How to participate in #wjchat

Tonight I’ve been asked to host #wjchat, to talk about building social media journalism skills in newsrooms.

With its inaugural chat in February 2010, #wjchat was one of the first Twitter chats out there, and holds great esteem among web journalists (we now call ourselves digital journalists, or even — gasp — journalists).

Although I’ve known about #wjchat for awhile, I only started following the Wednesday night chats this fall. They’ve been insanely helpful. In the past few weeks, I’ve learned about long form social media projects from Kat Chow and got some great productivity hacks from Ted Han.

If you are a #wjchat novice and want to join tonight’s chat, here’s how to do it.

1) At 8 p.m. ET, add the #wjchat hashtag to your Tweetdeck to follow the conversation (If you’re participating on or on your mobile Twitter app, just type “#wjchat” in the search bar). Or just click here.

2) The conversation is guided by the @wjchat Twitter account. They’ll lay out some ground rules, including:

  • To spare your followers a million tweets about social media journalism, start your tweets with @wjchat
  • Use the #wjchat hashtag so everyone can see your contributions
  • @wjchat will introduce the questions, marked by Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. Answer by including A1, A2, A3 in your tweets.

3) @wjchat will start with a lightning round, asking me some questions. After that, every 5-10 minutes they’ll be posing a question for everyone to answer.

4) If you want to just follow the conversation, that is OK! But if you want to participate, here are three ways to do it:

  • Introduce yourself. Say who you are and where you work.
  • Respond to questions posed by @wjchat
  • Reply to me, asking me to elaborate on my answers or provide examples
  • Reply to others, prompting them to do the same.

Here’s an example of a great #wjchat tweet:

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 10.23.37 AM

I can’t wait to talk about my daily work here in the newsroom, and brag a bit about the wonderful reporters and producers at The World. I’m so lucky to work in a newsroom with open minded colleagues who are enthusiastic about adopting new tools and workflows. Here are some topics I hope to cover:

  • Moving the conversation along (I think we’re just about done with “how do I convince my newsroom that social media is important?” Let’s instead focus on Chapter 2: How to build skills over time)
  • Newsroom culture and social media journalism
  • Using Facebook as a journalist
  • The importance of listening first
  • The journalist’s role on Reddit
  • The World’s Social Challenges and the Social Bear

If you have questions before the chat, just direct them to @wjchat on Twitter. If you have any questions for me about how to figure this whole thing out, leave them here in the comments or shoot me an email. See you there!


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