#1u = One Union. Support All Workers by Using the #1u Hashtag in Your Labor Movement and Jobs Tweets
“The #1u hashtag is not only functional in bringing all union members and representatives to the information resources they need to share, it is the electronic vessel we command to rise above the tide of misinformation being jettisoned by the Far Right at the entire American Workforce.”
NOTE: If you are reading this post and you have never used Twitter, it may seem very complicated. But, it’s not. A hashtag is essentially a way to organize information, like a filing system. Twitter explains it HERE. This “How-To Twitter” start-up guide can help you get involved if you’re interested.
In early 2009, as many political Twitter users know, a pair of progressive, social media gurus launched a new Twitter hashtag to combat the stranglehold the Far Right movement had on the political Twitter universe. Conservatives had seen great success with the implementation of #tcot— a hashtag that stands for Top Conservatives on Twitter — and the progressive movement needed a new tool to organize its information and rally its user base. Up until that point, the progressive and liberal movements had used a smattering of tags, all of which took up more characters than #tcot. The most popular of these tags were #topprog and #rebelleft. They were used often, but never experienced the critical mass of #tcot which, to this day, stands as the most used political hashtag in the United States.
In came #p2, launched by Tracy Viselli and Jon Pincus through an article in Exception Magazine, presentations at the Nevada Independent Media Summit and Politics Online, and personal outreach to dozens of visionary progressive social network activists. Pincus and Viselli, who later worked with Jim Gilliam and Gina Cooper to create the groundbreaking Tweet Progress directory (Gilliam and Cooper are also known, respectively, for act.ly and Netroots Nation), reported steady usage increases in the first week, thanks in part to some blog coverage and the adoption of the tag by Rahm Emanuel. Soon, the Huffington Post would begin using the tag and, well, the rest is history. Pincus recently drafted a retrospective on the first two years of #p2: #mooreandme and #p2: learnings for progressives on Twitter. Designed to represent diversity and empowerment, the tag is now the most used tag by progressive and liberal Twitter users, a powerful way to get the information you need from the people who have it, and vice versa.
With the Labor Movement thrust to the forefront of online political dialogue due to high unemployment and anti-worker measures by the Far Right, it is important right now to develop an effective, meaningful way for Labor Movement Twitter users to mobilize, share information, and broadcast an effective, unified message to influence media outlets and policy outcomes.
This situation has rendered the popular #p2 tag somewhat broad for worker-specific purposes, filled with so much useful information (some of which is directly relevant to the Labor Movement, much of which is not) that it does not outline a clear enough path to labor-related resources for the people whose responsibility it is to spread the message of the New American Workforce.
In addition to eating up too many characters, #labor, #union and #jobs tags have other distinct drawbacks. Many online labor activists feel the need to use more than one of these tags, or multiple versions of these tags (for instance #union and #unions provide different feeds), to get complete results on Twitter. These tags draw a vast amount of international information — this is good for some purposes, but not for many North American organizing efforts. Similarly, the #labor tag generates child birth threads and jobs listings and the #jobs tag pulls in an very large amount of job listing tweets.
So, We Party Patriots has launched #1u, the One Union hashtag.
#1u is as concise as #p2, requiring only three of the precious 140 Tweet characters. It is rife with message in a time when class war, disguised as fiscal responsibility, is being waged on union and non-union workers alike. The attempts by the Far Right to cast public and private employee unions against each other are littered with falsehoods. The attempts to bring down wage, safety and benefit standards for ALL WORKERS are as violent as ever. The #1u hashtag is not only functional in bringing all union members and representatives to the information resources they need to share, it is the electronic vessel we command to rise above the tide of misinformation being jettisoned by the Far Right at the entire American Workforce. It is for men. It is for women. It is for all colors and creeds. #1u is a feel good tag, in a feel bad time.
The #1u tag has begun to gain some users organically on Twitter. We hope that upon reading this you will discover the utility of the #1u tag and implement it with great frequency, even if used in conjunction with #p2, #tcot or any other hashtags. In fact, coupling #1u with already popular tags may be an effective means of broadening its reach from the outset. In the end, the goal is to filter labor movement-specific information, supportive of all workers, to help us amplify the messages that we must broadcast the loudest.
The more we are able to call others to action, to suggest the usage of #1u to our networks both on and off Twitter, the more utility we will find online.
Solidarity is not selective. We are one union.
Click the “Tweet” button to post this article to Twitter or copy the following text as your next Tweet:
#1u = One Union. Support all workers by using the #1u hashtag in your labor movement and jobs tweets!
Visit the #1u Facebook Event Page, click “Attending” and invite your friends to take the #1u pledge, too.