Social Work Month is a time of reflection when those in our profession intensify our efforts to positively influence change and policy shifts on the macro, mezzo and micro levels to improve outcomes for those we serve. We also reflect on how we can better create awareness and educate the public on the many facets of social work practice and education. Most importantly, it’s the time of year we become more connected together and supportive of each other for choosing a profession to serve the vulnerable, the poor, and marginalized. As a result, Social Work Helper has decided to reboot the #SWHelper Live Twitter Chats on Sundays at 3PM EST to help maintain that connectivity throughout the year.
With any profession, we have our in fights of macro vs micro or whether licensing is better for professionalization. However, having these debates are healthy because they help to identify areas for improvement as well as identify areas working well for replication. Live Twitter Chats are just one way to help increase social work visibility in the virtual world. Whether its writing for Social Work Helper or another publication, any time a social worker weighs in on a current event or news related incident using a social work lens, it helps to add our profession to the national conversation.
The virtual world is providing social workers around the globe the opportunity to connect despite their geographically location. Live Twitter Chats allows us to remove those geographically boundaries like never before by extending the classroom, our ability to learn, and share information and resources. One of the barriers to live twitter chats is that people don’t understand twitter. Twitter seems vast with too much information and very few rules to follow.
However, these barriers are also what make Twitter the best social media platform for connection, advocacy, community organizing , and teaching. However, in order for us to extract the best uses of this social media platform, we must start with providing information to everyone on how to participate in Twitter Chats and Twitter basics.
#SWHelper Live Twitter Chats
To kick off Social Work Month, this Sunday on March 9th at 3PM EST using the hashtag #SWHelper, our first chat will cover how to use twitter, participation in chats, get feedback for topics in the weeks to come, and talk about how to increase social work’s visibility year-long. Social Work Helper has created a page on how to participate in a twitter chat.
How does a live twitter chat work? In order to participate, you must first have access to a twitter account. Then, you will need to go to your twitter search and type in #swhelper. Depending on the number of participants, the tweet stream may flow quickly.
To contribute to the discussion, you will need #SWHelper at the beginning or at the end of each tweet. To direct a question to and/or include the moderator in the post, your tweet will need to include @swhelpercom and #SWHelper. Also, Social Work Helper has a twitter chat channel in which I highly recommend because it will automatically add the #SWHelper hashtag into your tweet for you. View the Social Work Helper Twitter Channel located at www.twubs.com. To begin using twubs, simply create an account or login in with your existing twitter account. Read More
Hashtags.org has one of the easiest and most basic guides for New Twitter users.
If you’re still apprehensive whether the micro-blogging universe is really for you, perhaps you’re just experiencing stranger anxiety.
Twitter can be a pretty intimidating platform at first glance, what with all the jargon and quirky characters everyone uses (not to mention the pressure to have a throng of followers!). The anxiety is normal and most newbies find themselves stumped over what to do next after they create their Twitter account.
But, fear not! For a smooth start, you only need to get a handle of the basic principles of Twitter use — and, fortunately, it’s not rocket science.
Here are the 10 basic guidelines for Twitter Beginners. Read Full Article
Also, University of Alabama at Birmingham Social Work Professor, Laurel Hitchcock wrote an excellent post entitled How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Twitter Parts I and II.
Collaborative Twitter Chat
Also, Social Work Helper has joined a collaborative effort Live Twitter Chat which will occur on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 9PM EST starting March 13th on the Rothman Report using the hashtag #macrosw. This collaboration includes the University of Buffalo, Network of Social Work Managers, Association of Community Organizers and Social Administration (ACOSA), University of Southern California, and Karen Zgoda.