate and conflict?
  4. Judges are looking for sophisticated analytical skill, coherent arguments and interesting debate.
  5. Entries should be between 1000 and 2000 words, and can be submitted in English, French or Kinyarwanda.

The twentieth commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi is an important occasion to remember the lives that were lost and unite to ensure it never happens again – in Rwanda or elsewhere. Being part of the Kwibuka20 Blog Post Competition is one way of doing just that. Entries close on 31 March 2014. Don’t forget to read the rules and guidelines carefully before submitting your entry. Visit www.kwibuka.rw for more information.

Top Agricultural blog? Submit your blog and win up to 3000 Euros!

Blogging Offer

Blogging Offer

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), in collaboration with FARAYam-PukriCAFANAYFANAFESPC/PAFPNET ande-Agriculture is pleased to launch the 2nd Edition of the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards).

This contest is organised in the framework of the ARDYIS project, which aims to raise youth awareness and improve their capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

The aims of this blog competition are to:

  • Put into limelight issues, successes and challenges faced by youth engaged in: agriculture in urban and rural areas;
  • Encourage the production of information and the use of new information and communication technologies by young farmers’ groups and organisations interested in the “youth in agriculture” question;
  • Promote the sharing of information on the issues of agriculture and rural development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

1. Who can participate?

The YoBloCo Awards are open in two categories:

a. Individual category

This category is open to students in agricultural training courses, young farmers, journalists or other young people interested in ICT or agriculture.

b. Institutional category

This category is open to local or national

  • young farmers’ organisations;
  • young members of farmers’ organisations;
  • young members of any organisation interested in agriculture, rural development and ICT.

For this competition, an organisation is understood as any type of non-profit or for-profit association, cooperative, forum, network or related grouping, excluding government institutions. Organisations that receive funding from governments but are not formal governmental institutions can be eligible if they fulfil all criteria.

If the organisation or grouping submitting an entry is not officially registered in the country, it should be recommended, via a letter of recommendation, by a national partner organisation, which is officially registered.

When young members of an organisation are submitting an entry in the “Institutional category”, they should apply on behalf of their organisation. If the entry wins an award, it is the organisation, which will be declared winner and will receive the cash prize. The blog creator or a representative of blog creators (if it is a team) will be invited for the prize giving ceremony and receive a trophy on behalf of the winning organisation. When a team applies on behalf of their organisation, the person representing the team must be specified in the application process. The cash prize won would be sent to the organisation.

For both categories, the young people participating must be between 18 to 35 years old (by the time of submission) and be nationals of ACP countries signatories of the Cotonou Agreement (see Note 1 below).

2. How to participate?

Individuals or organisations who wish to submit a blog and take part in the competition will have about 4 months to prepare or update their blogs with content related to agriculture (see Section 3 below). Blogs and all required information/documents will be submitted via an online form between December and January 2014 (the link to the blog submission form will be provided on this page as from 2 December 2013).

Prior to the blog submission, all people/organisation interested to be updated regularly on the competition can subscribe on this link: http://eepurl.com/GAJA9

3. Content of eligible blogs

The blog submitted can be a newly created one, or an existing one but which has been recently updated with content related to agriculture. However, mainly blog posts from the commencement of the competition will be judged.

A blog that deals with, or contains posts/articles on subjects other than agriculture must include, consistently (see Note 3 below), new articles related to agriculture, in order to be considered eligible.

In the context of the YoBloCo Awards, “new articles” or “new posts” refer to texts published between the launch of competition until its closure (please check section 7 below for the deadline). Posts/articles considered for the competition must be in French or English and can be related to one or several ACP countries.

