Hashtag Spam

03.5.10


Hashtag Spam and twitter parties (they are synonyms). If you are not familiar with Twitter, you might not be familiar with hashtags, surely you are familiar with Spam.

Twitter is a microblogging service. You can update your status using just 140 characters. It’s not quite a bulletin board, but it’s not a blog either. In order to maximize your very brief updates, you can add a hashtag to a word and twitter will make is searchable. A hashtag is the number sign #. When groups of people use a hashtag it makes it easier for them to find each other. Quite often at an event there will be a predetermined hashtag in use. The 140 Conference uses the hashtag #140conf take a look at how helpful an event hashtag can be. Shortly, we will all be able to see SXSW emerge as a trending topic, and, for lack of a better term, get the back channel of the conference and it’s parties (or is it the parties and the conference?).

Hashtags, like anything, can be used well, or can be the source of spam. Spam is defined by wikipedia as “the abuse of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately.” Hashtags are free to create, and could be a marketing dream. Marketers appear to have forgotten that a “free hashtag” isn’t a one way street. Remember when Skittles thought that they would build a platform based on a simple feed? Walmart tried selling mom jeans just two short months later with a “twitter party” (more on twitter parties later), that ended with this (click the picture for a close up):
Walmart Porn

What’s most shocking though, is that all these months later businesses still haven’t learned. Recently Maria Bailey used the hashtag #WashThemGrow to sell Suave baby soap, but when people asked about the toxicity and the facts surrounding some of it’s ingredients, the twitter party shut down and this was posted about 24 hours later (*eyeroll* I know). I know that Corporate America moves slowly, but this chugging along is ridiculous. Learn something, learn now.

Hashtag parties are spam. Jessica Smith recently wrote that “hijacking a hashtag” is spamming people. I would disagree. The corporate creation of a hashtag is incredibly intrusive. Businesses should be thrilled and honored if they get mentioned on twitter, why on earth would they feel like they have the right to a free focus group? Further, I’d argue that if you actually look at these “parties” it’s the same group of 100 women every week. Can’t you just send them an email? It appears that they are willing to sell just about anything to each other.

Every Friday Twitter becomes unusable to me. I love the way #FollowFriday began, but (to borrow a phrase from Scoble) it has devolved into a mess. I can’t see through the lists of names to actually get to the content, and I don’t want to unfollow people for just one day. May I kindly suggest that if you use #followfriday that you limit it to just one person and also give us all a reason that we should follow them?

I’d like to suggest we all take a page from the Twitter Handbook, listen and love. It’s incredible that Jack‘s interest in the routes of New York City messengers could bring about Twitter. I know some of y’all don’t recognize the import of Twitter, but those newfangled telephones were considered pretty intrusive too. In 1876 folks just hated that darned thing. Much like twitter, they started out as a party line. I think twitter lists and DM’s have brought us closer to the Baby Bells.

Again, if you can look at the internet and see it as one gigantic party line, well, you’d see that Hashtag Parties alienate more than they embrace. They serve the same small circle of potential customers each week, and they are seen by the rest of the community as corporate sponsored spam.

The reason that people are hijacking your beloved hashtag is because it irritates them. I know that sometimes we look at our own work, and can’t see the flaws. This isn’t bad, it’s normal. Sometimes an outside observer is needed. #Journchat is never spammed, why? Because #Journchat brings immense value to the people who participate in it, and (people like me) who simply read the stream either live or later. The world doesn’t owe you anything, and Twitter is a place that recognizes and quantifies that.

Have I said it enough ways?

If you’re having a party conference, by all means let people pick a hashtag, but if your party only lives on twitter… well, congratulations, you are a spammer.

UPDATE: AdAge has an interesting and related post: Do People Tweet About Brands More Out Of Hate Than Love?

Facebook Comments

92 responses to “Hashtag Spam”

  1. Great post! I’ll now pledge to follow this recommendation:

    “May I kindly suggest that if you use #followfriday that you limit it to just one person and also give us all a reason that we should follow them?”

    I agree there are many reasons to follow someone and when you lump them into a line of names that barely fit 140char – they lose their special recognition of a #FollowFriday recommendation. Now you will know WHY I am sharing them ….

  2. I’d like to clarify what is a very poor choice, though a careful choice I am sure, of words within your post. You state that the #WashThemGrow Twitter party “shut down.” I believe that what you meant is that it ended as scheduled at the end of the party hour since that is, in fact, the case.

    Also, there is a critical word in your definition of spam to which I believe you need to pay more attention. “Unsolicited.” The beauty of Twitter is that people choose to subscribe to view the feeds of other people. For example, I do not subscribe to your feed, therefore your tweets do not show up on my Twitter screen. The 17,000 plus people who view my tweets, including the party tweets, have subscribed to receive them. I believe that would be the opposite of unsolicited, would it not?

    While some use Twitter to chat with a small group of friends, others use it to win prizes, and still others use it to rant about the angry topic du jour, I choose to do many things including run one hour marketing events that are and have always been fully disclosed as such.

    That is the beauty of Twitter. You say tomato, I say unfollow us.

    • Amy:

      That would be true if there was a way to unfollow a hash tag. Unfortunately, there isn’t. I may enjoy your tweets or the tweets of many other people most of the time, but some evenings find I have to turn the whole thing off because it is nothing but spam.

      To use an analogy, if I was a regular at a bar and popped in there most nights after work to chat with my friends, but invariably several nights per week a big brand showed up to have a party in the bar that was not only so loud I couldn’t talk to my friends, but that also sucked some of them in, then I wouldn’t really be getting what I was expecting or what I usually got by going out to my regular spot.

      I like participating in or following chats on specific topics, but hate when it becomes more about selling a brand or giving out prizes than it is about the conversation. I miss the old #gno and am glad I play basketball on Tuesday evenings now.

      • Hi Annie,

        I’m sorry to hear that! I personally love to see hashtags showing up in my stream so that I can jump into conversations I would not otherwise know about. That is how I found #bfcafe on Thursday nights. It’s been great to chat about breastfeeding with other moms and share what worked for me.

        If most of the folks you follow participate in parties – and I’m with you….there are LOTS of parties lately! – there’s probably not much you can do other than turn Twitter off. However, if you think the noise level is particularly bad from just a few people, try twick-twock dot com. This is a service that lets you unfollow specific friends for the hour of the party and then automatically refollows them for you. I’ve heard it’s great from the people who love to chat with me 24-7 about random things, but then are overwhelmed when I’m hosting an event.

        As for #gno, I can’t speak for Jyl, but I like to hear feedback about my events so you may want to reach out to her. In the meantime, enjoy basketball!

        Amy

        • I edited this comment and few others. If you have links to share please put them in the URL box.

          Thank you.

        • Hi Amy,

          Maybe I wasn’t clear. I don’t want to block hash tags altogether. I do find them useful for a lot of things. However, there are always certain hash tags that pop up and I would love the ability to block a specific hashtag from my stream in the same way I can block a particular person from my stream. So while I might like #bfcafe, #journchat, #fem2 and others, I may wish to block #jonandkateplus8 or #ilovetoiletwands because they just don’t interest me.

