Saturday, February 05, 2011

KM Twitter Chats - Slow Motion Brainstorming on Storytelling

In the past couple of months, I've participated in a few Twitter chats run through the KMers group.  I haven't developed a strong pro or against attitude.  I like the idea of communicating with like-minded individuals who have similar professional interests but with whom I would otherwise have no contact through regular work-related tasks.  I still find them a little awkward.

Imagine a dozen people sitting around a table for a brainstorming session around a pre-determined topic. A facilitator welcomes everyone and starts up the conversation with a question. Imagine that instead of having to take turns to speak up, people are able to talk over each other, but everything is slowed down so that the participants are able to hear and comprehend what everybody else is saying.  There's a little more time to think about what to contribute to the conversation and you can respond to something that was said a minute ago rather than the last thing that was said without getting everyone totally confused.

I'll use the most recent KMers' chat on Corporate Storytelling and Knowledge Management as an example.

The 140-character limit forces has both advantages and disadvantages:
  • (+) You're not able to ramble on about an idea without making a point. If your 140 character message isn't clear on its own, people will just ignore it and move on quickly.

  • (-) Don't expect it to be more than a brainstorming session.  People will express ideas and share resources they're aware of, they may express agreement or ask for details, but there isn't time or space to go deep into anything.
  • (+/-) You're more inclined to turn your message into the equivalent of a movie tagline or a book logline. If your message is intriguing enough, you get a request for details.

  • (+/-) There is a "built-in" written record (transcript) of the conversation (keep that in mind when you're furiously typing a tweet).

  • (+) The conversation doesn't always end with the chat session.  Some participants in the chat may follow up with some additional thoughts or a summary of the chat in their blog (See Jeff Hester's blog post on Successful KM Storytelling).

  • (+) The chat's hashtag (#KMers) can be used at any time (beyond the specific hour of scheduled chat) to reach out to this particular KM community even if all the members of the community aren't among your followers.
Storytelling Resources:

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