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24 November 2009

You can now follow @MetaChat on Twitter. We'll be tweeting site news, linking notable threads, making announcements, etc, that you may have missed if you haven't visited MeCha in awhile.[More:] And if you don't like Twitter, you could always follow the feed in your RSS reader, here. (Thanks to chrismear for that tip.)

This is separate from @MetaChatTECH, which is still the place to watch for site status, problem notices, and a good way to contact the tech bunnies in the event of engine trouble.

If you're on Twitter don't forget to add yourself to the Wiki!
So who had the account before?
posted by grouse 24 November | 10:26
And so, I follow. Dutifully.
posted by grabbingsand 24 November | 10:30
Wow - now I'll have to figure out my Twitter sign-in info and join the party. Way cool what you guys are doing with the joint.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 24 November | 11:13
The account was registered by a non-mefite who was planning to use it for something but never got round to it. They said they'd rather the account be used than lay dormant.
posted by chrismear 24 November | 11:52
Okay, I need some explanation and reassurance here.

In one of the threads about why usage had dropped off at Metachat, several people mentioned that Twitter and Facebook had started to supplant Metachat for them. As a non-Twitterer, this makes me a little afraid that more traffic will move to Twitter from Metachat.

Can someone explain for me what the purpose of this is?** Isn't Twittering to Metachatters about Metachat sort of like a newspaper printing an article about an article it printed?

** I realize now that "can someone explain to me" might sound a bit aggressive or belligerent. I honestly don't mean it that way. I really do need it explained to me, not being a Twitter convert.
posted by mudpuppie 24 November | 12:22
Yes, I share mudpuppie's concerns. I'm a non-Twitterer, I don't even know what an RSS feed is, and I don't understand why people would want to Twitter about MetaChat when they can just here instead.
posted by essexjan 24 November | 12:55
Well, the idea isn't for people to Twitter about MetaChat, but to draw folks who hang out on Twitter back to MeCha when there's something here they might like to see or participate in.

this makes me a little afraid that more traffic will move to Twitter from Metachat.

Very much the opposite. You're not missing anything if you don't follow MetaChat on Twitter. But if you're on Twitter, hopefully you'll be more informed about what's happening back here on the site and drop in more often. :)
posted by BoringPostcards 24 November | 12:58
Also, it's a good way to let users who keep Twitter open all day know things in real time: "So-and-so's DJing on the radio! Somebody just posted a lyrics challenge quiz!"

That kind of thing.
posted by BoringPostcards 24 November | 13:00
Since I don't keep my Twitter open, can you send me an email letting me know when there's a new Twitter about something on MeCha? Or even better, in case I'm out of the office - can you email my Mom and she can call me and tell me to check Twitter about something happening on MeCha? Have we looked into telegrams?
posted by Slack-a-gogo 24 November | 13:04
Slack-a-gogo, how do you feel about smoke signals?

I'm thinking it will actually help to get people to come back, or be more involved. I just added a bunch of people to the @metachat acct (that will be an ongoing thing, of course), and some of them are people that don't post here anymore, or not nearly as much as they used to, yet a few have added @metachat back already (are following the metachat twitter account, in other words). So there's some interest there. I think it will be a good thing. Also good for times when this site is down, or not accessible to people at work, yet they can still catch a quick tweet or status update at twitter via the @metachat or the @metachattech accts.

It won't be used in place of posting here, more occasional "in addition to". MetaChat's still the main event.

The only tweet on the @metachat acct so far was from me, about the EmCee, which I will also post about here. I don't want to overkill the buzz about the EmCee by posting daily updates about it here, so an occasional tweet about it works, I think!
posted by iconomy 24 November | 13:06
Despite my smart-assness - I think this is great. Also, regarding my smart-ass comment above - can you still get a telegram delivered? I'd love to send telegrams to a few friends that are Twitter update-aholics.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 24 November | 13:06
Well, the idea isn't for people to Twitter about MetaChat, but to draw folks who hang out on Twitter back to MeCha when there's something here they might like to see or participate in.

Ah, that makes a lot of sense, then. Thanks for the explanation, and go get 'em!

iconomy, it's so good to have you back again!
posted by mudpuppie 24 November | 13:16
Thank you, it's very good to be had!
posted by iconomy 24 November | 13:19
Yes, thanks BP. Now I understand too.
posted by essexjan 24 November | 13:51
I accepted the Twitter add, but like many others I don't use Twitter on a regular basis. So, if something important (site outages?) comes up will it be a direct message or a tweet?

