When my Internet Advocacy class started a few weeks back, Trace suggested to start a Hashtag for class. #AUComm551 – American University Communications Class 551. We spread the word among our classmates and now you can listen in every Monday and Wednesday what our Professor and guest speakers say and during other times people share interesting links or announce their new blogposts. Just recently, I talked about a site that scans your Facebook privacy settings. I forgot the link, but because of the hashtag, could spread the word about it later.
Since #AUcomm551 was such a success, I wanted to try my own hashtag. Last night for my presentation in class, I asked people to tweet about the presentation with the hashtag #MSPC (Mobile Strategies in Political Communication). which I had vented in the afternoon (aka searched if someone else was using it). I didn’t expect much reaction, so I was surprised that the tag was used 16 times. While most of them were complimenting and not – as I was hoping for – summarizing and virtual note taking (in all fairness I hadn’t asked for that, but it was my experience so far from presentations and conferences), I was very surprised that the hashtag was used at all. After the presentation I could read what everyone had said and reconnect with my audience, send them the link to the presentation and would’ve had the possibility to answer any questions. Obviously, since I knew everyone in the room, that was not the case for this presentation, but it’s a good example of how powerful hashtags in presentations can be.
At a conference, of the 200+ people listening, the one’s that are really interested will use the hashtag and so it’s much easier to filter out the engaged audience from the passive crowd.
Therefore my plea is: Create and use Hashtags for everything!