Articles on the blog should cover themes or issues such as:

  • Challenges, success and issues faced by Youth in agriculture and related activities;
  • Climate change, environmental conservation, natural resource management;
  • Agri-business (marketing, commercialization, processing, etc.);
  • Agricultural production and Food security;
  • Agriculture value chains and agricultural policy;
  • Actions, policies and strategies related to youth involvement in agriculture;
  • ICT use in the agricultural sector (how can ICTs promote agriculture or how can ICT support innovation in agricultural value chains, ICT and agriculture policies, ICT and extension services etc.);
  • How are ICTs improving (or can improve) youth opportunities in rural areas;
  • Agro-tourism;
  • Contribution of Diaspora in ACP Agriculture;
  • The role and importance of Family Farming and Smallholder Farming in alleviating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas. (see Note 4 below);
  • Any other agriculture related theme or issue.

4. Selection process

There are two different processes for the two blog categories.

a) Individual Category

The eligible individual blogs submitted will first go through a public evaluation process, whereby the online audience will vote for, and comment on the blog that they like the most. Following the public evaluation, 15 finalists will be selected based on the number of votes they will receive, and they will finally be evaluated by an independent jury composed of expert in the field of ICTs and Agriculture. The first prize for this category is 1500 Euros and other prizes will be awarded!

b) Institutional Category

Blogs in the institutional category will also go through the public evaluation process, whereby the online audience will be required to leave comments on the blogs that they like the most (there is no limit on the number of blogs to comment). The jury will then choose the best blogs per region for this category and will take into account comments made by the public. The prize for this category is 3,000 Euros per winning organisation. In addition, some of the most appreciated blogs by the public may receive special rewards from organisers if the jury does not select them.

Updates on the whole voting process and results will be shared regularly on theYoBloCo Blog and entrants who are subscribed and submitted a blog will also be informed by email.

Votes and comments on blogs will end in March, 2014.

5. Selection criteria

The main selection criteria are the following:

  • Quality of language in posts
  • Originality of posts/articles (most posts should be written by the entrant)
  • Quality of analysis in the posts
  • Frequency/Consistency of blogging
  • Animation of the blog
  • Presence of agriculture related content (especially since the launch of the contest for existing blogs)
  • Overall technical quality of the blog

For the institutional category, additional criteria are:

  • Presence of information on the organisation’s activities
  • Presence of information in youth in agriculture issues

6. Prizes

A. Individual category

  • 1st Prize:  1,500 Euros
  • 2nd Prize: 1,000 Euros
  • 3rd Prize: 800 Euros

B. Institutional category

  • 3000 Euros per region (West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, East Africa, Caribbean and Pacific)

C. Special Prizes

  • Best female blogger: 1000 Euros (only individual blogs will be eligible for this prize)
  • Best blog on Family Farming (see Note 4 below): 1000 Euros (an individual or institutional blog may be eligible for this prize)
  • Best blogs with business potential: at least two blogs will be selected, out of the best finalist individual blogs selected by the public, to receive mentorship and incubation opportunities  (See Note 5 below)

D. Runners-up

  • A number of runners-up in will receive a certificate of participation

Winning blogs and other best blogs will be promoted by CTA and its partners’ various channels.  In addition, authors of winning blog or other best blogs will have the opportunity to be involved in future activities of CTA or its partners.

7. Deadline and key dates

Launch of the competition: 8 October 2013

Submission of Blogs: 2 December 2013 – 31 January 2014

Online Evaluation (public): February – March 2014

Jury Evaluation: April – May 2014

Winners Announced: June 2014

The date of the prize giving ceremony will be announced subsequently.

