In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, author and digital media maven Piotr Kowalczyk introduces Hashtagstories.
It’s almost a year since I started hashtagstories – microstories written with current Twitter hashtags.
Sorry? Stories written with what? A year ago this was weird even to me. But it was just so inspiring to combine the world of hashtags into a piece of a literary fiction that I gave it a try. I also wanted to use it as a way to enter English writing. It was looking like a pretty easy job to do – just collect meaningful, emotional hashtags and scrabble them into a story.
After a year I can tell you – hashtagstories are not easy. They are a hard work. I had to go through many Twitter-based services to find the best source of hashtag info. Previously I was using Hashtags.org, now it’s What the Trend.
There are spam hashtags. There are misleading hashtags. There are secret abbreviations. I always have to be very careful to avoid using a wrong word. And the wrong word with a tag is a way worse than the wrong word alone.
Like many unusual projects, hashtagstories had big chances to fail. As the primary way to build meaning is the order of words, there is a danger a story can be misinterpreted. It’s hard to decode a story when it’s told with nouns only. I managed to write only few stories, which read as a sentence. One of the best ones is:
#iwish #iseeyou #inmyhood #beforethestorm
I have a warm feeling that I’ll stay with #hashtagstory for a long time. It’ll not be a day-to-day love. It’ll happen in bursts. But it’s good to write them. When I was publishing a book at Feedbooks, Hashtagstories Vol. 1, I’ve worked out a good, decent description of what the stories are: a literary memoir of social media trends.
Yes, this is what they are. It’ll take some time to find in them the emotions of the past. It’s not gonna take too much time, though. Social media life is changing so fast.
Last thing, I’m happy to share with you, that Hashtagstories Vol. 1, has crossed 1,000 downloads. Thank you all for showing interest and sharing #hashtagstory with your Twitter friends.
Second volume is coming soon.