- Connect with people who share your interest in a topic – this does not mean that you agree on the topic, but everyone is interested in it. For example: Blogchat – Sunday night at 9pm ET with Mack Collier, people attend to share information and/or become more educated about blogging
- Sharing what you know with others – Even when there is a special guest for a chat, you are always invited to share your knowledge and opinions. For example when Shelly Kramer was the special guest for the monthly SOBCon chat, she shared her expertise, but also was open to the insight of others.
- Having others share their information with you – even if you are well versed on a topic, it’s unlikely that you know everything there is to know, participating in chats provides a great forum for exchange. Great example is the CustServ chat on Tuesday’s at 9pm ET hosted by Marsha Collier & Jeffrey Kingman along with the help of a great chat ambassador Roy Atkinson – everyone shares info on all things customer service related.
- Expand your thinking – Kaizenblog chat focuses on applying the practice of Kaizen to business every Friday at 9am with Elli St. Godfrey.
- Meet new people – If I had not participated in great chats like Innochat on Thursdays at 12pm, I would have missed out on connecting with some great people who spearhead change and innovation
- Participate in a community setting – Really great example of this is Bookmarket chat on Thursdays at 4pm ET. Claudia C has generated a community for publishers, authors and agents to come together for the greater good.
- Get to know others – when you see similar avatars week after week on a chat, you begin to know people a little better. It is great to make these connections. I always look forward to seeing Maria Duron and David Sandusky on BrandChat each Wednesday at 11am ET
- It’s a great forum for civil discourse – you may not always agree, but generally people are respectful even in their disagreement. Chats are usually a “safe” place for debate. You will find great people (sometimes with opposing viewpoints) on SocialMedia chat at noon ET on Tuesday and SMChat at 1pm ET on Wednesdays.
- A great way to join leaders on a topic or leaders among leaders – like LeadershipChat hosted by Lisa Petrilli on Tuesday’s at 5pm PT
These are all great reasons to participate in chats and I mentioned some great chats, but they are not the only chats out there. If you want to check out other chats, go to http://bit.ly/twchats and see if there is something that interests you. And I have to add a quick plug for the SOBCon chat that I will be moderating on Thursday, February 17th at 1pm ET. Special guest Erika Napoletano will join us as we discuss Successful Online Businesses. SOBCon was established by Liz Strauss and Terry Starbucker…where the virtual meets the concrete.