The problem with #hashtags: @BAFuture’s #Imstuck

Hashtags are a tough deal. I really encourage anyone deciding to use a hashtag to do some research before picking a hashtag that will support your message and strengthen your branding.BAF App

Earlier this week, Building America’s Future released a new mobile app that helps people tell Congress when they are stuck in traffic. The app encourages users to copy BAF and share on Twitter when they have sent a message to Congress.

The app received some great coverage and I’ve watched for some backlash toward the app since it appears to encourage drivers to send messages while they are behind the wheel. I know that it doesn’t directly encourage distracted driving, but the idea that someone would send a message to Congress while stuck in traffic kind of infers that. 

Still, the app seems really smart and I’m intrigued. But the hashtag, #imstuck, seems to have landed with a thud. I’ve compiled a few of the items on Storify.

I truly wish the BAFuture.org folks much success. We need all the awareness we can get for transportation in Congress. But maybe we need a better hashtag? 

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Author: Lloyd Brown

I am the director of communications for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. I enjoy running marathons and triathlons, playing guitar and spending time with family. My professional interest is in how social media and new technology shapes the communication relationship between government and the general public. I have a Master’s degree in Communications and Leadership from Gonzaga University in Spokane and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Washington State University.

2 thoughts on “The problem with #hashtags: @BAFuture’s #Imstuck”

  1. Lloyd, good thoughts on this… One of my other thoughts is to question whether the concept behind the app doesn’t actually encourage single-occupant vehicle trips? The baseline design is certainly neutral, as a train or bus rider or carpooler could easily do the same thing, but doesn’t the act of reaching out then falsely encourage Congress to fund additional capacity rather than thoughtful infrastructure SYSTEM improvements? Isn’t this somewhat contrary to BAF’s own message?

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