          In other cases, I may choose to respectfully present an alternative message under a hastag (#nestlefamily #bluebox) if I believe there is evidence-based information that contradicts the message that the company is trying to get people to spread on twitter.

          Thanks for telling me about twick-twock. That might be useful in some circumstances.

          Annie

  3. Tasha says:

    I guess I am on the fence on this one. I completely agree with Amy, if there is a Twitter party I’m not interested in, I ignore it. Unsolicited is the key word in this debate.
    On the other hand, I agree that Corporate America shouldn’t be given any more than they already greedily take. And that Walmart picture is a gruesome example. But our Country suffers from an inability to be BALANCED about anything so I guess that is just the way it goes.
    I couldn’t agree more about Follow Friday, it’s annoying to see lists and lists of names. Blech.

  4. I have to agree with Amy on this one. I don’t attend many Twitter parties but the ones that I do, such as the recent one highlighting the Adopt Us Kids initiative, I enjoy and support.
    Spam on Twitter is when people DM asking me to retweet something for them when otherwise they don’t interact with me.
    Like Amy said, the people that follow me on Twitter do so by choice and if they don’t like my use of hashtags (which sometimes is for sheer entertainment to me) they can unfollow at any time with no hard feelings.

  5. Ashley Green says:

    How about the # Parties that Maria Bailey & company did for #HotToys (for hot children’s toys) and got people tweeting back about their favorite dildo’s? #FAIL

    Back to the topic: What I don’t get is that a twitter party is not a conversation unless the brand IS THERE – as with the case above with Suave. This is a perfect case of the brand not caring enough to be there. They were NOT there to answer questions about their products and when the topic did come up about their products having toxins in them, no one could answer the concerns. The women attending the party were blinded by FREE stuff – not being educated (a year’s worth of Suave is $30). Just glossed over. With all of these moms following Maria Bailey’s mantra about how brands need to “market to moms;” how is it that she is part of the machine not to EDUCATE women about what they are buying and NOT connecting the Brand reps with their consumer? It appears that twitter parties are inexpensive for brands and no one cares about the products except for FREE. Remember the Nestle blogger trip, how many people even knew about the boycott going on for 30 years? Apparently a free trip (that you have to pay taxes on later) distracts the attendee. Look, it’s sparkly, oooh ahh. Talk about dumbing down communication.

    Short Answer: I agree with you – Twitter Parties are spam!

    • Hi Ashley,

      The #HotToys event was not at all associated with Maria Bailey. It was a fun event to introduce and give away the hottest toys of the 2009 holiday season & included a discussion with toy experts that helped parents make informed decisions before heading to the stores. I do believe that there was a very minimal amount of spam, but as Twitter enacted a policy beginning in November of 2009 to remove trending topics from the trend board that are being spammed, those crude comments were kept to a minimum.

      Now…..is this post an attempt to have an open discussion regarding spam or is it a thinly veiled attack on one person? How about a little fact checking? Makes for a much more interesting discussion when we don’t suppor our points with lies, don’t you think?

      -Amy

  6. Can I just say Awesome! I am a loving #followfriday – but it’s getting annoying when people send out their recommendations in a huge list – even worse sending a link to their Twitter List with 100’s of people on them.

    I have followed Elena Verlee’s advice for a while. When I send out a #followfriday it is just one person and why I love them!

    As for the # . I use one so that people can follow information on my Judging Before Asking series (#askB4judge) . As well as one for my own personal Get Healthy, Get Living mission (#GetLiving). I also find it funny when the twitter parties break out. I’m all for winning something fun but some of the questions and the corniness of the # parties just makes me want to barf.

    I was a follower of the scene but now I have seen just how incredibly annoying it can all be. I’d rather make my own decision on to buy or not to buy and not from information by people getting paid to tell me how awesome some magical juice is!

  7. Sorry Jessica I can’t actually take your post seriously! Because what you do is spam yourself! I don’t subscribe to your feed because well basically, I don’t like the language so when you steal a hashtag ,advertise stuff that is not attended for that hashtag or party that I don’t want to see you are spaming ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nothing against you personally cause I don’t follow anyone who uses language in there feed. Maybe if you took the above situation that you don’t like and handled it in a professional manner to get your point across I might try to see your point, or at least give it some thought. But because you choose to act like a kindergardner and tweet terrible things by hashtag stealing all credibility goes out the window. Even my 10 year old kid was like mom who is this person and are they REALLY A MOM?

    It’s ok to disagree with something, its called freedom of speech but if you want people to take you seriously, try handling it in a professional manner. There is no need to bad mouth people and be mean and nasty just to get attention. In my eyes the pot is calling the kettle black! Another favorite line. Glass houses should not throw stones!

  8. Ashley Green says:

    Hi Amy,

    No, this is not an attack on one person, just pointing out how Moms are being led to interact with brands who don’t represent themselves and use services like “twitter parties” to hawk their goods while giving out some trinkets. We are all worth more than that and if the brand has known issues or public concerns, how can anyone be served by their lack of attendance?

    Social media is about a conversation, a brand engaging in social media through twitter should be present. We’re all busy moms who want answers today, and if I didn’t know about a concern another mom had about a product that I was being pitched by a “twitter party” and no one answered her but was “pissed” that she was spoiling the fun with her # interruptions, then I am left with a feeling of doubt about the product/brand. If the brands don’t want to participate and leave it up to their agents who are getting paid to tweet, then the brand does not care too much about ME or my concerns. I won’t buy from them and my word-of-MOM becomes negative for them. How long do you think the “cash cow” coming from brands for twitter parties will last then?

    -AG

    • Hi Ashley,

      I am so sorry to see that you have been misinformed about Twitter parties, but judging from where we are having this discussion, I can’t say that I’m surprised.

      First, thank you so much for the very important feedback. I will happily let future clients know the importance of a brand representative being present at the event, able to answer questions in real time. While questions asked during the parties are always answered as soon as possible, I can see your point that a real time discussion warrants more real time answers.

      But let me help you out with a fact – having hosted nearly 150 events, I can tell you that more often than not the brand IS present and engaged. I’m not sure where you are getting your facts, but feel free to e-mail me any time at amy at resourcefulmommy dot com as I have records of all of my events and who was present from the brand at each one from the creative manager right up to the CEO.

      As for people being – you know, that word that you’ll type and I won’t – about interruptions, I always engage with those people asking questions during my particular events as long as they aren’t abusive in their questioning. In fact, I’ll even go read, comment, and continue to engage in their follow-up posts when they are civil and informed. Personal attacks and foul language used against me, however, I do not justify with a response because they happen on a level where I choose to not live. A very low, base level.

      Looking forward to your e-mail,
      Amy

      • Ashley Green says:

        Huh?

