Participating in a gardening twitter chat is a great way to learn and meet new people. A twitter chat is like attending a party where 20 people are standing in the living room talking generally about the same thing. I visualize them standing because usually a chat is for one hour, which goes by fast.
There are several gardening-related twitter chats, each with their own formats differ. Some have predetermined questions while others have a theme for the day. In some chats, the moderators compile the conversation like a transcript to be viewed later. Twitter chats also can have guests for a particular topic or collaborate with sponsors for giveaways.
Twitter chats are free and open to anyone who has a Twitter account. The more people are participating, the more often messages are posted, and the faster it seems to move. Messages can appear very fast so you have to really stay focused on the conversation. If you are new to Twitter, it may be helpful to first read as people type. There is no need to actually tweet a response. As you feel more comfortable, jump in and respond when you can. Some people post photos but that is optional.
Sometimes during a chat, a few people seem to get off track, as if they walked into the kitchen, looked out the window, and started discussing the weather. To keep track of the actual chat, it is useful to use tweetdeck or tchat.io. Using the hashtag, these are able to order the tweets so you only see the tweets relevant to that particular chat. These tools help to focus on the chat for the hour instead of seeing all of the tweets from all of the people you are following.
#gardenchat, 9-10 pm EST, weekly, hosted by Bren Haas @BrenHaas
#treechat, 2-3 pm EST, every 2 weeks (#treechat and #plantchat alternate), hosted by Corona Tools (@Coronatools)
#plantchat, 2-3 pm EST, every 2 weeks (#treechat and #plantchat alternate), hosted by American Horticultural Society (@AHS_gardening) and Corona Tools (@Coronatools)
#landscapechat, 2-3 pm EST, weekly, hosted by Corona Tools (@coronatools)
#seedchat, 9-10 pm EST, weekly, hosted by Growing North @growingnorth
#groundchat, 8-9 pm EST, weekly, hosted by Cristina da Silva @CristinaGardens
#herbchat, 2-3 pm EST, weekly, hosted by Geri Laufer @gardengeri
#growingnorth, 9-10 pm EST, weekly, hosted by Growing North @growingnorth
These sound like old fashioned chat rooms, but are probably more structured.