One morning my good friend Kevin Mullett (two L’s two T’s) tweeted, “Searching posts to engage w/on Twitter: Promotion, overused quote, promotion, big bucket of nooope, animated gif…” I replied with, “Good morning what do you want to discuss?” I wondered aloud if we posted the hashtag #ChatChat if we could start a conversation on THE Twitter. We could, and we did.

Here’s What Happened Next

Q1 Would people participate in a #Chat about chatting? @kmullett  #ChatChat

A1 Some might, and #chatchat tag is used to refer to this topic. May be interesting for: @quickmuse @sourcePOV@JohnWLewis

A1 Seems to me that Twitter has largely been relegated to promotion and consumption. @kmullett

There’s worthwhile conversation in the stream, but you do need to swim past the garbage –@quickmuse

The beauty of Twitter is that what we choose whether we collect “garbage” (except for spammers, whom we block and report). @JohnWLewis

I’ve often thought that there should be a “tax” on social media polluters! @quickmuse

Q2 Can social interaction be revived on Twitter or is it too late? #ChatChat

A2 I think saving social interaction on Twitter is at least partially in the hands of @twitter  – @kmullett

The part that baffles me is when people are having a difficult go at interacting on Twitter, as if it’s any different. @ideabloke

A2 I suspect it has to do w/ the inability to be brief, succinct, to the point, you know, to stop rambling on & pay att. @kmullett

A2 I think @twitter could make it much easier for the casual user to separate wheat from the chaff.  @kmullett

I run into the same challenges at live networking events, sifting through promotional pitches. @quickmuse

Q3 What can anyone do to promote conversation and sociability on Twitter? #ChatChat

A3 Look for opportunities, then act on them. Such as you did this morning which has yielded unexpected results. @kmullett

A3b: It’s funny that people expect others to do what they themselves are not willing to do, i.e. chat, retweet, comment, engage. @kmullett

A3: For starters, they might want to refrain from automating their tweets/posts. @ideabloke

Just sayin’ Automated DM’s are THE worst. – @randyclarktko

Such as, “Hi, we just connected, and this is crazy, but here’s my pitch, buy my crap maybe?” @kmullett

Q4 How, when and where have you found conversation on Twitter? What’s your best advice? #ChatChat

A4 I’ve had limited success with Twitter polls, and daily questions. The best way is to reach out and answer others questions. —  @randyclarktko

A4: Chats bring in willing, like-minded–to subject or purpose anyway–people. That and answering other people’s questions. @kmullett

There was More

Four more questions in fact, but you get the idea. A few other friends joined in, and Kevin and I made new friends who were like-minded about putting the social back in Twitter. Our question was answered. Should we accept a Twitter that’s all about as Kevin put it, “Promotion, overused quote, promotion, big bucket of nooope, animated gif…” The answer is no.

What started as a casual question became a conversation among peers. There was little promotion, one quote, a ton of interesting thoughts, and it was funny. There were a couple of GIFS, but who doesn’t love Cartman?

So What’s the Point?

The point is quit gripping and go make change happen. If you believe there’s too much promotion on Twitter, stop following folks that only self-promote, start looking for people who have something to say. Answer questions, like and retweet, start a Twitter chat. Be the change you want to see. It has to start somewhere, doesn’t it?

Photo credit: portalgda via / CC BY-NC-SA