        What word will I type and YOU won’t? I haven’t used any of the seven words that George Carlin says you can’t say on TV. That’s not to say, I won’t use them, but because I don’t want you to tune out the current exchange, I will say, that no one is personally attacking your brand twitter parties, but if you feel you have to represent for all of the hosts of them, well, good on you.

        The fact remains that brand giveaway twitter parties really don’t engage anyone in anything. Why do I say this? It’s because there are so many “ME ME ME ME” tweets out there, so many retweeting of the same tweet with a hashtag at the end, there is NO conversation. How many people say the tweets are going too fast, I can’t keep up? Why is it that the next day you have to read a post where the tweets have been posted up so people can read them (like they have the time)???

        The twitter parties where there is a goal for raising money for a cause – that is a good use of twitter for awareness campaigns. Twitter parties for helping a new blogger get exposure, that is a good use of a Twitter party. This is NOT MY issue (maybe it is for Jessica, but not for me).

        What is MY biggest issue of brand giveaway twitter parties it is that so many women are being used for pennies to try to win something and they will spend 2-3 hours tweeting before and posting tweets during the day of and at the party for what? A free $8 Zhu Zhu pet? $30 worth of products they don’t need and then give it away on their blog next week?

        Why are Mom Bloggers selling out and supporting these types of twitter parties??? We are worth so much more than that and we can come up with a better way to be “used” by a brand to get our endorsement. Cause everyone of those tweets is endorsing that brand forever. Sell out for pennies, that’s your choice, but do yourself a favor – if you want people to view YOU as a trusted BRAND, believe in the brand (do your homework first!).

        ~AG

  9. No he was looking over my shoulder! And asked when my husband made a comment about it! My kid is not on twitter LOL And yes I would expect you to exploit a child like that on a blog post and it dosn’t bother me because I know thats who you are. If that is the only thing you pulled from my comment than I am sorry. I think your a smart woman and could do great things , I just think sometimes you handle things wrong.

  10. The Nestle debacle and the Suave party brought things to my attention I was unaware of previously. Now, I can do my own research and come to my own conclusions. Mission accomplished. If there’s a party happening that I have no interest in, I ignore it. I agree about Follow Friday and don’t generally participate except to thank those who give me a shout.

  11. First of all, you have the right to abhor Twitter Parties or Corporate Hashtags or whatever you call them. I don’t participate in a lot of Twitter events, but there are a few that I am really passionate about such as AdoptUsKids, as I have seen the impact on people’s lives as a result. I also respect the freedom of those who host Twitter parties to do it if they want. I follow Amy and Maria, Jessica Smith and others, and choose to do so! They not only tweet for events, but regularly engage, connect, encourage, promote other bloggers, and strengthen relationships.

    Seriously, why don’t you unfollow (not that you were following in the first place), instead of targeting these women for bullying and attack? It seems the opposite of what Twitter is about- freedom to say whatever we want to say, whether sponsored or not. Celebrating the diversity of people, and being able to choose whom we listen to. It actually went through my mind that I might not comment on this post because I might be the next victim of the bullying that goes on here. But it’s time to do what you want to do and leave other people alone.

    I don’t recall someone from the parties @replying you with the hashtag, or DMing you with links. THAT would be spam. Let other Twitter users decide what they would and would not like to see in their stream.

    And as Guy Kawasaki says, “UFM- UnFollow me”

  12. Jack says:

    Twitter parties are a joke and they exist because the brands either don’t care about the money that they are throwing away or they don’t understand what is happening.

    I am still waiting for someone to provide metrics for a twitter party. If I represented a brand I’d want to see real numbers as to how my money is being spent. Demographics, psychographics, purchasing power, are just a few that come to mind.

    How do I know that people are paying attention to my message. Are they clicking on a URL? What happens after they click on the URL? Where do they go and what do they do when they get there?

    Without more data it is just like throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks. If someone can educate me about this and show that I misunderstand I would be most appreciative.

    • Ashley Green says:

      Jack, I have seen Twitter accounts that just retweet tweets that are about how to get FREE stuff. Seriously, how can that NOT be spam when coupled with win an iPod at this xx Twitter Party by #BrandName Here.

      ~AG

  13. Jack,

    Wait no more – I’ve got metrics, case studies, and every client receives a detailed stats package. E-mail me: amy at resourcefulmommy dot com.

    -Amy

    p.s. So happy to be clearing up myths today! To further help, Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are not real, but don’t tell my kids. Thanks!

  14. trisha says:

    I cant for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to search hashtags at ALL. Who cares. I mean, am I really going to look up #thiscompanyisfabulous when I need something? Uh, no. Nor do I want to #justinbieber or talk about #lasttimeicheatedonaboyfriendwhilewearinglipstickataclub.

    I personally ignore all hashtags. And twitter parties. Unless I am running them and getting paid. Then I show up.

    ~Trisha

  15. I pretty much hate twitter parties. I follow Amy and love her tweets 99% of the time (really do Amy!) but I wish there was a mute button for certain hashtags. I don’t care to read hundreds of #saralee tweets or whatever the product du jour is. I usually shut twitter down when I see a big party happening.

    #amapartypooper

  16. Once again, great post. I must say that I’m on the fence about your Follow Friday stance. A mess? Maybe, but I’ve also found that I enjoy seeing who people I follow are following, especially my faves. I’ve found many useful sites this way, as well as having formed beneficial relationships.

    As for Twitter parties and hashtag abuse? I couldn’t agree more. If you can’t get it together to have a real #GNO (my LEAST fave kind of Twitter Party) or attend an actual “ass out of your desk chair” party? You’ve got some ish. In my humble opinion, they’re a big bowl of lame sauce any way you slice it, not to mention most times a half-assed excuse to hock some crappy product. I wish I could re-live the night of the Toilet Wand party, when I first began following your feed. It’s what made me fall in love with you…

  17. corrin says:

    Hashtags for conferences are great. I use and abuse them because I think they are useful and I reference them after the event. Hashtags for Twitter parties that take over normally engaging and informational streams are frustrating and isolating.

    I turn a blind eye for users I really enjoy 90% of the time. Other users aren’t worth it and get unfollowed immediately.

    Every select group of insiders, groupies, and “xyz moms” with a hashtag also gets unfollowed.
    I’m even part of some of those groups. You don’t have to slap the hashtag on everything to prove you’re worthy.

  18. Cat says:

    You know, twitter parties would be great and all if there was some kind of regulation to them. The fact is, weekday evenings are becoming a nightmare on twitter because of the multiple twitter parties being run at once and having them darn near every evening. I don’t want to unfollow the participants but I sure do wish I could mute some of the hashtags. And yes, I have been known to participate once in awhile when the stream is actually readable. Most times, people are just watching for the prize questions because they can’t keep up with anything else.

