When Bay Area News Group Theater Critic Karen D’Souza@karendsouza4 suggested holding a “Twitter Happy Hour,” the features staff listened. On Wednesday 15 feature writers and editors tweeted with followers and each other for an hour. (Ok, there was no beer) They promoted the event in advance it in print and on Facebook, Twitter and Google + and asked followers to ask questions using the hashtag #mytimeout. Digital Features Editor Ann Tatko-Peterson @atatkopeterson who helped coordinate the event, reports that each one of them picked up at least 20 new followers.
Ann adds: “The discussion was all over the map — from entertainment to lifestyle topics — which got mixed reviews from the writers/editors in our email feedback exchange post-Happy Hour. About half of them liked the free-for-all because it mimicked a real Happy Hour, where folks mingle to discuss whatever is on their mind and might eventually gravitate toward another group of people to discuss a different topic. The other half thought it would be a good idea next time to have 2-3 specific topics to keep the discussion more focused and appeal to specific interest groups (via hashtags).”
The other advantage to the Happy Hour is that it prompted more staffers to sign up for Twitter accounts. You can check out the discussion on Twitter at #mytimeout.