Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Hashtags as a Global Language

Over the past few weeks, I've stepped up efforts to connect with Gov 2.0 types outside of the U.S. Looking at the Twitter community in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, helped in this, as did tweets in Japanese about Gov 2.0 Camp LA. Monday, I learned about a mature and vibrant Gov 2.0-oriented community in the Netherlands, and event got a little lesson in Dutch.
Now, I'd already connected through the U.S.-based GovLoop with like minds in the U.K, Australia, and New Zealand, but as Twitter grows internationally, I'm struck by the universal nature of hashtags. Not just a fun semantic tool or event aggregator, issue tags easily cross language barriers that are more limiting on static sites. See, I had no idea that ambtenaar + civil servant, but when I see #gov20 pop up in tweets I can't read, it's plenty easy to run that message through an online translator. Connection established.
Now please excuse me, I'm off to read

~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of the Gov 2.0 Radio podcast. Follow him on Twitter @adrielhampton.

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