In Twitter, people have invented a way to tag individual tweets so that they are part of a larger, tagged, group. That method is called “hashtags” because the tag includes a hash mark.
So all the tweets about the Twitter meetup (or “tweetup”) at the KGW Studio on the Square yesterday evening are tagged “#squareup”.
Isn’t that cool?
KGW has converted the old Powell’s Travel Books location, a bunker under Portland’s living room (a.k.a., Pioneer Courthouse Square), into a remote studio. And Wednesday night, the people behind their Live at 7 show, Stephanie Stricklen and Aaron Weiss, invited all their Twitter followers to come see the new space.
There were a lot of people there, more than I expected. The little studio was full of people I’ve interacted with, but have not met in person.
Second was Aaron, who works for the county in the same building as I do. Aaron and I have been in the same meetings, and interacted on blogs in the past, but never formally introduced ourselves to each other until last night. (I expected Aaron to sound like Seth Rogen but he doesn’t; he sounds like Aaron).
I got a hug from Stephanie Stricklen, and I got to tell the Director of Programming for KGW that I’d like them to do more local politics and reporting. I got to chat with a producer for the show about getting local musicians into the studio for concerts and shows. We, as a group, gave advice to the talent for the station on how to best make use of Twitter for their reporters – the basic idea being, let each individual reporter do what they want with their Twitter accounts, and just collect them all on the main KGW web page. Don’t restrict them in what they talk about. If they want to just talk about the stories they work on, let them. If they want to talk about their pregnancy and where they had dinner, (like Steph), let them.
The whole point of Twitter (OK, one of the points of Twitter) is that you can follow or not follow people for whatever reason you want. Me, the bulk of people I follow are interesting in one way or another, and the bulk of those people are local. But other people might have different ideas on what makes others interesting or worth following. It’s about finding an individual voice.
So far, the best part of Twitter, for me, is that it’s led to meeting great people in person.
The remote studio is small but packed with tech. The cameras are all robotic monsters that are controlled remotely from SW 15th and Jefferson, and directed into place via a rail marked with barcodes (which I tripped over and knocked out of place – sorry, Aaron!) There’s a raised desk that, I believe, Steph said she would never use. There’s a big green screen for doing weather in front of, a technical skill that is difficult for me to imagine doing gracefully. And nearly everyone commented that it would not be long before people, regular people in the Square, would be flashing and mugging for the cameras in front of the windows.
Which, I believe, is the real-world outcome of what D.J., KGW General Manager, described as “being connected with the community.” Right on!