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Twitter chats – or Twitter parties as they are often called – are a great way to learn new topics and connect with a community of like-minded individuals. We like to equate a Twitter chat to a giant reception or cocktail party. The chat is usually organized around a specific topic or theme, but there are many different conversations happening at the same time.

When you tweet with a party hashtag – or the # sign – everyone following that conversation will see your tweets whether they follow you or not.

How to Participate:

1. Open a Twitter account. In order to participate in a Twitter chat, you must have a Twitter account. Opening a Twitter account is easy. Just go to Twitter.com and follow the instructions.

2. Choose a Twitter chat platform. The best platforms to use during a party are TweetChat (www.tweetchat.com), TweetDeck (www.tweetdeck.com) or HootSuite (www.hootsuite.com). When you use Tweetchat, you don’t need to add the party hashtag at the end of each tweet. This saves you time so you can focus on asking your questions and getting to know others on the chat. If you are new to Twitter, TweetChat is probably the easiest to follow. Log on with your Twitter ID and password, choose a hashtag to follow, and start chatting. It’s that easy!

3. Follow the hosts.  Each party has a host or a series of hosts – be sure to follow them so you know the questions being asked and the important tips and advice that are being discussed. The hosts will often start the chat by pointing out other experts or guests that you should also follow for that particular chat.

4. Don’t be shy! The more you tweet, the more you will get out of a chat. Feel free to tweet openly to everyone or address questions and comments directly to the hosts and other party attendees by using their @names. If you attend parties on a regular basis, you will soon get noticed and pick up lots of extra followers!

Jai Stone  currently hosts a regular weekly chat:

#NAKEDchat takes place every Fridays from from 1pm – 2pm ET. On the last Friday of each month the conversation also incorporates a LIVE video broadcast via Spreecast.  Find out more details HERE!