Twitter does many things, but not *every*thing. IMHO, Twitter earns its reputation during live events as they unfold. From extreme but historic events like Iran’s Presidential Election Protests and the death of Michael Jackson to less substantive events like World Cup and just about every conference I’ve attended since early 2007, they all show in real time how useful and impactful Twitter can be.
The common discussion just before and at the beginning of an event is “What’s the Hashtag?” It’s the common thread that turns Twitter into an event communication channel, promotion tool, recording device and more for attendees, organizers and folks following from afar.
Just this post finds us spending more time than we’d ever imaging discussing event hashtags. It’s not rocket science. Is it an art form? I’ll argue it’s more of a detail than anything else.
It has also become a topic of conversation for the Public Relations Society of America this year as their annual, international conference gets underway. Why? Their hashtag is less than intuitive with an _underscore_ (one of the more dreaded characters to hit the Internet): #prsa_ic.
It has 2.0 practitioners like Kami Huyse asking valid questions while most folks are adding #prsa_ic and #prsa10 and others are just wondering wtf instead of wth. According to What the Hashtag, the official hashtag is gaining more traction. But I have to believe they’d benefit from an easier, more intuitive and shorter hashtag.
In fact, why not just use #PRSA? Twitter generates 12 terabytes of data – every day. 12TB! So Google telling me that Twitter search keeps tweets about a week starts to make sense. My point is, by the time PRSA11 rolls around, the only trace of PRSA10 tweets will be in a dusty stack at the Library of Congress.
This post is not intended to to be a Saturday morning, snark-injected rant towards PRSA – far from it. It’s inspired by a quote from the legendary basketball coach John Wooden:"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."
Wooden is right. The simplest answer is usually the best one, per usual. Now get the tweet out of here! No hashtag for you!
Hashtag Nazi taken by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid