Home > Blog > #PKMChat Agora Mode

Agora mode is a  less formal Twitter chat mode. It’s less conducted, more self-moderated.

Back to the basics of discussing

Imagine you are dragged by friends on the evening piazza for some village time.

You are in Greece and walk to the village square like Helen did http://activatelearning.com.au/2015/04/the-village-square/ . You will find a place to meet people you know or not and engage conversations, exchanges. Conversations can just be some banter for fun or become more serious: politics, career, studies, lifestyle.

Just it’s 330 BC, late morning, you head for Athenai Agora (Athens square) and continue downhill to the corner of Lyceum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyceum_(Classical). Here you find chaps discussing various topics of great importance. You listen from the some distance, join the group and start thinking and talking.

Our agora is Twitter

Fast forward to 2007. Our Agora is Twitter. We have more like 100 followers, no automated tweets. I was reading this post from Mack Collier, http://mackcollier.com/twitter-doesnt-have-a-noise-problem-it-has-a-no-one-is-talking-there-anymore-problem/, just after #BlogChat late in the night of Sunday. To reach this illusion today, we just filter tweets using a hashtag.

Fast forward today. The corner of the Lyceum is a chat taking place on Wednesday. It’s #PKMChat Agora mode. There are no roof, no walls, no chairs. Talks take place between people passing by and/or regulars. A topic is thrown in, the discussion starts.

No numbered questions

More questions are available if the conversation slows down. They are not numbered Q1, Q2. It’s just some questions available to keep going or reframe the chat. I discovered this format in #BlogChat I attended twice. Lightweight chat, more like a casual encounter. If side discussions are hanging on, when new questions are tweeted, they can continue or even become the lead topic. Questions emitted by the host don’t have priority on existing convos. Because there are no numbered question it becomes important to try as much as possible to use reply (not just mentions) and retweet because they keep track of the thread.

It’s not like an open mike or a happy hour. There is a topic, it has been prepared, some links, documents have been gathered for you. It’s just that there is no moderation, no imposed course of action.

Format follows Topic

It doesn’t fit all topics, but will do well for this week topic on evaluating, challenging what we learn, read. Back to Aristotle

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle, Greek philosopher (384-322 BCE)

Credits: “Agora of Athens-Panorama” by Ian Scott is licensed under CC BY SA 2.0