Posts Tagged ‘Events’

Coining a Term – “Burr Tweet”

October 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Burr Tweet (n) : A post on Twitter specifically-engineered to be retweeted and circulated by other users.  Characteristics of Burr Tweets:

  • They add value to multiple users or an entire audience segment
  • They are typically highly-relevant to a specific context (time/place/event)
  • They are around 120 characters so they may be easily re-tweeted (in either format)

Too Legit to Quit QR Codes (Don’t do it Just to do it)

May 10, 2011 Leave a comment

[This post is featured at Grand Rapids Social Diary as a guest editorial for May 24, 2011!]

Hammer ... err ... QR Code Time!

QR or “Quick Response” codes have been around Asia since 1994, and a few years ago they finally started to pop up in the US.  There was a brief period a couple of years ago where they were a fad (a way for the tech savvy to show off).

Sadly, just like the ascot or Hammer Pants, that time has passed.  If you want to use QR codes now, you’ll want to have a very specific, well-defined strategy that makes use of their unique properties.

Here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself: Read more…

Five Recommendations for Picking a Twitter Hashtag

February 10, 2011 1 comment

Don't be a Salmon Swimming Upstream - Consider What Your Hashtags Say

1) Keep it Simple: Tweets are limited to 140 characters, so each one has to count.  Keep hashtags as short as possible, but also as simple as possible (easy-to-spell words, common characters, etc.).  Consider, also, that the people participating in the discussion are likely doing so via mobile devices – so the less they have to key in, the better.  Better to add a letter than use a character like an underscore, which requires smartphone users to press two buttons (shift/function + the assigned key).

2) Consider Outside Audiences: One of the reasons to use hashtags is to promote an organization, topic or event to people who aren’t familiar with it.  If this is one of your concerns, make sure your hashtag is intelligible to people outside your organization.

3) Don’t Redefine the Lexicon:  Changing the language people use is exceptionally difficult, much like swimming upstream to spawn (or at least I would assume – I’ve never done it myself).  If words already have widely-accepted meanings, stick to them.  Communication is only possible because we all agree that symbols (ie words) carry certain meanings.

4) Step Back and Read Your Hashtag:  Before you launch a hashtag, check it first.  In our quest to be brief, we often create acronyms that are problematic.  My favorite example (and also one of my favorite Twitter discussion groups) is #prStudchat.  It’s an online discussion for students (which I highly-recommend) – but it has the unfortunate quality of looking like an erotic discussion forum.  Fortunately that hasn’t hurt their content any, but you can imagine the ramifications if a different group with a more conservative bend were to expose themselves to ridicule with that sort of tag.

5) Index Your Hashtag: Frequently the events or issues we want to discuss are reoccurring.  If it’s appropriate, add a date, location, or some other distinguishing feature so that one iteration of the discussion can be kept separate from another.

While we’re on the subject of Twitter – if you haven’t seen it already, there’s a pretty smashing database of hundreds of Twitter chat events that require only a hashtag to participate in.  Check it out at