Over the last few Fridays, I have participated in the Twitter project #FriFotos (if you are not familiar with hashtags, basically it is a mechanism to sort and display every bit of information that includes this word(s) succeeding the # sign). So, anyone anywhere can participate on Twitter by linking to a photograph and then typing #FriFotos into the text. This will display as clickable, and you can see everyone else who has also contributed to the “album” of FriFotos.
For this particular project – geared to photographers and travelers – there is a weekly theme. A few weeks ago, I contributed some photos of DOORS for that week’s theme. Today’s theme is SKYLINE. The theme is usually pretty open to interpretation, so you can go the traditional route of cityscapes and twinkly lights or something more natural. That’s what makes it fun! Here are some of my contributions this week from various travels over the years:
Hashtags are powerful little tools. They can be quite useful metadata tools, but can be easily manipulated – like so many things on the web – by commercial interests and spambots. If you do participate in social media circles, however, hashtags are a great way to meet new people with similar interests. Using #FriFotos are an example again: I share a photograph from this year’s trip to Yosemite National Park. When I tag it, everyone can see that. PersonX just got back from Yosemite and has a photo to share that is very similar. Shared interest and common bond. Added bonus when I see that PersonX is also into the same kind of music as I am. New acquaintance and new thread in the web of life – all because of a hashtag. From there, it can just keep on going.
Another hashtag that I particularly enjoy and participate in each week is the #FridayReads group on Twitter. While they have been mired in a bit of controversy lately, the fact remains that it is a community of readers who like to talk about books. Each week, I report which book I am reading and attach the #FridayReads hashtag. The moderator (@TheBookMaven) calculates how many people participate just for fun, and when you click on the hashtag, you can see what everyone else is reading. Maybe that book that you have been meaning to pick up? something long forgotten? or an author that you like that has a new piece out?
While the concept sounds so elementary, social media really just comes back to community building and engagement. How do you meet new people? how do you interact? The hashtag for #Socktoberfest on Twitter was really fun this year with several updates and interactions.
As the tweet above suggests, I have been reading up a storm lately… I’m planning a little Reading Year in Review post soon. Stay tuned!