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How to Get Reminders for Online Chats

January 24th, 2010

A question appeared in tonight’s #blogchat discussion asking how to get automatic reminders of the start times of Twitter chats. I shared my way of doing this, and got many positive comments about it, so I figured I’d blog it to help out a broader audience.

Warning – this is a really easy solution, and it doesn’t involve any bright, shiny new tools!

Whenever I hear about an on-going chat on Twitter, or a chat-enabled blog site, or in a virtual world (I am involved with several projects in Second Lifeā„¢ and other virtual worlds) I just add it as a recurring appointment to my calendar, and set a reminder in the calendar! In my case, this is Google Calendar, so it is available everywhere and syncs to my phone, but this trick should work just as well for most calendaring applications.

For a Twitter hashtag-style chat, I start the calendar entry with a #, for example #blogchat, and then follow that up with a space and the full URL, so that a click will open a brower tab pointed at the chat in progress. I tend to use TweetChat for Twitter chat discussions, so the calendar entry for this example looks like this:

#blogchat http://tweetchat.com/room/blogchat, with a reminder set for 15 minutes ahead.

A few clicks, and it’s done. I hope this is useful for someone else as well. It’s been pretty valuable for me to keep track of how various chats relate to other appointments, and to remember to get online when chats of interest are about to start.

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