One of the major reasons that I shut #Fitblog down last week rather than letting it run through 2013 was the news that Twitter was making major API changes that would result in many of our favorite tools — including Tweetchat.com — to shut down.
And this week, it happened. Well, it kind of happened. Tweetchat was acquired by Internet Media Labs and has been turned off. The technology is supposedly being morphed into another tool called OneQube’s SmartStream, which — if you believe it — will be better.
(I’ve tried it and several so-called alternatives and all seem to be buggy, clunky, often require downloads, etc. so frankly, I can’t recommend an alternative at this point. OneQube is getting good reviews from others, so stay tuned.)
I think the bigger question about Twitter chats is…what’s their future from a content/community strategy? When they first launched, they were a great and innovative way of pulling people together for quick Q&A sessions, collaborations and more. But they’ve turned more toward Twitter parties, which have their value but are less interesting to me, and I think they’ve lost their spark.
The technology has gotten better over the last few years — Google Hangouts allow people to essentially produce and broadcast their own talk shows, and Facebook now offers groups, group chat and more — so I’m curious to know what you would like to see in online chats. Do you want video/audio conferencing? Webinar-style sessions, or just Internet-driven networking sessions?
One of my goals in the next few weeks is to figure out how to continue to serve YOU, my readers and Twitter friends, and I need your help.
Oh, and to answer the question posed in the title: What Do Twitter Chat Hosts Do?
a) hope that the recent Twitter changes aren’t going to stop them
b) gracefully end things
c) accept an alternative platform that may not be as good as Tweetchat
d) hang on until a better alternative appears