It’s been a very interesting week for discussing ethnicity, race, power relations and media access.
There have been some fierce discussions on Twitter, and apparently the ‘weaponized hashtag‘ now exists.
I’m rather skeptical about this term. I think it’s used by people on the defensive. But for now, let’s take it at face value.
If you’ve got an issue you care about, how do you pack the most information into a tweet? How do you ‘weaponize’ it for social impact?
1. Easy to spell / remember #hashtags. Remember, many people tweet from mobile devices. It should be something memorable and easy to type with one hand.
Let’s create one for a current issue: Australia is seeking to establish a refugee processing center in Cambodia. Let’s call it #OZBodiaAsylum.
For Twitter, lower case / capital letters do not matter for hashtags – but they do for other programs. So generally speaking, you’ll want it all lowercase, or all caps. I’m going to choose lower case because it’s easier to type fast. #ozbodiaasylum
2. Link lists: collect and *tag* links relevant to your issue. Then you can send one *master link* containing dozens of references.
There are numerous varied social bookmarking services out there.
Storify is an excellent tool for listing not just tweets, but any relevant web items that you want to share in a chronological or narrative sequence. Add your tweets, news articles, photos, etc.
3. URL shortners: many Twitter clients have a built-in URL shortener.
Google has a service, though it tracks your shortened links if you are logged in to a Google account. http://goo.gl
I prefer Bit.ly and TinyUrl.com because they permit the customization of the URL’s name.
Note: this is where upper and lower case do matter.
If you can use the hashtag name as a part of the shortened URL, you’re golden.
Take a social bookmarking link list, shorten the URL to reflect the topic, and you’ve got a powerful, tiny nugget of information that you can share in a tweet or any other kind of status update. For example, http://bit.ly/ozbodiaasylum
As a final note, I’d suggest screenshotting and archiving tweets and web items as you see them.
If you’re feeling lazy, just save the whole web page. (Don’t do this too often or you’ll have a lot to clean up.)
— John Weeks (@john_weeks) April 4, 2014