Friday, 7 June 2013

Towards Standardisation of Twitter Hashtags for Mineral Processing

Since its launch seven years ago Twitter has become a global phenomenon, but it is still in its infancy in minerals engineering. I have no doubt, however, that professional Twitter accounts will soon be as common as company websites (see also posting of 8th April).

Although more and more mineral processing companies are now tweeting, many are doing so with a great deal of uncertainty and naivety. This is particularly apparent in the use of hash (#) tags.

Twitter hashtags are essentially keywords which group tweets on a particular subject together for search purposes. They can be powerful in spreading your word, but for them to be successful consistency in their use is required, and it is also essential that the hashtags uniquely group mineral processing topics. For instance I see #flotation being commonly used, but this is not satisfactory, as relevant mineral processing tweets are lost in a mass of tweets on company flotations, buoyancy aids etc. For this reason the longer hashtag #FrothFlotation is suggested. Even worse is the common use of two hashtags, such as #column #flotation, rather than grouping tweets on column flotation with the single unique hashtag #columnflotation.

There is an obvious need to standardise hashtags for mineral processing tweets and to encourage consistency in their use. For this reason, MEI is attempting to produce a definitive reference list. The draft can be found on MEI Online. At this stage the hashtags are recommendations only and not a definitive standardised list. However we hope that, with your input, it will develop into such, and we ask you to send suggestions for amendments and new hashtags to bwills@min-eng.com.

We also ask that you make as many minerals engineers as possible aware of the list in order that consistent use of hashtags will soon be the norm.

8 comments:

  1. II have just read a tweet from a company that I follow, containing #comminution #energy #efficiency. Although #comminution is fine, as it is specific, #energy and #efficiency are generic terms and so the relevance to this particular tweet is lost in a morasse of irrelevant data. It is important that we standardise and ensure that we are all singing the same song with hashtags.

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  2. I wish you all the best with your attempts to standardise hashtags, Barry. It would appear that most people in our field haven't a clue how to use them. Just seen a tweet on SAG mills with #SAG. Search for #SAG and you will find a great deal of info, but virtually none of it concerned with SAG mills!

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    1. Thanks Anon. Yes #SAG is a meaningless hashtag. Our recommendation is #sagmills

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  3. Hi Barry. I like your hashtag approach to sharing news. I have created a hashtag for accelerated carbonation: #AcceleratedCarbonation

    Can you add this to your reference list? I will promote this amongst ACEME'13 participants. Thanks.

    Rafael Santos
    KU Leuven, Belgium

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  4. Suggestion for industry hashtag: #minproc?
    Sarah Boucat, CEEC Australia

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    1. Thanks Rafael and Sarah. I have added to the list of suggestions

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  5. Hi Barry,

    I have a couple of thoughts about #AcceleratedCarbonation. It is too long and not necessarily explicit to a non-practitioner. I'd rather use the allowed characters to expand on the wonderful details related to the tweet. How about #CO2ReUse or #CarbonUpcycling. Both are shorter and more descriptive without losing the meaning. I expect they are less jargon'y to the twittersphere too.

    Have a great day,

    R

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    1. Thanks Robert. It's not my field, but #CO2ReUse sounds good. Let's use this unless someone comes up with something better

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