Quick'n'Dirty Podcast: Lucky number 18 and hashtag chats

Hashtag chats can be valuable but are often seen as noisy. What's the real story?
Written by Jennifer Leggio, Contributor

The latest edition of the Quick'n'Dirty Podcast was an abbreviated one, but a very fun one to host. My jet-setting partner in crime Aaron Strout was literally leaving on a jet plane at the time our show was recorded, so I went solo. Well, not entirely solo. I was joined by the fabulous Deb Robison as she came up with the idea for -- and helped us research -- our topic of the week, which was Twitter hashtag chats. And, I must confess that we ended the show about 15 minutes early due to my having tickets to the home opener of my beloved San Jose Sharks. Priorities, right? Hockey aside, here's the recap of last week's show:

  • Social Network: Digsby. So, it's not really a social network, it's a client. But it's our podcast and Aaron wasn't around to protest so I went with it. I use Digsby religiously. Not only does it have a super cute logo, but it's highly functional. I use it to integrate multiple chat accounts, multiple Web mail accounts, notifications, a couple of Twitter accounts and once upon a time I used it for Facebook. I like it because it's reliable and it's current unmatched in terms of instant message integration. I did confess that I don't use it as my primary Twitter client because TweetDeck has it beat in terms of usability, but I do use it to monitor some secondary accounts that are only seasonally used.
  • Featured Twitterer: At least I know Aaron wouldn't protest this one. I chose @marshallk aka Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb as my favorite Twitter this week due to his great sense of humor, informative tweets, and ability to say what's on his mind, whether or not the sentiment is a popular one. Deb also said she likes following Marshall due to his "calls 'em like he sees 'em" attitude. Definitely worth a follow and his blog posts are always worth a read.
  • Point / Counterpoint: We didn't really do a point / counterpoint this week but rather had an extended discussion about hashtag chats -- you know, those chats on Twitter in which everyone includes the hashtag and tracks the discussion. We issued a survey a few weeks ago asking people to give us their feedback on their hashtag chat experience. Deb and I had discussed that while there are hashtag chats aplenty, it's really hard to keep up with them and also not lose followers who aren't interested in the chats. However, most users of the chats find them incredibly valuable, with a only a small percentage wishing that they were more streamlined. We talked about some of the most popular chats, the top of which was #socialmedia, discovered a chat for designers called #dcth, and Deb talked about the research she did around #solopr.

To listen and get all of the gritty details, check out the replay or search for us on iTunes under QuicknDirty. Next week Aaron and I will broadcast live from BlogWorld & New Media Expo, where we are both speaking. So tune in next week for a surprise edition of Quick'n'Dirty, when we hope to pull some folks live from the show floor.

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