Twitter Hashtags and the Vancouver 2010 Olympics

By Tim Baker

One of the biggest problems in attempting to track the Olympic game discussions on Twitter is the use of various hashtags. Many users are tagging their Olympic related tweets with #Olympics, #Vancouver2010 or #Van2010. The failure of an “official” Olympic hashtag is an annoying oversight on the part of the IOC, NBC or whoever should’ve be tasked with creating a social media standard for these games.

Personally, I like tagging my posts with #Olympics. I believe this makes the most sense as it’s probably going to generate less typos from the spelling-challenged people out there than anything involving Vancouver. It’s also one character less to spell “Olympics” and with only 140 at your disposal, every little bit helps.

I’ve also seen many using #Van2010. Don’t ask my why, but I hate this tag. Yes, it’s one character shorter than #Olympics, but there’s something about it that irks me. Crazy? Maybe, but I can help but look at it and think of a vehicle used for child abduction or a mildly funny movie starring Ryan Reynolds.

Yesterday, I set up a chart in Trendrr to compare the different hashtags and their popularity. It appears over a 24-hour period, it’s a dead heat between #Olympics and #Van2010.

Hopefully by the time the 2012 games in London come along we can all agree on a universal hashtag to cover the games. I’ll probably still prefer the old standby #Olympics, but am willing to compromise. Just no #Lon2012 please!


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