#ic11 How To Shorten A Tweet

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

We are having difficulty in getting through to people that a short hashtag is not necessarily a good hashtag.

In an email exchange with folks today we were told that “having to type in a long hashtag was interfering with the ability to tweet from a Show. Even more importantly, re-tweeting was made extremely challenging, due to the few characters that were left.”

Aside from the fact mentioned so many times before that pretty much all twitter apps these days have predictive capabilities built-in whenever the ‘#’ symbol is typed (and cut and paste is also available of course) let’s look at a real world example of why a more descriptive hashtag is actually of much more use than a shorter one…

This RT was sent Wednesday by @InfoCommShowGuy

  • RT @InfoCommShow: InfoComm 2011 Keynote to Be Delivered by HP’s Rob Scott #IC11 #IC11blog
  • That tweet is 89 characters from beginning to end.

    So compare that with the same message re-tweeted using a longer but more descriptive hashtag…

  • RT @InfoCommShow: #InfoComm11 Keynote to Be Delivered by HP’s Rob Scott #IC11blog
  • Note that we have replaced the text ‘InfoComm 2011’ with the hashtag #InfoComm11 (that is actually shorter than the replaced text, adequately describes the event and of course still preserves the meaning of the tweet itself).

    We have removed the hashtag #IC11 in that instance as it is now superfluous. That tweet is 81 characters from beginning to end (eight characters shorter than the tweet that used the shorter hashtag)!

    We don’t quite get the need or use of the hashtag #IC11blog but we left it in both tweets as a fair comparison (doesn’t seem useful in either instance to be totally honest).

    In actual fact “re-tweeting is made extremely challenging” not when a long hashtag is used BUT when folks figure that to ‘cover all their bases’ they need to include more than one hashtag in a tweet and (we are not picking on @InfoCommShowGuy) but let’s just stay with him a second and use as another example one of his tweets from Wednesday…

  • Thousands have already registered for InfoComm 2011! Register now & get into top sessions at the Show! #IC11 #InfoComm http://bit.ly/ikzT93
  • Note the use of both #IC11 and #InfoComm AND again the text ‘InfoComm 2011’ all in the same tweet (and we can shorten that by 26 characters now can’t we?).

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