ACW

ACW

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Naming the Day


 
From Images of Grace by Jacqui Grace
The question, “What day is it?” used to have seven obvious answers to choose from. Social media hashtags have increased the number beyond imagination. There are innumerable days for one cause or another. Just a few I have noticed in recent months are #NationalRobinDay, #PenguinAwarenessDay ( both for wildlife), #WinniethePoohDay (for fun?), #NationalPoetryDay, #CumbriaDay, #AustraliaDay, (all to raise awareness).
Others I have known about for some time include #TimeToTalkDay (for mental health awareness) #BlogActionDay (for activism) #WorldBookDay for children’s books

Sometimes these hashtags appear in the Trending lists. (For those of you, who do not use Twitter, these are the most popular hashtags or topics at a particular time.)

I have used some of these hashtags in the past, but for very popular ones, such as #NationalPoetryDay, I wondered whether my tweets were lost in the multitude of tweets from prominent poets and Twitter users with thousands or tens of thousands of followers, some of whom might retweet their heroes’ every Tweet.

One hashtag I have used and am likely to be using again from tomorrow is #AtoZChallenge. My post here in January explained what that is about. Now the theme reveal is over and the participants are poised to begin. Some may be improvising as they go along. Others have been planning for months.

My favourite use of hashtags is not so much for Tweeting, but for finding relevant Tweets. For this I find Tweetdeck useful. This is a part of Twitter, where it is possible to set up columns and keep track of different subjects all at once, instead of looking at a single stream of Tweets. It is also useful for scheduling Tweets - a practice, which is effective in saving time and effort. I schedule a Tweet as soon as I have scheduled a blog post to announce its existence. Twitter is to be found at https://twitter.com/ and Tweetdeck at https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/  ̵  it works well on a computer or possibly a tablet. I can’t imagine using it on a phone!

Hootsuite is another tool for scheduling Tweets, but I find Tweetdeck straightforward to use and reliable, so have not tried Hootsuite.

Some hashtags belong to particular organisations. They are registered at a site called Twubs.  Capitalisation of hashtags makes them more easily read. Sometimes it avoids awkward ambiguity. SparePair and SpaRepair have the same letters, but very different meanings. (I thought this one up as an example, so the second meaning is rather odd. If you have the time and inclination, you might find others!) Since writing this I have learned that text-reading apps work better with every word in a hashtag capitalised. Many people on Twitter benefit from these.

So what day is 31 March?

Wikipedia lists 31 March as World Backup Day - a day to raise awareness of the need to safeguard one’s data. Do you back up your writing regularly? That is a whole subject on its own.

31 March is the day I go out into the garden with a notebook and ballpoint pen to do a survey. I have blogged about that elsewhere in the past!

This year 31 March falls on a Saturday. The one between Good Friday and Easter Day. In the Book of Common Prayer it is known as Easter Even. A day of suspense.

Tomorrow will be #EasterDay and #AprilFoolsDay! (In a year when #AshWednesday and #StValentinesDay have been vying for precedence.)

Whatever else we might call it, "This is the Day that the Lord has made".

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