Leveraging Twitter to Promote User Groups

I’ve been giving some thought to how I can better leverage various communications and social media to help promote the great work that folks in the Microsoft Developer Community (and beyond) are doing, and one of the channels I’ve been using is Twitter.

For those of you who might not be aware, I’m on Twitter as devhammer, and I also have another account, CommMegaphone, which I use primarily for new event notifications when events are added to Community Megaphone.

Recently, I decided to try to increase the utility of the CommMegaphone twitter account in a couple of ways:

  1. I added a “News” section to the Community Megaphone home page which draws from the RSS feed associated with the CommMegaphone twitter account. That way, if something I think may be of interest to Community Megaphone visitors comes up, I can simply tweet it, and it’ll automatically show up on the home page.
  2. I’ve been discussing with some folks adding Call for Speakers listings to Community Megaphone, using the twitter stream, and using a standard hashtag to identify those tweets. In this way, those who want to see just the Calls for Speakers could subscribe to the RSS feed, and add a filter for the specific hashtag, either in an RSS reader that supports filtering by keyword, or by using something like Yahoo Pipes to build a filtered version of the feed.

Today, I decided to take things a step further, by adding a Twitter list to the CommMegaphone twitter account specifically for User Groups that focus on Microsoft technologies. I’m hoping that by building out this list, folks who are looking for Microsoft user groups can more easily locate groups in their area. If I get enough groups going, I may even start partitioning into additional lists based on state and/or technology.

So if you run a user group that focuses on Microsoft Technologies, and you’d like to participate, and your group is on Twitter (if not, you can sign up at Twitter.com), please go follow CommMegaphone, and send an @ reply to that account with your twitter ID, and I’ll add you to the list.

Alternately, feel free to drop me a line via the contact form on my blog and give me your info that way.

And please let me know in the comments below what you think of the ideas above…do you think they have the potential to be useful to the community? Anything I’m not thinking of? Tell me.

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