8. Additional terms and rules

a. Winners of the 1st Edition of the YoBloCo awards (3 winners from individual category and 3 winners from institutional category) are not eligible to submit their blog again for the competition. However, best entrants who did not receive a prize for the 1st Edition of the YoBloCo Awards can submit their blog for this new Edition.

b. The organisers reserve the right to reject any application that does not meet the contest criteria and the present regulations.

c. Participation in the competition implies an explicit agreement given to the CTA to make public, as needed, the experiences described, as well as participant’s identity. Moreover, it constitutes an agreement given to the CTA to use the experiences described in its publications and for promotional activities.

d. CTA will not return to the participants documents submitted.

e. By entering, participants warrant that content on the blog does not infringe on any third party’s rights.

f. All local taxes on prizes, if required, are the sole responsibility of the winners.

g. If, for any reason, the contest cannot be conducted as planned, the CTA reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, close, change, or suspend it.

h. Youths directly working for CTA or ARDYIS advisory Committee organisations are not eligible to participate. However young people working for partners of these organisations are eligible.

i. Applicants will be informed about the competition results by email to the addresses provided in the blog submission form.

j. Apart from the public result announcement, each winner will be notified through the e-mail address he/she provided. A reminder will be sent if necessary. In case of non response to the reminder message and 10 days maximum after the result announcement, the next best candidate in the same category will be declared winner;

k. Decisions taken by the jury and the CTA are final and are beyond dispute;

l. All contest participants implicitly accept the rules presented in this document.

9. Notes

Note 1: The ACP countries targeted here are those that have signed the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement : Angola – Antigua and Barbuda – Belize – Cape Verde – Comoros – Bahamas – Barbados – Benin – Botswana – Burkina Faso – Burundi – Cameroon – Chad –  Central African Republic – Congo (Brazzaville) – Congo (Kinshasa) – Cook Islands – Côte d’Ivoire – Cuba – Djibouti – Dominican Republic – Dominica – East Timor – Equatorial Guinea – Eritrea – Ethiopia – Fiji – Gabon – The Gambia – Ghana – Grenada –Guinea – Guinea-Bissau  – Guyana – Haiti – Jamaica – Kenya – Kiribati – Lesotho – Liberia – Madagascar – Malawi – Mali – Marshall Islands – Mauritius – Mauritania – Federated States of Micronesia – Mozambique – Namibia – Nauru – Niger – Nigeria – Niue – Uganda – Palau – Papua New Guinea – Rwanda – Saint Christopher and Nevis – Saint Vincent and Grenadines – Saint Lucia – Solomon Islands – Samoa – São Tomé and Principe – Senegal – Seychelles – Sierra Leone – Somalia – South Africa – Sudan – Suriname – Swaziland – Tanzania – Togo – Tonga – Trinidad and Tobago – Tuvalu – Vanuatu – Zambia – Zimbabwe

Note 2: The main elements that will be evaluated are the blog animation and content.

Note 3: To be evaluated by selection committees.

Note 4: This theme is designed directly along the core theme of the United Nations2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF).

Note 5: For the special prizes for the best blogs with business potential, the jury may contact potential winners for more details on their projects. Mentorship opportunities will include advice for the finalization of the blogs, capacity building opportunity, etc.

10. More information and contact:

The purpose of the ARDYIS (Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society) project is to raise youth awareness and improve their capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries using ICTs. The Advisory Committee for the project is made of the following institutions: Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE), Pacific Agriculture and Forestry Policy Network (PAFPNet), Caribbean farmers’ Network (CAFAN), Yam-Pukri association, African Youth Foundation (AYF). ARDYIS activities will contribute to the promotion of opportunities for youth in ACP countries in the agricultural, rural development and ICT sectors.

For the 1st Edition of the YoBloCo Awards, 92 blog submissions from 25 ACP countriesand about 3,000 people from ACP and non ACP regions contributing to the public evaluation of the blogs. 6 blogs (3 individual blogs and 3 institutional blogs) were awarded.  Best entrants in both categories were invited to attend the IAALD Africa Chapter Conference and prize giving ceremony of the YoBloCo Awards, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 21-23 May 2012.

Contact

Feel free to contact us if you have any question or if you want to join the ARDYIS project discussion list to exchange/receive information about youth, ICT and agriculture.

SOURCE:
ARDYIS project/ICT4D Programme
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA)
Email : ardyis-project@cta.int
Telephone: +31 (0)317 467 100
The Netherla