Get Ready for the Very First #ABBugChat!

#ABbugchat will make its debut on Twitter tomorrow, Tuesday, April 16 at 10 am (11 am central). Many of us may be unfamiliar with this communication venue so perhaps it is best to do some preparation ahead.

#ABbugchat will run weekly from mid-May to Mid-August. This year that means May 14 to August 13. It will then run on the first Tuesday of the month for the rest of the year. This schedule is open to modification/adjustments.

At its simplest a Twitter chat is a conversation linked together through hashtags. It is always important to remember that EVERY tweet that is part of the chat must have the hashtag in it. If the hashtag is not added it will get lost in the everyday Twitter feed. When the chat is done we will use the hashtag to retrieve and post the conversation for others that could not join in. There will be more structure in the non-growing season chats and more free time for in season.

The rules of #ABbugchat will be straight forward.

  1. When participating in the chat please always use the hashtag #ABbugchat in every tweet.
  2. The moderated portion of the chat will run one hour but feel free to keep on chatting afterwards.
  3. There will be a series of preselected topics/questions each week. We will deal with these first. They will be posted on the RealAgriculture site ahead of the chat. Questions will be labeled Q1, Q2 etc. Please use a corresponding question numbe. when responding and discussing. For example: Q1. What is your must-have insect scouting too? #ABbugChat Answer: Q1. A sweep net. I have one in every truck! #ABBugChat
  4. There will be time scheduled for general discussion and questions at the end. This is a good time to post those “what is this?” photos and questions.
  5. Rude and disruptive behavior is strongly discouraged.
  6. Please remember that this is to be a chat about INSECTS affecting crops in Alberta. I welcome input from other areas as well but the focus will remain what is happening in Alberta.

For now I, @ABbugcounter (Scott Meers), will be the moderator but guest moderators could be included in the future.

There may be questions that need further attention outside of the chat. When this happens they may be set aside and a full response do those interested. If it is of wide enough appeal it will be published on the web and advertised via Twitter.

I hope that this will be a productive and useful chat. #ABbugchat is brand new and I am open to comments and suggestions for improvement. We will be asking for suggested topics as part of the normal workings of #ABbugchat so if there are things you want to discuss send me a note and we will try to include them as appropriate.

If this is the first time you have attended a Twitter chat you might want to have a twitter app like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Tweetbot to follow along. If you are on a PC then maybe try Twitterfall. Here is a video that explains how Twitterfall works.

The First #ABBugChat will have 4 Questions and 2 Follow up Points:

1. Wireworms: tips for scouting, control and more

2. Pea Leaf Weevil: what’s the forecast?

3. Flea Beetles: Late season feeding and early season trouble. Plus a discussion on seed treatment considerations.

4. Questions and discussion about navigating insect outlooks

Plus there will be time for general questions and some housekeeping, including when the next #ABBugChat will be!

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