Sunday, June 28, 2009

Twitter tagging ideas for Grass Valley, Nevada City, Nevada County

I would love to be able to pull in tweets (i.e. Twitter entries) from&about our community - after Marsha's intro and playing around with it myself a little, I think Twitter or the like is the way of the future.

But I want a local Twitter "channel" that's ours, that's more focused than the low-value-to-us chatter that characterizes the location-names-based Twitter search (which gives stuff like "New hat, got it in Nevada City")

And there needs to be a way to find what hashtags our community is using
(Explanation, for twitterilliterates: a hashtag is a term that starts with "#", e.g. #gvnc - all tweets that contain it become part of the discussion - if you search Twitter for that hashtag, you can see the conversation, and if you include it in _your_ tweets, you join the conversation.)

..since if you don't know what hashtag is being used, you can't hear what others are saying, which is sad and inefficient.
A real-life example: after the (Lance Armstrong) Nevada City Classic last weekend, C. suggested that racegoers elsewhere on the course, who were out of earshot of the announcer, really would have benefitted from someone Tweeting the announcements. And perhaps someone was - but unless you knew who, or what hashtag(s) they were using, you wouldn't know how to receive the info. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just go to one page to find out what hashtag was being used for an event, or to meet a need?

I'd like to suggest some tags that we could use, that I think would work well for the community. If you have feedback and/or a better/alternative way please, please share it. (Zuri and Marsha, this likely means you.)

#gvnc for info of community interest. There are no Tweets using this hashtag at present, so it'd be all ours (Since "nc" is also the abbrev. for North Carolina, #nctweet (the previously-suggested tag) wouldn't necessarily stay just us...)

#gvnc #tag both, for a tweet that proposes or announces a community-related hashtag that you'll be using?

#gvnc #biz for business-related tweets, so those who just want to see noncommercial entries can do this (by searching for tweets that contain #gvnc but not #biz) and those who want only commercial entries could do that, too.

Also, when & if #gvnc Twitter traffic should increase to the point that we need to segregate further, we could also do:
#gvnc #news
#gvnc #events
#gvnc #lost
#gvnc #found
#gvnc #wanted
#gvnc #forsale
#gvnc #free
#gvnc #realestate
(in place of #biz)
(It wouldn't hurt anything to use these extra tags now, but it's not needed.)

A question for Zuri, Marsha or anyone else who's not a Twitter newbie like me - does it make more sense to do dual-labeling (by which I mean "use two hashtags" - eg #gvnc #biz), or would we just want to have a "gvnc" prefix for all our hashtags (eg #gvncbiz) ?

(The answer, I think, would depend on whether it's possible to do a search for "all tweets containing a hashtag that starts with #gvnc" - but I don't think it's possible, or at least I don't see a way to do this from Twitter Advanced Search - so I'd lean toward "use two tags".)


Zuri Berry said...


I've started (but haven't posted in awhile) #nevadacity and #grassvalley. I think I'm going to continue to use those because they are quick identifiers. While I think I would go with something like #nevadacounty for the area because GVNC makes me think alphabet soup. On the other hand, I don't think you can use two hash tags in conjunction. I'm just not sure it would work properly. Instead, just combine something like #gvncbiz or #grassvalleybiz to keep it simple. I think the local twitter community would be very gracious to have some leadership on how to geotag their posts. But don't mistake the fact that they'd want to keep it simple, as in something they can spell or remember easily. Just my two cents.

Vanessa Smith said...

I would say the shorter the hashtag the better. That way there's more room to comment and effectively use those 140 characters. I like the #gvnc tag. Have you polled or searched the locals that are using twitter to see which hashtags they are using for tweeting about local issues? No matter what hashtag you decide upon, there still needs to be marketing/spreading the word so others know to use it as well. Is there a way to message all those that are on the NCVoices site to let them know the hashtag, or ask for feedback?

Anna said...

Hi Vanessa

> I like the #gvnc tag. Have you polled or searched the locals that are using twitter to see which hashtags they are using for tweeting about local issues?

no I haven't, but I did do an experiment of sorts - I did a tweet and forgot completely about adding the hashtag. So if I'm typical, the idea will face some pretty stiff headwinds.

Zuri, I don't see that there's anything to keep a tweep(?) from using more than 1 hashtag in same tweet. It's just a space-and-memory issue, I think.