Guide for Participants

These are a few of our top tips that will help you get involved in an #OTalk tweet-chat. Scroll to the bottom of this page to find a link to a YouTube video that may also help.

#OTalk is a weekly Twitter chat, designed to enable discussion about occupational therapy and the broader academic discipline of occupational science.  That you engage in by tweeting your thoughts, and responses to questions asked during the twitter chat.

If you have any questions that are not covered in this guide, please feel free to get in touch.

The Basics

  • Twitter – is an online news and social networking site where people communicate in short messages called tweets. 
  • Tweets – A tweet is a status update on Twitter that is broadcast to other users. Limited to 280 characters or less, tweets can express how users are feeling, what they’re doing, and anything in between. this is public for anyone to see unless you have padlocked your account.
  • Accounts – each user of twitter as an account it starts with @
  • Padlock – Protects an account your Tweets cannot be viewed unless they have been approved to view them. Your tweets will not be seen in an OTalk chat if your account is padlocked.
  • Hashtags – The most important thing to remember. By adding a “#” to the beginning of an unbroken word or phrase creates a hashtag. When you use a hashtag in a Tweet, it becomes the link to all of the other Tweets that include it. Including a hashtag gives your Tweet context and allows people to easily follow topics that they’re interested in.
  • Follow – Following someone on Twitter means You are subscribing to their Tweets as a follower. Their updates will appear in your Home timeline. That person is able to send you Direct Messages.
  • Direct Messages (DM) – Are the private side of Twitter. You can use Direct Messages to have private conversations with people about Tweets and other content. You both need to be following each other for this function to work.
  • Treading – A trend on Twitter refers to a hashtag-driven topic that is immediately popular at a particular time.
  • Twitter-Chats – written conversations that occur on Twitter at a designated date and time about a certain topic. Every Twitter chat has a hashtag, which allows anyone on Twitter to follow the chat or even participate. … If you don’t include the hashtag, the chat participants will not see your tweets.
  • Host – is the person leading that weeks OTalk twitter-chat from their personal account.
  • @OTalk_ account support – each week a member of the @OTalk_ Team will be on this account to help support users during the 1 hour chat.
  • OT twitter community – Anyone with a twitter account who identifies as working within the field of Occupational Therapy or studying Occupational Therapy.
  • A blog – (a shortened version of “weblog”) is an online journal or informational website displaying information in reverse chronological order, with the latest posts appearing first, at the top. It is a platform where a writer or a group of writers share their views on an individual subject.
  • Blog post – is an entry (article) that you write on a blog. It can include content in the form of text, photos, infographics, or videos.
  • Transcript – A a detailed record of all the tweets in order that used the hashtag during the chat.

#OTalk happens every Tuesday evening on Twitter, 8-9pm UK time. The topics are mostly suggested by a member of the OT Twitter community and supported by a member of the OTalk team. (Who are all volunteers)

One week before each chat a blog post will be put up on the OTalk website with details of the next topic, some background and a list of questions that will be considered during the chat. This will give you a good indication of what to expect and allow you time to consider opinions, reflect on your experiences of the topic or think of some questions you might like to ask if you are not familiar with the topic.

If your account is usually protected (i.e., if you have a padlock next to your handle), people will not be able to see your tweets. Be sure to turn this protection off if you plan to participate and want people to see what you have to say. There are instructions for turning protection on and off here.

The @OTalk_ account will tweet out reminders and comments promoting the chat, the host and the topic throughout the week leading up to the chats, so keep an eye out.

You may want to follow the @OTalk_ Twitter account, members of the team and the host of the chat to be sure you don’t miss anything. You can find out each weeks host, by reading that weeks blog post.

Following accounts (the name that starts with @) lets you see that account tweets, on your accounts home page, in live view as they are tweeted. To follow an account click the follow button

The hashtag is the most important part to engaging in an #OTalk

At 8pm every Tuesday the host (person leading the chat this changes every week) and a #OTalk team member will be online. We usually start off with some introductions to see who is joining in and then will start with the questions.

To follow, from your home page simply search for the Hashtag #OTalk either by clicking search twitter or explore.

Your feed will look something like this. Below your search are 5 categories, Top, Latest, People, Photos and Videos these are away of filtering the tweets you see with the hashtag you searched. Scroll through these images below to see what each category does.

Remember – To follow the chat and the questions in real time keep on refreshing the latest button. You can just ‘lurk’ watching the chat rather than engaging.

To add a comment to the chat and tweet your replies and thoughts to the questions or other peoples tweets. Please remember to add the hashtag #OTalk to all your tweets so that those participating can see what you have to say.

You may find the chats alittle fast paced at first but it gets easier with time and the OTalk team are on hand to support you and the community is very helpful and welcoming as well.

At first you might find it easier to engage in one question at a time, you will find people will tweet you back and a discussion will happen, so don’t feel like you need to answer the next question if you are enjoying a conversation on a different question.

At the end of the chat you can complete a short reelection on your participation and learning and then print off a certificate for your CPD. We also have a certificate for those who have hosted.

A few days following the chat we will post a transcript that details all the tweets, number of participants and impression. And then it all starts again the following Tuesday!

You can check out the upcoming chats on our calendar.

If you have any questions feel free to tweet the team account @OTalk_ or any of the organising team who will be happy to help.

Please remember that if you choose to participate or host a chat and have an open profile all your tweets will be made public.  This means your tweets will be added to our transcript and may also be visible via other applications and sites.

With this in mind please consider your code of ethics and professionalism when tweeting and remember that confidentiality is still applicable on line as it is in practice, so please be respectful of your peers.

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