Thursday, November 7, 2013

#Twitter & #Barcamp - made for each other

Yesterday, my friend @EdemT alerted me about this tweet.
She was talking about this tweet.

What do you know? The first use of a hashtag was #barcamp. No, I wasn't by me (as you can see above). If you've bothered to check, you'd realise we didn't start Barcamps. They were running around the world before we started barcampghana and eventually took it personal. Interestingly, I started actively using Twitter at the very first Barcamp I attended - Barcamp Africa at the Googleplex in Mountain View on October 11, 2008. Yeap. Barcamp Africa remains one of top three conferences I've attended. I even tweeted in reference to this in November 2008.
In the build up to the very first Barcamp in Ghana, we talked about it on Twitter. We confirmed 2 major speakers. We announced the @BarcampGhana account too. Obviously, we would need internet to really introduce Twitter to many people at Barcamp Ghana 2008 so it was really exciting when it was confirmed (via Twitter too). People were signing up too! After the event, I tweeted after I blogged this - BarCamp Ghana 08 - It's only the beginning. We obviously had to thank those who helped Barcamp Ghana 08 be a success on Twitter too.

I've seen many people in Ghana create their first Twitter accounts during Barcamps or actively started to use it after Barcamps. Because we care a lot about interaction, discussions, networking and ensuring that conversations about the themes and towns for all about Barcamps in Ghana, we encourage a lot of Twitter use. This is to allow people to contribute to the Barcamps even they are not present at the event. Attendees present also use Twitter to update people about what's happening and help remember or take note of what's going on. It's always really cool for attendees to see their tweets showing in our VisibleTweets or Twitterfall roll which we normally project at the event. Hashtags have been very important for these purposes, I simply love hashtags now.

Thanks to Twitter and tweets sent, we are able to easily document what happens at Barcamps. Welcome Storify. This year, we've created Storify stories for each Barcamp which is normally full of tweets which do a quick recap of the Barcamps for future reference. You can see examples from here - Barcamp Kasoa, Barcamp Tamale, etc. Hey, we've started using it to record Twitter debates as well, see this example from #FiestaDebate. We love Twitter at Barcamp Ghana. We have Twitter accounts for Barcamps Accra, Tema, Kasoa, Cape Coast, Takoradi, Ho, Koforidua, Kumasi, Sunyani and Tamale.

I look forward to seeing more Twitter accounts for location Barcamps and more Twitter action at Barcamps. Twitter was born for many purposes, but it has gained its popularity through events. From what we know, the very first hashtag was #Barcamp. Looking forward to more Barcamp hashtags all over the country and worldwide. 
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