Why #IC11 Will NOT Work…

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Arrrrrggggghhhhhhhhh! You can, as they say, lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.

Try as we might we have found it difficult to talk sense into the organisers of InfoComm (for the upcoming event in Orlando in June) with regard Twitter hashtags – something that most people would acknowledge (even if they didn’t particularly like us) is an area of expertise (and passion) within our team.

The InfoComm organisers announced on their blog the following…

InfoComm 2011 Hashtags

For InfoComm 2011 in Orlando, Fla., please use the official hashtag #IC11

The InfoComm Show blog is noted as #ICblog

Other hashtags that have been used include:


Others? If you come across additional hashtags being used for InfoComm 2011 let us know!

There are a number of reasons why the hashtag chosen is a bad idea and a number of reasons why raising the spectre of even more hashtags in a blog post is an even worse one!

The number one reason why the hashtag selected is a bad idea is that it is (wait for it, wait for it) ALREADY IN USE

  • #ic11 is being used by the Imagine Cup Final in July 8-13 and this is no piddly little event – it’s being sponsored by Microsoft no less! There’s likely to be a build up of traffic in June as people anticipate the event in July.
  • The Infographics Congress IC11 in Netherlands also takes place in March and guess what? Yep they are using #ic11 as well!

We always summarise our twitter analysis in one sentence – “make your hashtag as long as it needs to be in order for it to be unique, make sure you have only one (hashtag), promote the hell out of it and clamp down early on any variations from that by users”.

SHORTENING a hashtag makes little sense if you lose the uniqueness and #IC11 has no uniqueness whatsoever.

There’s a fantastic Venn diagram in our ISE 2011 report here and there’s one in our #ibc Twitter Analysis here as well which shows the effect that having multiple hashtags has on the ‘one’ social media conversation that an event is actually trying to produce.

There’s often an argument that the shorter a hashtag the more likely it is to be used BUT that argument doesn’t actually hold water as most folks will cut and paste a long hashtag or as with almost all the smartphone Twitter apps these days, the app itself will remember a previously used hashtag or indeed suggest one if a ‘#’ is typed on the keyboard.

Bottom line there is no need to shorten a hashtag to such a degree that you lose uniqueness. The clue to a good hashtag is actually already in their logo which is plastered all over the web (see logo on the left here)!

We suggested to the organisers that #infocomm itself was too general (especially as some people tend to use it throughout the year) so the best choice would have been to choose between #infocomm11 (our choice and see logo above) or #infocomm2011.

Humph! However, it’s NOT too late for them to change their mind.

2 Responses to “Why #IC11 Will NOT Work…”

  1. miss hashtag Says:

    The debate on twitter following this story seems to OVERWHELMINGLY support #infocomm11 as the hashtag of choice. Let’s hope the orgsnisers are big enough to admit they’ve made a mistake and change their minds.

  2. Robert Webb Says:

    It appears that not even the show’s own twitter account can get the hashtags correct.

    Two posts in the last week from @InfoCommShow have referred to #IC11blog instead of #ICblog


    1. InfoComm 2011 Keynote to Be Delivered by HP’s Rob Scott http://goo.gl/fb/DkTba #IC11 #IC11blog

    and last week..

    2. InfoComm 2011 Hashtags http://goo.gl/fb/fhAYu #IC11 #IC11blog

    and that’s even in the tweet that tells about the official hashtags!

    #IC11blog is of course NOT in their official hashtag list at http://blog.infocommshowblog.org/2011/03/02/infocomm-2011-hashtags/

    See also http://twitter.com/InfoCommShow

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