I am not saying that domain names are dying, but Twitter hashtags have become even more important these days, apparently because every other medium (not just social media but also TV, websites or even print media) now uses #hashtags to get their message across.
But then the art and science of hashtagging are not exactly on their minds when common twitters tweet. Professional twitters are good, because this is their business; however, you could guess that spontaneous tweeting makes up the bulk of all tweets.
So we have this occupywallst.org as a domain name; not bad if you take into consideration the visual you get when standing ON Wall Street in person, because you will probably be looking at a sign that reads “WALL ST”, (and .org is still the top pick among social activists). Then comes Twitter.
The reality of Twitter, very much like this now global movement (yes, a new born movement that goes global in just a couple of months), is that it is bottom-up, or grassroot/user-powered, and therefore very difficult to prescribe even the lingo. Correct me, but the loosely organized organizers started using #occupywallstreet when it all began; it was later BEING shortened (and Twitter is all about using less characters, remember?) to #occupywallst (apparently matching their website name). Then comes #ows.
You may have already come across situations when YOUR inner circle “shorthand” is being “hijacked”. For example, #CLE tweets could be totally unrelated to Continuing Legal Education (for lawyers), and #MLS talks about soccer instead of real estates. I’m sure #ows referred to something else just a few months ago, but when this OccupyWallSt movement picks up, it simply OWNS this 3-letter hashtag. Reason? Because this is Twitterland, and people are squeezing as much as they could into 140 characters! In a matter of days, #ows has been “usurped” if not “stolen”, probably for good.
But if you ask me, #occupywallst is still my favorite, because it strikes the optimal balance of using the least number of characters while preserving a visually clear meaning. So which hashtag are you using to spread the word?