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Taking Conferences Social

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the 2012 eXtension National Conference in Oklahoma City (recordings of some conference sessions are available at It was a great conference, but it was made even better by a simple Twitter hashtag (check out #NeXC2012 on Twitter).

A hashtag is a keyword that can be used to provide a thread through related conversations on Twitter and other social media channels. The "hash" comes from the # symbol that sets the keyword apart from the same word when it occurs naturally in a Twitter message ("tweet"). You can get an idea of how hashtags work by going to and searching for a word like "garden," then searching for the hashtag "#garden." The latter search will return tweets in which the user deliberately highlighted "garden" as a keyword by making it a hashtag.

Hashtags can be used to connect tweets about a particular event like a television broadcast or a conference, extending the reach and the depth of the event. A hashtag at a conference can be a great way for people not able to attend to follow conference conversations. It can help encourage an ongoing conference conversation.

It's time to take the NDSU Extension/REC Fall Conference social. Our conference hashtag is #ndsuconf2012. If you are already a Twitter user, just include the hashtag in your tweets about the conference. If you need some help getting started using Twitter, we are offering a Tweeting Fall Conference Workshop. The workshop will be offered 4 times, October 29 - November 1. Find out more and register for the workshop at

Happy tweeting!


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Author: Julie

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