  19. Sheila says:

    I personally can’t stand Twitter parties. They give me a headache. In the beginning I thought they were cool when I was new to Twitter and now when I see a hash tag I cringe. I think that there are way too many Twitter Parties going on. I try to ignore it or get off Twitter for a bit until it stops. Twitter parties are so stressful and hard to keep up with too. Don’t get me started with the whole RETWEETING that goes on during the party. I don’t need to read it 10 times to get it. Have designated retweeters. That’s worst than the party its self. Some hash tags are spamming in general. I know there are some worthy ones out there but, when it gets to the point where I am getting tweets in my stream about a show I didn’t even have to watch (and never seen) and knew exactly what was going on it was kind of annoying. I wasn’t even following the hashtag. I like the idea of Follow Friday but not when someone sends like 10 tweets full of names to follow. I think one maybe two should be plenty. Spamming followers with 10 or so giveaway links in a row gets on my nerves too. Just sayin’.

  20. Katie says:

    Like a few others have said, I sometimes ignore Twitter completely when there is a party going on. There are very few things that interest me enough to want to jump and join in with hashtag conversations.

    I love tags like #fail or #FML that I can look up and get a laugh from. I like tags that associate with events (i.e. the Olympics), but hashtags about companies and products I pretty much treat the same way I do with TV – I change the channel.

    Someone else touched on it in another forum – Twitter parties to me are like the Mafia, Farms and Horoscopes on Facebook. I block them.

  21. Amanda says:

    I have to agree about the annoyance of Twitter parties. It’s the main reason I don’t use Twitter at night. I’ve tried to participate in a couple of the parties when they were just becoming popular. You know what happened? I ended up talking to myself because it was the same four people conversing with each other, and I left. I really can’t imagine the metrics for a brand hosting a Twitter party are all that great. I have to agree with the analogy of flinging mud at a wall and hoping it sticks.

    If people want to see who they might like to follow, check the lists of people you’re already following and engaging in conversation. Isn’t that why we have lists now?

  22. Zippy says:

    I find twitter parties to be a complete bore. People chattering about stuff that I could care less about, with people that they don’t know. It makes my head spin. Yes, I’ve attended a few and each time I find myself wondering WHY? But, this is just a personal preference (and frankly I’m not a huge twitter fan in general considering all of the crap that’s being tossed around in a pseudo-social media-intellectual-bullshit manner).

    That being said, I wouldn’t want to deny the opportunity to people who actually enjoy them. Why not create twitter parties via an application such as GroupTweet – where the entire party would be private?

  23. Amen! The first #gno twitter parties 15-16mos ago were great! We were there to discuss a topic & share information. Since then, I’ve noticed that Twitter “parties” have been more about product promotion with women clammering all over each other to win prizes and to get noticed. This absolutely disgusts me – ladies are we that greedy that we’ll tag all of our tweets with a product name just for a chance to win something that we probably don’t even need?

  24. Cindi says:

    I’m with Amanda and Katie. I find the hashtag #fail kind of funny, and use it sometimes for when I’ve had a duh moment. Oftentimes I’ll read a conference hashtag, when I want to find out certain information (since I haven’t been able to attend any conferences.) When I first started out on Twitter, I found it a great way to meet new people, and have made some nice friends & connections. I actually even participated in a few for awhile.

    But then they got old, and again, the same people conversing with each other. I’ve even seen it happen where there were “twitter party crashers” on #gno (which was fun, when talking about recipes and stuff.)

    I try to get on twitter during the day, and have found that now twitter parties have even invaded the daytime tweet stream. I guess it was bound to be.

  25. That said, there are some great hash tags out there! A few of my favourites are:
    #mamavation – a group of moms motivating each other to live healthier, active lives
    #momsrunning – a group of moms who share their runs and motivate each other
    #fruitnveggies – this is a Healthy Eating Challenge (my own I must admit) where the participants encourage each other to eat their daily reccommended amount of food from the Fruit & Veggies food group.

    A hashtag that is not spam to me may be spam to you.

  26. Cindy says:

    WOW what an interesting conversation going on here. I agree with 1 thing you said Jessica, some people do abuse hashtags. You used to be able to look at trending topics and see news items, movies, tv programs, twitter parties and have a clue what was going on. Now we have #mewithoutyouislike and other lame things. We also have rude people who hijack hashtags and spam those who want to follow the hashtag and since anyone can use a hashtag I guess it is bound to happen.

    Relating specifically to Twitter parties I used to be a regular at GNO and I am often at Amy’s Twitter parties. Yes, the prizes I have won are nice but that is not why I attend. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about websites like everythingmom, momfaves and metime to name a few. I have enjoyed interacting with the toy guy from time to play, the pr peeps and employees from lands end, build a bear, hallmark and many other well known companies. There are other times a party’s topic doesn’t interest me and I just ignore the hashtag, it isn’t that hard or sometimes…I shut off my laptop and ignore Twitter for a while (gasp!).

    As far as #followfriday I have met a lot of like minded people through the suggestion of my friends on Fridays.

    Not everything on Twitter is for everybody, I often unfollow people who regularly use crude or rude language or tweet about topics that I am offended by. My choice, I choose who to follow and who not to follow and I unfollowed you a long time ago.

    • Susieqtpies says:

      I’m with you 100% Cindy! Through twitter parties I’ve meet a lot of fun online friends. I’ve been very busy lately and don’t attend too many parties. I miss them! I miss the fun, interactive tweets back and forth! I personally won’t attend a Twitter Party for a brand that I don’t like for whatever reason. I ignore those hashtags. Are we that childish that we can’t ignore something that is bothering us? Do we have to be high school girls and fight about everything all the time?
      Companies are always giving away freebies. Who cares. If you win you win if you don’t you don’t. The real winners are those that have respectable attitudes even when they don’t agree with the topic at hand. IF a company hires Amy or Consumer Mom to tweet with a hashtag and you don’t care for that company and the purpose of the Twitter Party then step back from the situation. If you want to tweet at parties then go do it! Show respect to the hostess and those that are attending. That would show respectable, proper manners. Just remember that the there are real people behind each and ever twitter ID and blog. Treat others the way you do online the same way you would treat them face to face. There have been plenty of conversations in real life that I have stepped back from to not offend the hostess yet the conversation continues even though I don’t want to be a part of it.

  27. As one who has hired Amy for a couple of client’s Twitter parties and as #idol host, I can understand why constant party hashtags could be frustrating to those not participating in a party. I would, however, like to comment on a few points mentioned above-

    1. Those of using legitimate hashtags ARE engaging in conversation relevant to the topic. For instance, we hold #idol during American Idol broadcasts and talk about the broadcast. We chat about the judges, the auditions, ask each other about favorites and more. Yes, we also have prizes at times but the purpose of the chat/party is to provide an online gathering spot for Idol fans.

    2. I have attended several of Amy’s parties. There is always a purpose and always educational conversation going on. People ask questions of the company representative about their product and I have seen these companies continue to answer questions from the party even through the next day as sometimes there are a ton of questions. At other times, I have seen attendees also offer insights into the topic (such as organic living) to other attendees. Are there people who attend just for the giveaways? I’m sure there is-but that’s their business.

