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September 18th, 2008 by stuart

Phweet Coffee Talk Cafe

We have a new type of Phweet. It’s a watercooler or “Coffee Talk Cafe”. How’s it different? Like all Phweets it ties the conversation to a URL. However in this case it is persistent and creates a different type of communication experience.

Have you ever..

  • needed a talking place where people can come and go? A virtual watercooler or VoiceIRC.
  • wanted to have an hangout or virtual cafe to visit for talking and chatting with friends or family?
  • worked from home and just wished you could drop in to a conversation?
  • been part of a group of experts or help desk that answer customer inquiries?
  • wanted to run a open focus group around a discussion item
  • had to manage disaster management and needed a quick point of contact?
  • invited people to talk about a topic?
  • run a 24hour talkathon?

Now you can set up your very own Phweet Coffee Talk Cafe in less than a minute. Then invite your friends and colleagues and watch the conversation grow. Each time someone joins “visits” you will get a direct notification from @phweet with the name of who joined and and you can jump into session with them. At first you will want to do this everytime. But later when others are jumping in and you are busy you may just want to skip it. From time to time you may want to promote your URL and bring new people into the conversation.

We need your feedback. Tell us how you want to use it. Help us make it better.

So what happens in practice?
Someone joins the URL Eg http://phweet.com/45bs and everyone that is subscribed get’s a direct message from @phweet that  @twittername has joined http://phweet.com with @names. If you follow the link you can join in or just skip it if you are busy. Right now everyone that joins is auto subscribed. You become a member of this group. Here’s how Sheryl describes this as hyperconnected.

What’s important? The host doesn’t have to be in on the session. Anyone can visit the URL at anytime. Hang out for awhile and if someone else turns up dial-in or take the call on your laptop. Anyone in the Phweet Cafe can invite new users. The host retains the control to “kick” anyone that is disruptive.

This means your friends can meet each other here. At minimum they have you as a common connection even if you aren’t there.

How Create your own Phweet Coffee Talk Cafe:

For further instructions follow these page by page details here

Notes on creating a Phweet Cafe

1. Leave the box un-checked if you want total control over who can join
the Phweet session. (This means they cannot join until you as the
“host” approve or decline their participation. This is just like a
traditional 1 to 1, or 1 to many Phweet.) This may be more appropriate if you want to limit participation to an organization.

2 Tick the box RECOMMENDED and now anyone can join and instantly be
talking with anyone currently in the session. As the host if you really don’t like them you can “kick” them from the call. This makes it much easier for you and your friends to grow this Phweet Cafe as the “host” is no longer an approval bottleneck.

Then Twitter broadcasts the launch of your Phweet. This Phweet session is public. You can now promote this persistent URL for as long as you want. When people visit you will be notified by a direct message from @phweet. It’s best if you set your Twitter notifications (in Twitter Settings) to send you an SMS everytime you get a direct message. That way you can dial in quickly from where ever you are. (Currently US numbers only)

What I’ve learned so far:

Invite a number of people to join you. Remember that people may visit your Phweet Cafe at anytime of day. So potentially the more the merrier. That way you no longer have to jump in all the time.

Everyone is subscribed when they join for the first time. If the updates from the group become overbearing then all you have to do is unsubscribe. Unsubscribing will also remove this persistent Phweet from your list of pending Phweets. If you have it bookmarked you can always return later as long as the host has not ended it.

Note currently you can create as many persistent Phweets as you like. However, that’s likely to become a premium service.

How is this different from other conferencing systems.
You no longer have to remember any number to dial in. All anyone has to know is the PhweetURL. You can use it at both set times or spontaneously at anytime. People can come and go.

How might you use this?
The more visible and more you promote the URL the more likely you are to stimulate the conversation.

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