Indiana’s Right-to-Work battle came as quick as Republicanly possible and We Party Patriots would like to make a suggestion with respect to hashtags on Twitter.
There has not been any kind of consensus, either bottom-up or top-down, on what tag to use for what will be a long fight. It is imperative that something becomes as ubiquitous as #WIUnion did for Wisconsin even though this issue will not likely reach as critical a mass as the Scott Walker budget battle.
Our suggestion is #p2IN. The reasons for this are not at all groundbreaking:
BREVITY: one would be hard pressed to find a hashtag as short as #p2IN that can carry as much meaning. Brevity should be everyone’s top concern as “Right-to-Work” frequently requires context and explanation to be understood. This can eat up characters in a Tweet. To boot, many tweets about RTW in Indiana will also carry the #1u (One Union) tag.
RELATABILITY: the #p2 tag is so massive that seeing the “p2″ characters in #p2IN will give sympathetic users, many of whom we hope will be non-labor people, the ability to instantaneously recognize that this tweet or person is on their side. Maybe they don’t entirely grasp labor or “Right-to-Work,” but they know they are progressives and are interested in taking action based on this fact alone.
THE FUTURE: too often, a hashtag is created for a specific issue or battle but becomes worthless as soon as that fight is done being fought. Nobody uses it anymore or it is too specific to apply to other matters. This squanders the tremendous value of having organized hundreds or thousands of people around a specific hashtag. To be sure, when RTW is no longer the top talk of the Indiana statehouse there will be cause to rally the state’s most dedicated users again (November, for instance). The #WIUnion hashtag proves the importance of this as almost one full year after the Madison protests, Tweeps are still able to use #WIUnion for the Walker recall, the Walker John Doe case, and every other Walker indiscretion to date.
It is important for the labor movement to project a unified front on this so that the journalists covering “Right-to-Work” in Indiana, of which there are not that many, will adopt the tag (if they are smart) to gain more readers. We saw this happen with Steve Greenhouse of the New York Times and the #1u hashtag. Greenhouse is frequently the “top tweet” on #1u meaning people can find important labor stories quite easily when searching for them on Twitter.
As for other tags…
The #StateSOS tag has been used for battles outside of Indiana. It is a decent tag but not one with enough to offer this fight per se. Tags that piggyback on previous successes (#INUnion, for instance) don’t usually stick because they can come off like a stretch. #INUnion, though, has seen some traffic, including the aforementioned Greenhouse, so there is already some value in it that can’t be ignored. #RTW would be another option but, again, some folks have trouble understanding Right-to-Work when it’s spelled out for them, let alone when it’s an acronym.