How to quickly identify popular hashtags for a specific event

Ever since the early days of Twitter hashtag use, major events had organic hashtag communities form around them (essentially back channel discussions). Over the years, as the use of Twitter grew among brands and organizations, the use of top-down branded hashtags became increasingly common. Fortunately, thanks to the confusion and audience dilution this led to (e.g. NBColympics, ABColympics, CocaColaOlympics, etc…) most major events still see a community grown hashtag emerge as the victor for the main discussion. Of course this now applies to nearly all industry related hashtags unless of course a particular organization or brand pioneered a specific topic.

For those of you that still find it hard to determine which hashtag to use to reach an audience following a specific event, I have created a short video tutorial demonstrating a free tool called , which allows you to do this. Enjoy.

How to quickly geofilter a Twitter search query

A few years ago, I created a series of short 1-minute video tutorials explaining how to use specific features of various social tools out there. This was partly out of experimentation and partly because I kept getting asked similar questions over and over again via email. It’s much easier to point to a video of course.

It’s now 2016, and plenty has changed in the tools landscape. I’ve therefore decided to update existing ones and create some additional video tutorials for popular questions that I receive. To keep editing time to a minimum (and thus allow me to post more), I’m not going to impose a 1 minute time restriction on myself this time. I will aim for 5 minutes (give or take a few).

Here’s my first attempt at reviving these tutorials:


We need to be more digitally and media literate

In a recent workshop I held here in Ottawa, the topic of digital and media literacy came up on a few occasions. I wanted to examine this a bit further and share some quick thoughts.

Let’s start with some definitions courtesy of Wikipedia:

  • Digital Literacy is the knowledge, skills, and behaviors used in a broad range of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs, all of which are seen as network rather than computing devices.
  • Media Literacy is a repertoire of competencies that enable people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres, and formats.

If the global events of the last few months have reinforced anything in my mind, it’s that digitally literate internet users tend have low levels of media literacy and media literate internet users tend to have low levels of digital literacy. I would love to see an evolution occur where media literacy includes digital literacy and vice-versa, as I think they are inseparable in this day in age. Continue reading