Monday, February 20, 2012

Musings On A Munday #evernote

On Twitter hashtags are used (#genealogy, #rootstech, #scrapbook, #evernote, etc.) in conjunction with a post. Why should we use hashtags and what do they do for us? Hashtags help to categorize a tweet as well as allowing us to "follow" a hashtag. For those of you less familiar with hashtags and how best to use them there are several online discussions on the topic as well as this overview from Twitter.

When I have a blog post (like this one) auto post to Twitter I have the hashtag #genealogy attached. That way no matter what the title of the post, my followers will know the subject is genealogy. If I were to manually tweet this blog post I may also add additional hashtags (if I have enough of my 140 characters left) such as #hashtags and #evernote (cause see, this post is really about Evernote and hashtags, stay with me).

Another example of using hashtags is to follow a topic. If you see #genealogy or #scrapbook on Twitter just click on it and you will see all tweets by all Twitter users (not just those you follow) on that subject. You can then add a column (I use Tweetdeck and Hootsuite) to follow that subject. See the image below, I have a column to follow #RootsTech, #Scrapbook and #Evernote.

So that is how hashtags work for us, but there is an additional benefit...a huge one. Not only can we track topics, the topics can track themselves. What??? If the hashtag is #RootsTech, you can bet somebody on the RootsTech event committee is monitoring that hashtag looking for interest, volume, problems and questions. I had a problem on one of my Delta flights and I tweeted about it with #delta at the end.  Five minutes later a Delta Customer Service Representative tweeted me back asking for my phone number so they could call me and discuss the issue. And yes I do love Delta now! :)

I know you are wondering, how does this blog post have anything to do with Evernote. I can guarantee you 250% that Evernote (and outside developers) have multiple people monitoring every variation of the #evernote hashtag. I would bet they have it automated and fed to some fancy shmancy algorithm to track trends, demographics, AND related hashtags. If Evernote gets a report showing that 75% of the tweets containing #evernote also contain #genealogy...well first of all we know there is an error in their calculations and they need to revisit it! :) But you see where I'm going with this. I want Evernote, the company, to know that their product is being used for genealogy...a lot!

I know many genealogists who are using Evernote and would like to use it more in conjunction with their genealogy research. If you look in the Evernote Trunk there are multiple apps created to work specifically with Evernote created by outside developers. There is nothing stopping someone for creating an app that speaks directly to genealogy (like this one). They need to know their is a need, a desire and a customer base out there that would use it.

My post is actually a plea to everyone, please anytime you tweet about Evernote use the #evernote hashtag. I really, really want to use this program to its fullest as related to genealogy and the Evernote programmers and outside developers are the people who can make that possible.