By Patrick Kelleher-Calnan
Do you tweet? Thinking about using Twitter? The Union has come up with a way that we can all share what’s going on with cycling in the city in real time. The basic idea is that we all (you, us, everyone) keep the community connected and informed by using the hashtag #BostonBikeNews anytime we have something to say about bikes and Boston.
A little background for those not yet addicted to this social networking tool. Twitter is a site that lets you post and read short messages online. You can follow interesting people or groups (like the Union for instance: @Bostonbikeunion) to stay in the loop on topics that interest you.
A “hashtag” is a keyword preceded by a “#” symbol that you add to your tweets so people can follow a trending topic. If you search Twitter for “#BostonBikeNews” (or just click on that link), you’ll see all tweets that use that hashtag, and you can join the conversation by using the hashtag in your own tweets.
Two of the Union’s goals are to build community and cultivate resources for cyclists. This campaign will foster conversations and connections online while giving local cyclists a tool for sharing information.
So when should you use #BostonBikeNews?
Anytime you have some information other bikers might like to hear about. Did you come across construction blocking the Comm. Ave. bike lanes on your morning commute? Do you know of a cool group ride Saturday night? Is there a public meeting about installing bike lanes on Mass. Ave.? Fire off a quick tweet and use #BostonBikeNews.
If it catches on, anyone who wants real time updates will be able to find everything in one place. Additionally, the Union and other news outlets will be watching for tweets tagged with #BostonBikeNews for stories that need investigating, or issues that need advocacy. We may even give you a shout out for the information you tweet in the Union Rider monthly newsletter.
So please help us with our campaign to keep the community connected and informed, 140 characters at a time, and tweet #BostonBikeNews!