    3. My clients have seen really good results from these parties. They have 2,000-3,000 website hits during the party, which is a great way to “launch” online and raise awareness of a brand. People sign up for their newsletters and also help spread the word about the product or service. We have been able to identify brand ambassadors from the parties as many people attend who are passionate about the brand.

    4. Those who attend the parties choose to do so and enjoy them. Why should I rain on their parade? I don’t get that.

    5. I agree that it would be good of Twitter to develop a way to block hashtags. That way, you can prevent your stream from being overwhelmed with them if you choose not to attend a party. Yes, there are many parties that I don’t attend and at times my stream is full of hashtags. I guess it doesn’t bother me so much. Most of them are still providing good tweets, hashtag or no hashtag.

    6. I disagree that party hashtags are a way to spam your followers. Why would I want to offend my following and lose followers? Like Amy says, those who are using the hashtags are (usually) attending the party and the hashtag is how their tweets are followed. It’s meant to be an organized way to pull all the tweets about the party into one stream in order to be a part of it all. (ie using tweetchat, tweetgrid, etc)

    @juliebonnheath

    • Jack says:

      They have 2,000-3,000 website hits during the party,

      I’m really not trying to be adversarial, but that is a tiny number. If we were talking about a specific group, say C-level executives at Fortune 100 companies who are searching for CRM software I’d feel better. There are only so many good leads for companies selling million dollar software packages.

      Unless I am sorely mistaken you are not talking about that kind of product.

      For a modest investment you can purchase online ad space elsewhere and receive millions of impressions that will be seen by ten times or more as many unique users as you listed.

      If these parties are successful shouldn’t you really hit a much larger group?

      • Hi Jack
        It depends of course, on the company and the market that you are trying to reach. If a company is trying to reach moms or mom bloggers, or their goal is to increase membership or newsletter sign-ups, or they are a small online venture focused on women, then Twitter parties are great for that. I also suspect they would be helpful for social sites, such as Twittermoms. Do all my clients have a Twitter party? No. I don’t recommend Twitter parties for all of them-although I have seen many “big brands” hire Amy for them.

        Hope that helps.
        @juliebonnheath

      • Jennifer/Unconditional Mom says:

        Now that I’m fully awake, allow me to put this in the correct place:

        I know you weren’t speaking to me, but… you don’t think 2k-3k hits on a website, in one hour, is good?

        • Jack says:

          No, not unless it is exceptionally targeted or costs virtually nothing. There are a lot factors that can influence things here, but in general that is so very small that I’d be worried about it.

          • To clarify, a recent, much larger client than the one Julie shared, reported an increase in 300,000 visitors a week to 750,000 and a double in their sales for that month. Does that help you?

          • Amy:

            Thank you for sharing those stats. That makes it all that much more important for me to present a dissenting voice when I think one is required. I am not there to disrupt for disruption’s sake. But if I do think a company is engaged in unethical practices, then I will not hesitate to jump in and politely, but frankly, present the other point of view.

            I wish I had kept stats on the number of people who told me that they started boycotting Nestle as a result of the #nestlefamily controversy or the number that said they would now donate cash to their food bank instead of Kraft Dinner as a result of my #bluebox disruption. I know in both cases that I upset a few people, but I wasn’t there to belittle or insult anyone. I was there to present a different point of view. One that I thought needed to be heard.

            I know you didn’t have anything to do with either of those events, so this is directed at you only from the perspective that I really appreciated you sharing those numbers.

            Thanks

            Annie

  28. Jennifer/Unconditional Mom says:

    1. Jessica you know I have a great deal of respect for you. Yet we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

    2. My take on the entire Twitter party concept is that it’s product awareness; particularly if a hashtag trends. Trending is ‘the it factor’ on Twitter which is what, no doubt, sends companies to those like Amy, etc. – they want to trend. Trending sparks curiosity regardless of whether a person is interested or not…we are all guilty of looking to see what it’s all about.

    3. If I don’t see a hashtag that interests me – I simply ignore it. I just have entirely too much going on in the world around me to let it upset me, question Twitter’s existence, or the intent behind it.

    4. I’ve attended quite a few Twitter parties, but certainly not every single one, from different hosts. One: I enjoy interacting with other Mom’s; Two: I enjoy learning interesting information from companies about their products or organization.

    5. Those attending the parties that I’ve been to have never been unsolicited – there is always an RSVP form to fill out. Spam has this unbelievable means to be ignored much like when we receive it in our inbox. We know we don’t care, we don’t want to read it so we mark it as spam and move on. There are similar options available to those not interested in reading about a particular hashtag in their feed. Sure it means we have to unfollow a friend on Twitter, but if it’s that upsetting to a person there is a means to cease it. Twitter parties aren’t going to come to an end & people like myself will continue to attend them.

    6. To coincide with #3 above – ignoring something is simple. Majority of parties don’t last more than one hour. I wasn’t at the #WashThemGrow party, but I did see your status messages coming through that evening questioning them on the chemical used in their shampoo’s etc. I literally thought, “Probably not the most appropriate place to bring that up, but that’s Jessica” and let out a slight giggle. From there I thought nothing else about it. Again – just too much going on elsewhere.

    7. Twitter does have a means to only follow those things that are locally trending so perhaps that’s an option for others to choose until the Twitter party invading their feed has come to an end? Or suggesting that Twitter place the option of ignoring a hashtag is another alternative.

    That’s just my two cents, but I feel it relative and important to show the other side… from someone who attends them. Keep writing, Jessica – I’m still reading. We can’t agree on everything :)

  29. Cathy H. says:

    Here is a simple solution. Shut down your Twitter when a party you aren’t interested in is happening. For the most part, these parties last for about an hour at a time. Do you all really have nothing else to do in your lives for the amount of time? Honestly, I LOVE being on Twitter and have personally participated in several parties. I choose the ones for products I personally believe in, but not those I don’t. I will use the Suave one as an example. I was on Twitter that night, but not involved in the party. I saw the “outside” attacks on the hosts. Seriously?! I mean I would not buy Suave products due to the ingredient, but I WILL not use such methods to get my point across about a questionable product. I agree with your opinion on many topics(like the Suave one), but not your methods for getting your point across. Something to think about? Is that how you would teach your children to handle a particular situation they don’t agree with? Let’s remember, too, that all of the party participants are ADULTS and know what they are doing when they join in on such events.

  30. Mandy says:

    Before we were ever bloggers or twitter users, we were consumers. We took in tv, radio, and print ads for years – with out ever getting anything out of it, other than the knowledge that a brand existed.

    I look at the attendees of these parties(and I am sometimes on of them), simply as consumers. Not as bloggers – who may not have the care or ability to be a brand ambassador on their site – but primarily, consumers. These parties are a least a small step up for consumers – it allows us to interact with other like-minded consumers. And yes, sometimes get a free “trinket.” Isn’t that better than the old standard of advertisements – as far as gain for the consumer?

  31. Janet says:

    Interesting discussion. I’d like to add my two cents.

