Hashtags have become digital rally points for Twitter users. We ask questions, create community, post answers, and engage in social-media-based professional development via #-based conversations. Recently, Mike Petroff, the Web Manager for Enrollment at Emerson College, decided to create a site that connects Twitter users to higher ed hashtags. I was curious to know more about the site, so I sent Mike an email:
What is eduTweetups?
eduTweetups is a directory that lists hashtags and event information for higher education-focused conferences, webinars, Twitter chats, and tweetups. Users can visit the website to find upcoming events on Twitter and start networking with other higher education professionals. It's completely driven by submissions from the public.
Why did you create the site?
I'm a big fan of Twitter aggregation services that track hashtags and give stats on Twitter conversations. The problem for me was keeping track of when these higher education conferences, tweetups or Twitter chats were coming up. I would always find out about them too late and would miss great Twitter conversations.
I started a small directory of what I followed, but decided to create a website that acted as both a directory and calendar for higher education events. If you're new to Twitter and work in higher education, the website is a great resource and will hopefully encourage you to be more involved in chats and events.
What has the response been like for eduTweetups?
The response for the initial launch of eduTweetups has been great so far. Over 40 events or hashtags have been added to the website since its launch in early April, and more continue to come in every week.
What are your plans for the site?
The April launch of eduTweetups was definitely just phase one. I plan to add more functionality to the website soon, including aggregating and showing currently running higher education chats and events, automating Twitter updates of upcoming hashtag chats on @edutweetups, allowing for recurring events (weekly and monthly) on the calendar, and creating some features you might find in websites like http://twtvite.com/ and http://lanyrd.com/.
eduTweetups will continue to grow, and I encourage users and conferences to submit their hashtags and events at: http://edutweetups.com/submit/
eduTweetups is an awesome site. If you're on Twitter, I would highly recommend checking it out. Do you tweet? Let's connect. Follow me on Twitter.