When Cindy Kane  tweeted that "lurking is learning" on a #SAchat Twitter conversation last year, she didn't know that she had created a mantra for those of us who participate in weekly Twitter-based conversations / chats.
Each week, scores of higher education professionals participate in 140 character conversations on a variety of topics. Using Twitter as a platform for knowledge exchange and relationship development, we produce virtual reams of valuable content.
I actively participate in and observe or lurk in at least 3 hashtag-based  Twitter chats: #SAchat, #HigherEdChat, and the #AcAdv chat. Each week a different chat topic is chosen and participants converse with one another for an hour.
#SAchat  - I've written about my affinity for the #SAchat . It's one of the strongest hashtag-based communities in the higher education Twittersphere. The weekly student affairs chat takes place on Thursdays at 10AM and 4PM PST. Recent technology-related chat topics include:
- Blogging in Student Affairs
- Conference Backchannels
- Integrating Mobile Technology into Student Affairs
- Student Affairs and Social Media
#HigherEdChat  - A relatively new hashtag/chat, #HigherEdChat, taking place on Wednesdays at 1PM PST, has gotten off to a strong start with interesting technology topics / conversations:
- Student Retention and Social Media
- Career Services and Social Media
- Mobile Marketing in Higher Education
#AcAdv  - This chat is largely made up of academic advisors. Occurring on Tuesdays at 5PM PST, the academic advising chat has emerged as an excellent space for resource sharing and community building. Recent academic advising technology-related chat topics include:
- Emerging Tech in Academic Advising Chat
- Social Media Strategies for Advisors
- Early Alert and Retention Systems
Last October when I attended the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference , I went around to as many of the technology vendors / providers as time permitted. I talked at length about how the student affairs community was ready for specific student affairs technology solutions. Most of my time was spent explaining the role of student affairs practitioners / departments within higher education.
Well, just in case anyone from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, SunGard, Verizon, Blackboard, Jenzabar, Oracle, Datatel, Starfish, OrgSync, Symplicity, StarRez, Maxient, Red Rover, Inigral, and Student Voice happen to come across this post, I would highly recommend that you "lurk and learn" on one of the three Twitter chats that I mention above. You will gain a tremendous amount of insight into the work that student affairs practitioners do and perhaps it will spark some creative student affairs technological innovations. I know that there are many companies that have explored opportunities within student affairs. Several of the corporations that I mentioned already have significant investments in student affairs technologies. The strategic value of lurking and learning from student affairs practitioners that tweet is an as yet largely untapped resource.
Have you ever lurked and learned via a Twitter chat?
Do you tweet? Let's connect. Follow me on Twitter.