09 July 2009

Hashtags should be the grit in a conversation

I saw the Guardian's story about News of the World phone hacking breaking on the Internet late last night, and I've been watching it go into high gear this morning.

It's a story I've been morbidly keeping an eye on because I used to know someone at NotW who I suspect might get caught up in it.

As usual Twitter is the index to any new stories/angles but I've been surprised that the 'conversation' isn't gathering in it's usual co-ordinated way around a hashtag or two. I've been monitoring the most obvious keyword phrase: 'News of the World', and there's plenty of tweet activity...but despite my asking aloud if anyone had seen a hashtag yet, it is now lunchtime and there has been no sign of one.

I think originators - in this case, newspapers - are missing a trick here.

If you are going to break an exclusive story (for other kinds of originators it could be a scientific paper, or a product launch, or a survey, etc) you should always give it a hashtag. Like the grit in an oyster or a hailstone, twitterers need a hashtag to build the conversation around.

Why didn't the Guardian simply print #NotWphonehack at the bottom of their article. Then the online community would know where to gather to discuss it.

As @Aleksandr_Orlov says: "Simples!"


Afterthought: Actually #NotWtelhack would be shorter :)

1 comment:

David Whitley said...

#hackinghacks perhaps?