#PMChat vs. #PMOT

Social media has become a daily part of so many people’s lives, that it has become much like the cell phone…people can’t remember what the did before it was around.  Social media has become a news stream, source of entertainment, a marketing engine, and an educational resource.  One amazing and simple thing is the hashtag (#).  Leveraged on Twitter to tag a specific topic or trend, it has been used to promote events, support politicians, and drive global communities of like minded individuals.


In the Project Management space, #PMChat and #PMOT have become some of the most popular tags for project/program management professionals to add to their Tweets.  #PMOT stands for Project Managers On Twitter and has a far greater reach and adoption then does #PMChat, which stands for Project Management Chat.  These two hashtags bring together some tremendous thought leaders and exceptional practitioners from around the world to share lessons learned, best practices, and so on.


It was through #PMOT that Rob Prinzo and I ‘met’ and began reading each others tweets and commenting on various blogs and articles that were being shared on the #PMOT stream.  After a few months, we started discussing how that stream/feed was moving away from bi-directional collaboration and was turning into a 1-way megaphone for folks to simply publish their blogs posts to the world or a way to share upcoming webinar or class.  There was less and less in the way of engaging discussion and often many RT’s (retweets) turned out to be a broken link or some redirect to an advertisement, which led us to believe that many folks weren’t event reading  some of the posts/content that they were retweeting.  While we thought (think) there was still tremendous value and people on the #PMOT stream, we also thought there was still a gaping hole with that current platform.  We saw an opportunity to create something that truly engaged the community.  A global discussion on topics challenging the industry, with PMs from different industries, different cultures, and different experiences.  A platform in which people shared ideas, respectfully challenged one another, and asked questions on the challenges they were facing.  In a discipline known for the ‘accidental project manager’ and zero-to-no career paths, mentorship and knowledge was at out finger tips!


On August 19, 2011, Rob and I started #PMChat and “Project Management vs. Project Leadership” was our first topic.  We didn’t know what to expect and didn’t know if it would be just the two of us tweeting back and forth.  We were pleasantly surprised as about 6-10 other folks joined the discussion and they loved it!

… “Thanks for inviting me to the #pmchat. Great stuff, SMART people! Have a good weekend!”
… “It was fun! This was my first-ever Tweet Chat. Went very well and learned. Excellent use of time! Thanks for hosting it.”

Since then, we have started a live, 15-minute Pre-Game Show in which we interview that week’s guest expert as a primer for the Twitter Chat.  We have also started a LinkedIn group that allows for more extensive discussion that Twitter’s 140 characters don’t allow for.


Anyway, this isn’t meant to sell #PMChat, rather explain the differences between the two.  We have noticed that more and more folks are adding the #PMChat tag onto their tweets, along with the #PMOT tag.  The two streams are merging and in the end, there really isn’t any value in adding both tags.

  1. The folks on #PMChat are also on #PMOT, so adding #PMChat to your tweets gains nothing
  2. #PMOT has traditionally been for sharing a new post or webinar, regardless of topic and mostly in a “hey….check this out”
  3. #PMChat was designed for posts that support the topic of the week, have zero promotional activity, and more of a “…hey, check out this post and lets talk about point 4.  Do you think that was really work?”  It is also for questions…we had a student ask for volunteers to review his WBS for a class he was working on and collaboration on a book title for one community member.


We certainly don’t own Twitter and hashtags, but we really believe both communities/streams would benefit by everyone doing their best to follow some light guidelines and leverage each hashtag for its best use.  We also don’t ‘police’ #PMChat and ask folks to stop posting (I have seen that!), but would hope some professional courtesy in best interest of the two would set in.


Thank you so much for your support & hope to see you at the next #PMChat (Fridays from 12-1 PM EST)


Robert Kelly


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