Being involved in the #langchat Twitterchat was my first experience using Twitter for more interactive purposes. For many people, Twitter is that place to share their ideas, take place in hot-topic debates, and interact with people on a global scale about what is going on in the world. I was very intimidated to begin chatting - the chat is still taking place as I write - and I have found a few positives and negatives to using this tool.
One thing I enjoyed about chatting was the immediacy at which people could share their thoughts and ideas. Such an interactive model allows for emotional debate and quick access to new information. One thing I didn't like, however, was the also the immediacy. Perhaps I am not as quick-minded as others, but I felt a bit confused throughout the course of the discussion. Within 5 mins I felt there were multiple issues being raised, various discourses, and it was very easy for me to get lost in translation. Luckily, the article posted about twitterchats helped me see what Q1/A1, Q2/A2 meant, but even at one point, one of the chat "leaders" (@alenord) commented that the chat had no formal structure, therefore no strict Q1/Q2 usage. This made it very difficult to follow what was being argued.
Another thing I enjoyed about the chat was the sharing of links and blog posts that was relevant to the individual's argument. It opened various websites that I may utilize in the future, as well as up to date discussions taking place in the blogsphere. But as I mentioned above, there's no way I would be able to actually read the articles fast enough to come up with a timely response. By then, they may have gone on to Q15.
While I can understand the benefits of chatting via Twitter, I feel it may be too large of an audience to have any sort of valuable discussion. For me, I prefer a more intimate conversation with someone, rather than one big sound box for dozens of opinions. Seeing other teachers and sharing their thoughts is a very cool experience, but even so, many times I felt too "green" or too inexperienced to really say anything valuable. There was actually a point where one of the chat "leaders" disagreed with one of my post (@KrisClimer), discouraging me from really trying to express my opinions.
If anything, the Twitterchat would be nice to oversee an interesting discussion, and maybe even to stir the pot from time to time, but if I'm looking for any thought-out discussion, I'd prefer it be done on a smaller, more private scale.