As part of its continuing #Gaza51days social-media campaign, in August Just World Educational will be holding two globe-girdling, real-time online conversations about Gaza. These conversations will take the form of semi-structured “tweetchats”, conducted on Twitter, where our presence (under the handle @JustWorldEd) has been growing nicely.
These tweetchats will be built around the hashtag #GazaChat, and will be held for one hour on each of August 8 and August 22.
How does a Tweetchat work?
A tweetchat is a semi-structured, Twitter-based conversation that’s held at a designated time and built around participants’ use of a single hashtag– in our case, #GazaChat. Our two planned #GazaChats will run:
- On Tuesday, August 8, 10-11 am ET (5-6 pm Palestine Time) and
- On Tuesday, August 22, 10-11 am ET (5-6 pm Palestine Time)
Once you’ve done that search and arrived at the #GazaChat screen, be sure to:
- from the options near the top, choose the “Latest” view (circled in the screengrab above);
- refresh the page frequently (the “Refresh” button is also circled); and
- remember that you can post your own tweets directly from the search page– and when you do so by clicking on the “Tweet” button there, Twitter automatically adds the hashtag to your tweet! (However, if you try to tweet from there by clicking on “Reply” or “Retweet” to a tweet that’s on the screen, the hashtag won’t be added automatically, so you’ll need to add it manually.)
It is actually easier to refresh the search if you use a mobile device, where you do it simply by swiping down on the screen. Whatever device you use, though, you’ll likely find there’s a time-lag of around 20 seconds between when someone posts a tweet with the hashtag and when it shows up in the search.
For the hour (or 90 minutes) of the tweetchat, our hashtag will function as our globe-circling chat room! By the way, for most participants, joining the conversation is a text-only experience, so you’ve no need for any fancy internet connections.
To help structure each chat, we (@JustWorldEd) will throw into it a series of questions, that we’ve previously prepared on static image-slides for your easy visibility. We’ll post a new question every few minutes, and we’ll number them, Q1, Q2, Q3… They will look like the sample one shown here.
We ask chat participants to try to respect the numbering system, which helps to give some structure to what could otherwise be an unruly Twitter free-for-all. When you see a question– or a series of answers to any question– that you want to comment on, discuss, or give an answer to, please preface your answer or other contribution with A1, A2, or whatever the number is of the discussion-portion it’s related to. Twitter will then automatically include the #GazaChat hashtag on your answer, if you’re connected via the hashtag search.
You’ll need to keep your answers short, of course. But you can certainly contribute more than once to each question.
We also ask you to keep your contributions respectful to everyone– and not to hog the discourse completely.
Once the discussion on Q1 seems to have run its course, we’ll tweet out Q2… then Q3, Q4, and so on… Stay tuned to the #GazaChat hashtag so you can see and respond to each of the questions as we send them out!
What will the two chats cover?
The theme of the first one, on August 8, will be as shown in the image at the head of this blog post: “How can we correct the misperceptions about Gaza?”
The theme of the August 22 chat will be this:
We certainly won’t be restricting this second chat to having only Gaza Palestinians participate! But we’re hoping to have as robust a presence as possible of Gaza Palestinians and all other Palestinians on both these chats.
The world needs to hear your voices!
What will we end up with?
We’re hoping that each of these chat sessions will provide a valuable space for real-time brainstorming among Palestinians and solidarity activists from all around the world on the serious challenges that Gaza’s two million people now face– and what to do about them.
After each chat, we’ll have our elves work as speedily as possible to curate and organize the tweets in the chat into a coherent single record, using Storify or some such tool. We’re hoping that these records will be valuable resources for people in the solidarity movement all around the world– not just those of us lucky (or sad) enough to suffer from a mild Twitter addiction.
So stay tuned and watch the Just World Educational blog (here) and our Facebook page— along with our @JustWorldEd twitter account, to see that record when it gets published.
Please, if you’re on Twitter, consider this your invitation to join our two upcoming #GazaChats. And tell your friends about them, too!