Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Chilliwack ValleyVotes Tweetup

This was Chilliwack's first ever Tweetup, held by a non-candidate. During the last municipal election Jason Lum held his own twitter chat but this is the first one that was organized to allow all candidates a public platform to engage with Twitter using citizen. Kudos to the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board for organizing and facilitating the event.

Lessons learned

It would have be awesome to have a page on the ValleyVotes website that had some general instructions and guidelines for both the candidates and the folks participating in the chat. Leading up to the event the rallying call was to "ask your candidates anything" or something to the effect. Once we began it looked like the organizers wanted to ask their questions first. The result was they just got ignored as participants launched questions. Doh! Sorry :-/

Many of the candidates answered questions directly without adding the hashtag and in some cases didn't include enough context in their responses. That has made it difficult to go back and follow the conversations. Twitter chats are a bit of an art form and it was clear who had experience in Twitter's fast-paced and minimal-character-allowing environment. It was also clear who could spell and type well lol (I can't point fingers there, I am notoriously bad at both).

Going forward

One thing I had hoped for was for the candidates that did participate - many were a no show - would have collected all the great questions and taken time to respond on their own websites. They could have done this really easily with Storify or with numerous other free apps. They could have even done it the old school way by just copying and pasting the questions and their responses into their webpage. As much as I love social media I would rather go to a website and get information about a candidates. I really dislike Facebook and that, it seems, is where a lot of the longer form information from and about candidates is being shared.

Anyways, for what it's worth, here is an edited (I removed duplicate tweets) version of the Tweetup.

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