    Put simply –
    I don’t like the color lime green. Some people love lime green. There is nothing I can – or should be able – to do to stop them from enjoying their color. I don’t own the world.

    Jessica and some others don’t like twitter parties. Some people love twitter parties. There is nothing Jessica can – or should be able – to do to stop them from enjoying their parties. She doesn’t own twitter or the world.

    Someone said, “try twick-twock dot com. This is a service that lets you unfollow specific friends for the hour of the party and then automatically refollows them for you.” Won’t this solve your problem? If not, there must be other applications that will let you modify twitter so that you don’t have to be annoyed by other people enjoying what they like about twitter.

    Instead of asking other people to modify their behavior to suit your likes or dislikes, why don’t you try to find a way to modify your own usage? Instead of making this a discussion of the merits of twitter parties, can you just accept that some people like them and find a way to modify your use of twitter to filter them out? We can’t dictate others behavior, sorry, none of us own the world.

  32. I’m all for hashtags when they are part of a legit conversation or used to mass distribute helpful information. I just have a problem with them when they are used for contest entries, as a corporate conduit, or to score points. It seems more and more opt for the latter and it’s becoming little more than clutter and noise.

    When I attended my first and last corporate event, we were asked to tweet what we were learning and use the hashtag. I resisted the temptation to do so and only tweeted what I felt were my words and my opinion. Also to share what was being said to open dialogue with a group totally against the event.

    In this case, the hashtag was helpful because it allowed me to engage in what was truly an interesting and insightful discussion. For me, if a tweet wouldn’t genuinely be my own, then I don’t post it. That’s why you’ll never see me enter a hashtag contest, post a sponsored tweet, or allow my account to be used as a corporate mouthpiece. Unless, of course, I agree with what I’m being asked to share. Although I must say that doesn’t happen often, lol.

    I never RT something just because someone asks. I have to want to. I’m all for doing favors but when I’m asked to RT contest entries or inane facts so Sally Jo can win a new iPod, I cringe.

    I’m totally down with the #FF issue. When I see a #FF with 15 twitter names, I can’t help but ignore it. I don’t want to take the time to see if I really should be following them. I’ll admit that I used to send out #FF tweets in mass to repay the favor until I realized that it was a waste of bytes.

    I love the idea of explaining WHY to follow. One at a time. It’s more personal that way. Think about it, what’s better? “#FF @telling_dad”? Or “#FF @telling_dad – He’s gorgeous and his pecs are divine!”? Now THIS is this as the proper use of Follow Friday. (Feel free to RT)

    I guess what I’m trying to say, in my typical verbose fashion, is that I agree with you Jessica. :)

    Oh, and while we’re on the discussion, I’d like to invite everyone to my upcoming Twitter party where we’ll be discussing and celebrating all things hashtag. Just use the ## when contributing. Those with the most tweets will be entered to win prizes such as Hash Browns, Corn Beef Hash, and Hash Brownies.

  33. annica says:

    Greg,
    :O Woot! Finally ~ some # worth slinging.
    Now, about those pecs; we’re going to need pictures please.

  34. Jennifer/Unconditional Mom says:

    I know you weren’t speaking to me, but… you don’t think 2k-3k hits on a website, in one hour, is good?

  35. trisha says:

    @cathy if i shut down twitter everytime there was a party, I might as well delete my account.

    ~Trisha

  36. Eryn says:

    Really fantastic discussion. I enjoy well run twitter parties, and will block people that host parties that are run in shady, confusing, or poorly moderated way.

    There is a ton of “me, me, me” on Twitter, but where isn’t there? I’m STILL kvetching about the time I was in Kmart in the exact spot a blue-light special went off. A woman pushed my shopping cart (with my sleeping infant in it) away from me, to get to what? Some discount Hershey bars.

    The best Twitter parties are the ones that don’t just immediately break up at the end time. When I see women staying around and chatting with the hashtag, I’m happy. I have made some really great buddies from Twitter parties, have been exposed to like-minded individuals, *and* gotten to try out some new products that our living situation would not allow us to try out.

    BUT I do think it is a little callous to act like us that attend Twitter parties deserve to make the rules, or expect our followers to deal with a ton of very condensed conversation all at once. To me, the comments about how Twitter party attendees can’t get our butts out of our desk chairs are equally useless as comments about people having no lives if they can’t leave Twitter while there’s a party going on.

    Here’s what I think we can do….

    Like the #FollowFriday suggestion, which I loved, we can be more mindful over our comments that aren’t an @reply to someone else. If you are just replying to nobody, it posts to your feed (as do the RTs), and has the exact same affect as when you’re in a restaurant, chatting away, and the music cuts out…

    Suddenly, you’re screaming “AND IF YOU BRUSH YOUR NIPPLE ON HIS MOUTH, HE’LL LATCH ON!” While everyone else is trying to talk about the news, or their broccoli being perfectly steamed, or anything else but your nipples.

    And who wants that? Now amplify it by several people on a person’s list, and that’s a whole lot of weirdness to deal with.

    I don’t feel like these parties alienate more than they pull people in. I wasn’t *invited* to Twitter parties, I saw the hashtags and searched to see what was going on. That was at Christmas time (the toy party), and I’m still enjoying them. I do NOT attend every one that comes along, if it’s a topic I have outgrown (breastfeeding), or for a company I have no interest in forming a relationship with(Nestle), I do my own thang. I’ve made great bonds with some brands, too, that I email back & forth with. So YES, real conversation IS happening from these parties.

    ***Trisha, hashtags are extremely useful for those of us looking to build communities on twitter about a topic, for example, I use and search the #homeschool tag regularly.

    I know, TDL:DR, sorry. If my thoughts about hashtags trending due to parties isn’t organic trending, what that means, and how I feel about it were more fleshed out, I would have prattled on about that too. Thank you for starting this conversation!

    • Eryn says:

      Jeeze Louise, I’m sorry, I didn’t really realize HOW long that comment was. I sincerely apologize. This is why I never update my blog. I post blog entries on everyone else’s blog. :|

  37. Sue says:

    Can someone please tell me why people use ‘strike through’ in their blog posts? This is more annoying to me than hashtags. I think it looks like the author posted a draft. I guess others think it’s clever writing? Just curious. Of course if we were all alike and agreed on everything, then I guess it would make the world a boring place, right?

    • marybeth says:

      I think both – the latter is supposed to look like the former.; Clever writing meant to look like a draft for humor purposes.