Despite my dislike of Twitter, alerts are the things I think it does well.

I can see the thinking behind this and I think all-in-all it is a good thing. Thanks new mods!
posted by terrapin 24 November | 14:23
One suggestion/request: If, say, an Twitter announcement about a notable Metachat thread starts to get a lot of conversation on Twitter, can y'all try to direct the traffic here so that there aren't two conversations going on at once in two different places? I can see that being a potential drawback.

Just spitballing.
posted by mudpuppie 24 November | 14:25
I don't really see us carrying on conversations with that account, pupps. It'll be mainly announcements only.

terrapin, announcements will be just plain tweets. But if you can't get to MeCha for some reason, you could just check the MetaChat profile on Twitter and see what's up. (Though that'd probably be a good time to check the MetaChatTECH feed, too.)
posted by BoringPostcards 24 November | 14:32
can you still get a telegram delivered?

Sadly, I think I recall seeing a news story about 5 years ago that said Western Union, the last purveyors, had offically sent their last 'wire.'

I wouldn't worry that a MetaChat Twitter stream will ever supplant MetaChat. One piece of evidence for that is that some of the people most active on Twitter are ALSO some of the people most active, even now, on MeCha. Those folks are just more active with their connections, period. So this won't be luring people away.

It won't carry content itself; it will, instead, remind Twitter users about the content that one can find here and invite them to jump over and join the fun. If anything, it will encourage more use of MetaChat - because a lot of Twitterers either stay logged into Twitter all day, or get updates on their phones. So even if they're doing something else, if they see something funny or interesting pop up ("New Photo Friday just posted -- check out Doohickie's new ride!" etc) -- they may just pop over for a visit when they wouldn't have thought to do that on their own.

If people do start discussing MetaChat stuff on Twitter, I don't know that there's much that can or should be done about that. Because it already happens to a small degree, and with MeFi too - Twitter is a back channel, and people talk about whatever they want to. I wouldn't see this account as encouraging that, but it's also not the kind of service where it would make sense to tell people to "take it to the website." Since connections on Twitter are a tiny degree more personal and customizable than here on a community board, you can't as easily dictate to people where they should talk about what. People only receive updates from people they choose to receive updates from, so mutual friend relationships to some degree govern who talks to one another.

I wouldn't want the MetaChat account to participate in ongoing discussions like that, though. But I don't think that's envisioned at all. It's more of a highlight, "hey-look-what's-happening!" thing.

And, yeah, bookmarking and checking the MetaChat Twitter page will get you all the same information as someone who gets the updates direct through Twitter, without you having to join. It won't get you any side conversation, but that's exactly what you're not interested in if you aren't on Twitter, so hopefully that won't seem like a loss to you.
posted by Miko 24 November | 15:53
If, say, an Twitter announcement about a notable Metachat thread starts to get a lot of conversation on Twitter,

People don't really do that that I see. There are about three types of accounts people follow (broadly).

1. News/update types of accounts. Mostly businesses, orgs, musicians, that sort of thing.

2. Interesting peoples accounts. I follow Amanda Fucking Palmer, for instance, and she's pretty entertaining.

3. Friends and such. This is where people post "Got so wet walking the dog that he was worried about how *I* smelled" stuff. This is what most metachat twitterers do. About once or twice a day a couple of them will have a real exchange lasting 2-5 tweets, but it's mostly on the level of things like support or LOLs or retweeting something said. Commenting on a posted picture, for instance. It's actually chat that's of low value even in the context of a metachat thread (at worst "I just ate a sandwich"), but more about people keeping connected.

I don't think that there's a sense in which people are stealing, as it were, attention away from MeCha. It's actually made me feel more connected to the site by following this type-3 tweeting. But I'd be hard-pressed to say that it was anything that constituted off-site cliquery or whatnot.
posted by dhartung 24 November | 18:27
I use twitter primarily for completely bullshit mostly of the superficial variety but sometimes also for stuff I don't want to put on facebook or on my website (especially since I only update my website about four times a year.) I just posted a link on twitter to this recipe - - because I made those cookies earlier and they are super tasty.

Twitter is good at what it does but not good at things like deep or thought provoking discussions.

posted by fluffy battle kitten 24 November | 19:01
Cookie recipe here. Ner.
posted by fluffy battle kitten 24 November | 19:02
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