As many of you know, I announced #AVchat on Monday. #AVchat is the AV industry’s first Twitter chat. As far as I know, no one in AV has attempted a group chat on Twitter. (If I’m wrong, please correct me. I’d love to give props to the person who tried this first.) Twitter chats, in general, happen all the time. My favorite is #journchat that happens on Monday nights. Search Twitter for the #journchat hash tag to see what I mean.

I’ve been bowled over by the interest and support of it since I announced it. Frankly, it took me by surprise. I knew that there was a need for us to communicate better via Twitter, but perhaps didn’t realize how big of a need that was. Your reaction has been swift, positive, and overwhelming (and I mean overwhelming in a good way.)

#AVchat
is a labor of love for me. You guys know how much I love our industry and the people in it. As of right now, I’ve decided against inviting media sponsors so that we can have a spin-free discussion. There are pluses and minuses to that decision. The biggest minus is that #AVchat falls into the “pro bono” category of work for me, so the paid work comes first.

As a result, there are deliverables like an FAQ, tutorials on how to participate in a Twitter discussion, and a page on my web site (www.frembes.com) for all things #AVchat that are in the works but are not completed yet.

Until the final package is ready, here are a few things you should think about:

(1) Details are coming soon.
Specific details like who, what, when for #AVchat are coming soon. There are some details the need to be worked out before I nail down a date and time for the first session. Once we get through our first session, it is my hope that #AVchat will happen every other week.

If you’re eager to learn more about Twitter chats and how to participate in one, I suggest you Google it and read up.

(2) I’m working on a chat guest for our first time out
The plans are to have a chat guest for our first session. This is yet another detail that is not final. If I don’t get a confirmation, then #AVchat will occur around a series of questions that will shape our discussion. You will know the theme of the discussion beforehand (like “AV and the economy”), but not the questions.

(3) There is a poll to determine the best time
Speaking of details, I created a poll to get a general sense of when you’d like #AVchat to occur. Many of you have pointed out that I didn’t include time zones. That was intentional on my part. For example, over 70% of you have voted that you prefer Afternoon or After work/Evening. That tells me a lot without needing your specific time zone.

Take the poll here if you haven’t voted yet. Voting closes on Friday, January 28th.

(4) #AVchat is not for selling or PR-ing
My goal for #AVChat is to create another vehicle by which we can communicate. It’s not a place where people should come to pimp their products or services to AVtweeps. To do so is just gross, plain and simple. If that happens, I hope that the AVtweeps community will give those people a 140 character tongue-lashing until they go away.

Speaking of sales and PR opps, again I will point out that the only sponsor to this event is me. I’m interested in discussion and ideas exchange. If, in the future, #AVchat begins to grow larger than I can handle alone, then I may entertain the idea of sponsors only if they stick to the spirit and integrity of #AVchat’s mission.

(5) Sign up for a Twitter account to participate
Another question I’ve gotten via email is whether you need a Twitter account to participate in #AVchat. The answer is: Yes. Anyone can follow along with the discussion on Twitter.com, but you do need a Twitter account to interact with other AVtweeps.

So if you are not in Twitter yet, what are you waiting for? Get an account (it’s free) and start learning how to use it. There is a huge AV community on Twitter. We’re eager to welcome you.