  38. Jess..
    chiming in…for what its worth here

    1 Amy L. Bair developed the twitter party as a marketing tool for corp sponsors and she’s got quite an interesting concept going on, she’s a pro, she has a pro tool for marketing.
    2. Glommers-on have tried to copy her concept and made a total mess of it (I won’t go into the expenses corps are spending for a marketing tool that the glommers on haven’t a clue how to use
    3. Twitter Parties serve a purpose for those that use them. I rarely have time, but when I do, and I’m on Twitter after 8p, if I happen to see a # in my twitter stream, that interests me, I’ll follow and chime in.
    Nothing’s been said of twittermoms over use of hashtags and wine or should I say whine. And nothing’s been said of blissdom babble and the over use of that hashtag squuuuuuuueeeeeeeee #blissdom ok I exagerate, but come on. I’m a grown up as are you, if something doesn’t interest me, I don’t read it, if it really ticks me off…guess what I un follow.
    The beauty of the whole concept of Twitter is that YOU can pick and choose, you don’t have to follow anyone or you can follow everyone. If you use a twitter client, and I think you do, there’s a way to temporarily hide the noise just like you can hide the noise on fb. So, great linkbait girl..you’ve done it again!

  39. Can we stop pretending this is a legitimate discussion about hashtag usage? Let’s call it what it is: an attempt to attack and control others who don’t do something (pick a topic, it’s probably on this blog somewhere) the way ONE person thinks they should. Plain and simple.

    Jessica understands she can unfollow, she also knows all the arguments for Twitter Parties, and why someone would want to attend them. She knows that most companies do actually attend their parties. She has also tried to destroy them, when she could have just unfollowed and gone on the way SHE wants to do Twitter. But it’s not about that.

    It’s about control and power. The Alpha-Girls on the playground. Why not make the discussion about THAT?

  40. Sara Broers says:

    I’ve been active in the world of Twitter for about one year. Personally, I enjoy Twitter Parties. If there is one that I am not interested in, I simply don’t participate. Personally, I have met some very nice people (yes, actually met up with them) after meeting them on Twitter. The un follow button is available, as well as the off button on our computers. Twitter offers us choices, so it is up to us to use the choices that we have. In regards to #FF~ I try to give specific reasons for others to follow- gotten thrown in twitter jail a few times because of that- but that’s OK………The choices are up to the tweeter and nobody else. If you want to participate in a twitter party, go for it! If you don’t, don’t participate. I guess I’m not understanding how this concept is so difficult to understand.

  41. Wow. Soooo many comments. lol I wish I had the time to go through them… maybe later :)

    As for the article itself, I’m kind of torn. I have to admit I have participated in a couple of twitter parties (MomActive, Mamavation, MomsNiteOut… etc) but for the majority, I just filter the hashtag out (I use TweetDeck) so I don’t have to see them. The only downside of that is that when I’m checking Twitter on my phone, which I do quite often, I don’t have that option.

    I don’t care to read an entire party about soap, but I can’t say that I think all Twitter parties suck.

  42. If you don’t like it, unfollow or even block someone. Why bitch and moan about it? You don’t have to follow anyone you don’t want to, you don’t have to see their timelines. Guess what – just because someone attends a twitter party doesn’t mean they are a mindless twit either. We are well aware we are being marketed to, we are well aware that products are not perfect, and who cares if someone likes free stuff? Plus, if it weren’t for twitter parties and marketing on twitter just think how little you would actually have to say since you seem to bitch about it constantly. Live and let live. Relax! Go wash your hair with some Suave shampoo, drink a glass of chocolate milk, have a Lunchables for a snack, and play a board game with your family!

  43. Candace says:

    I completely agree that companies have to understand that while they can create a hashtag, they can’t “enforce” use of it. Twitter is a public party, not a private chatroom, which is the point, right? Now, I’m not a fan of people using a hashtag to go completely off topic–for example, if I start using #ilovetea and someone uses my hashtag to talk about how he just loves his new television, that’s spammy. If someone jumps on though and says “Tea is dishwater. Coffee rocks. #ilovetea #ihatetea”, that’s not spam…that is just part of the conversation. I’ve had this debate with several other tweeters and I think that part of my perspective is that I have been in online communities now for about 15 years. So, as much as I welcome companies paying me to consult and even some sending me free things I really want to try out and share, I tend to look at the Internet from a, perhaps increasingly old-fashioned, community perspective.

    I’m not quite as anti-hashtag party as you are but like anything, they can get overdone and diluted. And yes, tend to involve the same guests over and over. But there are informative hashtag chats.

    Speaking of overdone and diluted, I agree about #FF as well. Since I don’t think we’ll get everyone to agree to just suggesting a handful of people, and including the reasons, I think that #FF may have run its course like many trends. You could always start a new one…but that will get diluted eventually, too.

  44. traci says:

    “Hashtag Parties alienate more than they embrace.” Really said it well. I wish brands could truly understand loyalty and the loyalty points that help make people make selections. I wish I had the energy or care, frankly, to email them individually-so I could say that I wont buy their products any longer because of the hashtag hawking. Ugh. I will never buy some of these products due to the whoring out nature. Like you, I am OVER the bloggers whoring items out.

    The #FF, #gno, #whatevers, are so lame. For the love of Pete, if I can’t get out to share a glass of wine at an appropriate place please, rather than over the internet with faceless people #fml.

    • traci says:

      REPHRASE:

      If I can’t get out to share a glass of wine for an appropriate Girls Night Out, please #fml.

    • Jennifer/Unconditional Mom says:

      I think the problem is that just because people say it doesn’t make it so. Where you see it as a negative, there are those who don’t; myself included. I don’t partake in the Mom’s Night Out because to me, it’s a little silly, but the difference is simply this – I don’t care enough to let it bother me what other people are doing. I focus on my own backyard while sipping that glass of wine.

  45. Holy shit balls!….that’s all!

  46. Lisa P says:

    I have to say I have had enough twitter parties to last a lifetime, two to be exact. I was unable to keep up perhaps that makes me dumb, but what I find even more disturbing is the “take over” as I like to refer to it. This is where you wade through TONS of comments to find some one to engage with then when you think you have found something interesting BAM theres a freaking hashtag staring you in the face. Is there nothing worthwhile to say on twitter if its not followed by some random word with a # symbol in front of it. I want to be heard, to engage in conversation not just try to win a pack of diapers or something equally as exciting.

    while I do use the hashtag #followfriday it is not done a regular basis but if that makes me spammy well then Miss Spam at your service LOL sometimes good people just need to be pointed out.

  47. Jerri Ann says:

    I want to say a few things and normally when I set out knowing I”m going to be long-winded, I find I probably should have just posted on my own site. But, you brought me into this and so I’m here. Of course, you can delete me too but that’s not my point.

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when I began working with a brand to help schools (which if you don’t know, education is my love, it’s my background, it’s just what I’m passionate about) and the idea of a Twitter Party was proposed, I suggested that we take the Twitter Party out of the Twitter Feed and lose the hashtag and take it into a chat room because people get tired of having their feed over-run with information that doesn’t interest them.

    And, that was my last official Twitter Party. I’ve probably commented in and out of a few since then, I’m definitely not going to say I haven’t participated at all. But that was the last one I was a co-host.

    But, I’ve been writing online since 1999. I started writing online to make money. Ha! Didn’t we all! Oh, we didn’t?

    Anyway, over the years, my ideas have changed, I’ve written paid posts for products that I know absolutely nothing about, but when it comes to a brand that I am going to promote, that I’m going to blog about on a regular basis, that I’m going to tweet about…you can rest assured that it is either a brand I chose, or a brand that found me via something I involuntarily wrote about them previously.

