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Your assignment: #FindTheKUHashtag
On this first day of spring semester classes at KU, I've got an assignment for everyone.
We need a Twitter hashtag for KU news.
In case that sentence was gibberish to you, here's an explanation. (If you know what I'm talking about, skip this and the next paragraph.) Twitter is the social network where users fire off messages of 140 or fewer characters, and if you're interested in seeing in real time what's going on in the world (or in Lawrence, or at KU) and what people are saying about it, you should really give it a try. (Here are some instructions I just found.)
On Twitter we use these things called hashtags. These are words proceeded by a pound sign (the tic-tac-toe one) used to classify tweets by subject. For instance, folks tend to attach "#kubball" to their tweets if they're talking about the KU men's basketball team.
If you search for #kubball on Twitter today, you'll probably see a lot of KU fans talking smack in advance of tonight's game against Kansas State. That's what's great about hashtags: They allow you to join in a conversation about a given topic with anyone else in the world who's talking about the same thing.
There's #kubball for men's basketball, along with #kufball and other KU sports tags. There's a certain other KU-related hashtag that's been getting some national media coverage recently but is not in line with this publication's standards or this blogger's tastes, so we won't mention it.
But what about a hashtag we can use when we talk about NON-SPORTS things going on with KU's campus? What if you see something crazy going on on Wescoe Beach and want to share a photo, or you've got an on-campus event you want people to know about, or you want to ask people where to find a parking spot at a certain time of day?
The tag #KU would seem to be the obvious solution. But try searching for the hashtag #KU and compare it with what you get with #kubball. Depending on how you search, you might get some stuff having to do with Kansas University. But if you try to search it in real time, you'll likely get a lot of stuff in other languages; it's only two letters, and it apparently means other things to other people.
Some of KU's Twitter presences have tried out other tags to spur conversation, including #kustudents. But couldn't we come up with a hashtag for anything newsy or notable going on at KU, of interest to students, faculty, staff and even alumni?
That's where you come in. Tweet your suggested tags at our LJW_KU Twitter account, followed up with the tag #FindTheKUHashtag. We'll take a look at the submissions over the next week or so, and if we find one we think is worth trying out, the submitter will receive the greatest prize we have to offer here at Heard on the Hill: We'll mention your Twitter handle, both on the blog and via Twitter.
So get cracking. Maybe try to #think #exclusively #in #the #form #of #hashtags until you get some inspiration.
And as always, send your #KUNewsTips to firstname.lastname@example.org.