What the fudge is a #hashtag?
Before I go on to mention #HaltonHour, I should elaborate on what an actual hashtag is, for those that don't know. It might be something that you have seen a lot and just never paid attention to, or it might have annoyed you and/or just confused the shizzle out of you.
So, in the words of Twitter:
Hashtag Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.Now that we have cleared that up, we can go on to cover the subject at hand, which is #HaltonHour. For a while now I have been watching the twitter streams for a relevant hashtag for my various twitter persona's, when talking about things that are happening on a local level. This has become more relevant now that my doodling stuff has a real tangible home, within Hazlehurst Studios, which is in Runcorn.
Run down of my Twitter accounts:
@crpitt ~ Personal rambling account
@TheDoodologist ~ Businessish account
@Studio_73a - Artist daily musings for my studios home at Hazlehurst Studios, this account also promotes the @HazlehurstStudios main account.
It is super important to me that Halton, as a region, establishes more of a presence in the social media world, as that will be great for all the local businesses and organisations in Halton. I have realised how hard it is to network within your area, if you don't actually know who is out there. I have actually been listing various hashtags to play with, in regards to Hazlehurst Studios, but none seemed appropriate. Then I have been trying to search out businesses and organisations on twitter, using keywords such as 'Widnes', 'Runcorn' and even 'Halton', but that has provided haphazard results till now.
I spotted the @HaltonHour twitter account, a week or so ago and thought how serendipitous it was to turn up now! At the very moment in time, when I am writing up some information for funding applications, with a focus on networking in our local area.
It has been set up by Red Website Design, a webdesign company based in Widnes, mentioned in this blog post: Halton Hour
They definitely deserve a pat on the back for taking the initiative to get #HaltonHour up and running, and makes me wonder why nobody else thought to do it? I know there are lots of successful businesses in and around Halton, so why are none of those making some noise on Twitter?
The very first #HaltonHour took place on Monday 10th March and I have looked at a few different ways to track to who was tweeting and what they were tweeting about. I have also included some different gadgets that I use to tweet.
Tagboard: I created a #HaltonHour on Tagboard and really like the way you can peruse through all the tweets at your leisure, without the noise of other tweets.
Twitter: I don't often to use the main twitter page, but the search function is great. You can easily search for #HaltonHour tweets, selecting the 'Top Tweets' or 'All Tweets', as seen in the screenshots below.
Twitter App: During this #HaltonHour I was away from the PC and Laptop, so I relied on my iPhone to participate. Once you get the hang of it, switching between accounts isn't difficult, but can be a bit of a pain. Especially when these type of networking events are so fast paced and over a short period of time.
The search feature on the twitter app is as good as the twitter main site, so I found that a great help.
So why should you participate in #HaltonHour?
I think regardless of whether you are a new to twitter or an old hand, making connections within your local community is vitally important. You never know when you might have the need for a local craftsman, the lesser spotted plumber or elusive electrician. It is not just about having the yellow pages in twitter form, its also about finding local services, events, charities and a whole feast of things, that somehow end up being the worlds best kept secret.
The Positive Side
The Negative Side
Do you have any questions about #HaltonHour?
I hope to see even more local businesses taking part next Monday between 1-2pm!