[Updated June 19, 2015]
I put out a call to the Twitterverse for Twitter hashtags relating to community engagement practice.
For anyone who doesn’t know, hashtags on Twitter form aggregations of tweets on a particular subject. You can follow a hashtag and follow tweets relating to the subject. It’s a great way to filter that Twitter stream. The problem, if indeed such a simple yet useful device can have a problem, is that the hashtags can be very diverse. Sometimes a subject can get spread across so many #s that it’s easy to miss out if you are following the wrong ones.
To avoid confusion (and with thanks to @PiaWaugh for making the point) I should point out at this stage that these are hashtags where you might find case studies and discussion of practice. I am not recommending that engagement projects adopt these hashtags, better to find local or community relevant ones for the project in question.
I’m not going to list all of the hashtags I’ve been sent but will focus here on the top 15 community engagement hashtags, which seem most active and interesting to follow.
#eparticipation is one that I favour strongly for all things relating to online engagement.
#IAP2 is the aggregation for the International Association of Public Participation. It’s a place to learn about IAP2 training and events, but the tag is also used to draw attention to material relevant to public participation.
#Localgov is a very active hashtag for all things local government. It seems to be used internationally so it’s great for seeing what’s going on globally. There tends to be quite a lot about engagement in the stream too.
#engage2act Engage 2 Act is a collective of individuals committed to progressing citizen engagement practice. You can find them online here the # is increasingly interesting to follow.
#demopart an active # covering democratic and participation issues for an international audience.
#digitalengagement has good content but isn’t as active as #eparticipation – probably because it uses so many of those precious 140 characters.
#gov20 or #gov2 is an active collection of all things egovernment related. Lots about #opendata (another useful hashtag) and a moderate amount of community engagement talk. There are local versions of this like #gov2au for Australia.
#communityengagement not the most active of #s, probably because it uses so many characters but still worth keeping an eye on. It is also worth noting that #communityengagement is also known as #citizenengagement or #publicengagement (Canada) or #publicinvolvement (UK) in other parts of the world.
#coproduction Co-production is huge in the UK at the moment, it refers to the delivery of services involving both the traditional service provider and the community. This # is quite active and very much at the collaboration and empowerment end of the engagement spectrum. It is UK dominated at the moment but not for long I suspect!
#consultation pretty self-explanatory, very active and international but sometimes gets full of references to medical consultations.
#deliberation another self-explanatory one but I don’t find this as useful as other #s largely because there are lots of non-English tweets (and my language skills are terrible) and there are lots of references to deliberation by judging panels and that sort of thing.
#participation A very useful and active thread with international content. I find this one of the most useful for regular community engagement (rather than the online stuff).
#Engagement can be useful but gets a bit cluttered with stuff from jewellers and wedding suppliers!
#socadl the Adelaide engagement and social media community who are so active you just have to follow them even if you live nowhere near.
#EHQ I just had to include this one. It relates to our own EngagementHQ software and will relate to case studies and best practice discussions.
Many thanks to
Becky Hirst @BeckyBHC
Andrew Coulson @AndreweCoulson
Pia Waugh @PiaWaugh
Dan popping @Danpopping
IAP2 USA @IAP2USA
Jonathan Bradley @jontybradley
Jessie Cunnett @PPIsolutions
Max Hardy @maxchardy
Jennifer Stone @Jenbronstone
Tim Bonnemann @planspark
Please let us know if there are any other hashtags that we may have missed?
Image above sourced from WikiCommons
Picture Credit: Adrian Cabrero
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