    And with that, some of the brands have their own twitter accounts and some have hashtags. And I sue those.

    And, as it is right now, I don’t have enough hours in the day to sit here and list for you the brands that I am involved with. But, I do want to direct you to a tweet that you (Jessica) sent directly to me using the @ function in Twitter

    Your tweet went something like this
    moms, what is a “brand ambassador”? saw that @The_Jerri_Ann is a brand ambassador for… like everyone.

    I have an entire post dedicated to this…….here, give it a read… [edited because I don’t allow for URL’s within the body of the comments but it is clickable at Jerri Ann’s name]

  48. Jerri Ann says:

    Sorry about that Jessica, I posted before I read the comments but the fact of the matter is, you were spamming me that night? Right? I mean by your definition of spam, you were spamming me when you chose to ask me (someone who was not even involved in a twitter party) about why I was doing something another and then…add some insult but you just kept going and going and finally, as it is with most people, I was able to keep going and going longer than you and you quit responding. That makes me an Energizer Bunny and you…a can of Spam, maybe?

  49. Jennifer/Unconditional Mom says:

    No one needs to justify their actions, their Twitter feed, or their personal use on Twitter here in my humble opinion. The only time something becomes a ‘big deal’ is when we allow it to be. Jessica has an opinion and she’s entitled to it. It won’t make or break hashtags. In fact, it’s not going to change a thing with the exception of those involved in this conversation becoming more aware that some don’t like we – we knew that already.

  50. Jennifer/Unconditional Mom says:

    *some don’t like it – we knew that already

  51. I wasn’t going to comment on this posting especially since I completely disagree with Jessica’s opinion and stance on this entire subject.

    Twitter parties are hosted by Manufacturers, Corporations and Social Networking is a fantastic way (and very cheap) to get your name out there and become known. I would think that if anyone had a beef about Twitter parties it would be them – if these parties didn’t work I’m sure they wouldn’t be happening anymore on Twitter.

    And lastly, I cannot say it better than how – Amy, Julie, Sarah and Robyn have stated on here.

    Everyone knows how to use Twitter but I guess everyone has a right to their own opinion as well, as long as it doesn’t affect others lives.

    If you are trying to (this is for Jessica) disrupt Twitter parties and ruin them you are treading on thin ice – I’m sure there are certain individuals and corporations that won’t take kindly to that type of disruption.

    There are laws against electronic harrassment.

    Enough said.

    I’m thankful for ResourcefulMom and support her 100% ~ She is very professional, and I’m sure that is why she is in demand.

    We can’t all be Amy – Maybe there’s more jealousy going on here than Hashtag bashing.

    • Amy Phillips says:

      “If you are trying to (this is for Jessica) disrupt Twitter parties and ruin them you are treading on thin ice – I’m sure there are certain individuals and corporations that won’t take kindly to that type of disruption.”

      No, no she’s not. There’s isn’t a thing you or the corporation can do. I hadn’t thought about disrupting them before, but now….

      • While I don’t agree with Jessica’s views, she does have the right to speak them and I honestly don’t believe her intent is to disrupt Twitter parties. I really don’t think that what Jessica does, even during Twitter parties, is what you could really call harassment in the legal sense (although I’m not a lawyer so who knows). Annoying, yes. Jessica likes to bitch about things – that’s ok – she’s entitled. If the Twitter parties went away something else would take it’s place for her to bitch about. She is good at what she does though, why else would we all be here reading this?

        • I agree Robyn..everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I do not personally know Jessica or what it is she does..my comments were made back in March of this year regarding this post, I had no idea that this subject was still being discussed. I’ve moved on..everyone else can enjoy hashing this out…I’ve said my peace.

          Happy Holidays!

  52. Firefly says:

    Even though I love Twitter some days/nights it’s impossible to be there. Too many parties, too many # and well, to don’t get frustrated and wish overcapacity so that the party would slow down LOL I go away ;) I’ve been at one of those parties last year (it was my first and last) and really I stayed for maybe 10 minutes. Maybe I’m making a mistake, maybe they really are great way to talk, get connected, win stuff…than again, I really don’t have time to go trough # and all that!

  53. Arlene F says:

    RETWEET FROM ABOVE!!! I’m thankful for ResourcefulMom and support her 100% ~ She is very professional, and I’m sure that is why she is in demand.

    We can’t all be Amy – Maybe there’s more jealousy going on here than Hashtag bashing. #AMY #SITEWARMING CONFERENCES!!!

  54. jessica says:

    While there are clearly some twitter parties that are ruses just to sell products, there are plenty of companies who host twitter parties not only to get their names out there but also to provide a service to the twitter community. Should we also shut down all brick ans mortar parties sponsored by companies as well?! I meet lots of new people and make new discoveries all the time at twitter parties–Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!

  55. Hashtags don’t always mean a party, they just highlight a topic. So why would it be an instant “turn off” to see a hashtag in a post? I respond to comments with hashtags all the time. It’s just a way of organizing a conversation and helping people find common ground.
    @juliebonnheath

  56. Jennydecki says:

    Wow – aren’t most of you early adopter types? What the heck are you still doing wasting hours of thought and time on Twitter? Unless you’re making money from the service directly (like Amy) you’re just buying high…don’t be surprised when you find yourself selling low.

  57. Jessica – I appreciate the discussion you’ve sparked here. The comments are extremely enlightening. Any person looking to host or hold a Twitter party should certainly read them to learn how to and how not to host or hold a Twitter party.

    In the interest of full disclosure, Amy hosted a Twitter party for me when my book was released. I personally found it invaluable. I participated fully to answer questions about going green and non toxic.

    Now, I am one of the hosts of the #ecowed Twitter praty, which may or may not be sponsored. Our goal is to inform and engage about all things green and non toxic and I personally have found the comments informative, inspiring, challenging, interesting, and more.

    Other Twitter parties sometimes interest me and sometimes not. It depends. I happen to love some of the specific topic parties – #journchat, #brandchat, #smallbizchat, #greenchat – and some of the non profit Twitter parties – #healthychild – just to name a few. Some of the generic brand parties for products that I don’t or won’t use can get boring. Nevertheless, I frequently follow them to see what people say – it is great marketing information. And it is invaluable information to identify greenwashing, pinkwashing and more . . .

  58. Here is another opinion posted today on Jon Newman’s blog. [click through the url to see the post]
    @juliebonnheath

  59. […] the same moment, a manufactured trend occurred, it was […]

  60. Amy Phillips says:

    Jessica, I totally agree with you. It’s interesting to see the comments on here from Amy’s circle that you mention in your post. I could say much, much more- but I’ll take it off line if you’re interested.

  61. […] Not Suck. The first tip, in effect, simply says don’t do it. This month, as part of a post on Hash tag Spam, Jessica takes on Twitter Parties again.  Though the post has some interesting points, her […]

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