A Twitter chat is an organized event in which Twitter users gather to tweet about a particular topic. Tweets in Twitter chats are defined by a hashtag, such as "#newschat" or "#bookchat." Depending on the popularity of the topic, the number of participants can be anywhere from under 10 to close to several hundred. If you participate in Twitter chat and don't want to miss a single tweet, a few different methods help you to stay as up to date as possible.
Refresh the Twitter website in your browser. Though the new Twitter format updates automatically, sometimes it might not catch up fast enough for your liking. Instead of waiting for the next tweets to appear, click the "Refresh" button on your browser's toolbar as often as necessary.
Run a desktop Twitter client to update your tweets automatically. A Twitter client is a software application that periodically updates with new tweets. Examples include DestroyTwitter, Twitteriffic, Twhirl, TweetDeck and Tweetie. Many of these applications give you an option within the preferences menu to set the refresh rate for the client. In other words, you can define how often the client searches for new tweets. Additionally, some clients give you the option to create columns of tweets that include a specific search term --- such as your Twitter chat's hashtag.
Add your Twitter account to your universal chat client. Whereas a Twitter client is dedicated solely to tweets, a chat client connects all your networking and messaging options in one little window. Alerts pop up for your Twitter, Facebook or MySpace account, and all instant messengers, such as AIM, Windows Live and Yahoo!, are controlled through one compact window. This method allows you to control all chats --- Twitter-based and otherwise --- from one central location. Some chat clients include Trillian, Pidgin and Adium.
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