Set up Tweetgrid for a Twitter Chat?
I'm supposed to help manage the discussion in an upcoming twitterchat and am not very enthused about it because I don't see how either of my existing Twitter clients is going to hep me survive the hundreds of tweets coming in second by second. I've heard of Tweetgrid but it's confusing as heck. Can you recommend a default configuration for Tweetgrid?
Your timing is impeccable as I'm poised to be the guest for #DadChat this week and I too am in the same boat, trying to figure out what tools I can use to best understand and read the discussion, responding where appropriate and ensuring that everyone has a good experience. My host, Bruce Sallan, recommended TweetGrid too, and here's how I have it configured for my use.
Well, before I go there, I think that there are two core features that you need for an app that can help with a twitter discussion or chat: the ability to automatically append the hashtag being used (in my case "#dadchat") and the ability to auto-refresh the twitterstream, but not in realtime. Why not realtime? Because it's overwhelming and infinitely distracting. Smarter is to get updates every 15-25 seconds, as you'll see.
With that in mind, TweetGrid is a web-based service and, you're right, has a pretty crude user interface. But it works, so let's have a look.
Go to the site and it'll ask you what kind of grid you want on screen:
To make life easy, just choose 1x1. You can experiment later with more complex layouts if you want, but this will give you the auto-update and automatic hashtag appending features that are critical to success.
Here's what you'll see. It's kind of a mess:
Looking a bit closer at the middle of the screen, notice the following:
Start by entering your desired hashtag in the top right box where it just shows "#". Then click on "[Login]" to connect TweetGrid to your own Twitter account. An authorization window pops up:
if you choose not to authorize the app, no worries, you can still use it to track your discussion, you'll just need to use a different program to actually post comments or responses.
If you do authorize the program, however, once you click on "Authorize app" it'll confirm your account credentials with Twitter and quickly come back showing you logged in:
Almost done with the configuration. A tad lower on the screen, you'll see the search pattern that TweetGrid is going to use to track the discussion, and a "settings" tab. Change the search to the hashtag you want to track (I've entered "#dadchat" here):
Now click on "Settings" to change the update rate from real-time to a more rational speed of 15-25 seconds or so...
Once you get the hang of it, 10-15 seconds will be fine, but to get started with twitterchats, I recommend you try 20 seconds as your delay. Simply enter "20" and click "Update Settings".
Done. Now, good luck with the chat!
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