Lost & Found – Power of the #PubCon Hashtag

by Dana Lookadoo on November 8, 2010

“Getting found” is the goal of most search and social media optimization efforts. One way to be discovered is by participating in real-time conversations with Twitter and #hashtags. I’m preparing to teach a class on online visibility about ways businesses can be discovered, and I thought about the real power of #hashtags on Twitter. In 2009, Twitter served as my Lost & Found service at PubCon Internet Marketing Conference in Las Vegas.

Below is a recap of snippets of a blog post that was not published last year, which is why some of the details are fresh.

Losing My Cell Phone

I left my cell phone at the end of Day 2 of PubCon. I set it down when taking pictures with the SEM Gals Posse:

PubCon SEM Gals Posse - Nov 2009

PubCon SEM Gals Posse - Nov 2009

Kate Morris (@katemorris), myself: Dana Lookadoo (@lookadoo), Amanda Stewart (@amandastewart), Jen Lopez (@jennita), Kristy Bolsinger (@kristy), Lyndsay Walker (@lyndseo), Joanna Lord (@JoannaLord), Manda Otto (@mandaotto)

The SEM Gals Posse, along with some guys, left the Convention Center and walked over to Andy Beal’s (@AndyBeal) Trackur networking event at the Renaissaince Hotel. While chatting with Rick Galan (@RickGalan), Brian Chappell (@brianchappell) and Aaron Chronister (@TheMadHat), it was time to pull out my cell and “check in” with the online world.

Oh, no! Where’s my phone?

My heart raced as I mentally retraced my steps. My immediate life passed before my eyes. My attention diverted from networking to communication and information survival. Dinner plans with David Szetela (@Szetela) & crew were canceled. The search was on…

Rick Galan walk backed with me to the Convention Center to look for the phone. No phone. Convention Security’s Lost & Found didn’t have a record of any phone being turned in.

Viral Power Behind the #PubCon Hashtag

I tweeted…

Rick Galan retweeted and served as my lost cell phone Twitter gatekeeper.

The story of my lost phone was broadcasted. My #pubcon lost cell phone tweet was retweeted COUNTLESS times. Below is a small snippet of tweets (click to see an expanded stream):

#pubcon tweets - lost cell phone

#pubcon tweets about @lookadoo's lost cell phone

I was in awe… I didn’t know how to say “thank you” to each person. I was touched and amazed! Even if I didn’t find my phone, the viral power behind a hashtag was evident.

I didn’t attend that night’s big New York New York Twitter Bash. How would I find everyone without my cell phone anyway? Actually, my energy waned without my mobile power source. But I could stay connected at the hotel.

Twitter Found My Cell Phone

Sending out the “lost notice” for my cell phone proved successful.

Little did I know that these lost cell phone #pubcon tweets were on display on the “Rok Wall” at the  New York New York Twitter networking event.

Everyone’s tweets tagged with the #pubcon hashtag were showing as a stream of consciousness.

Carolyn Shelby (@cshel) watched the stream and told me someone had turned in a cell phone. I had hope. Was it my phone?

Sure enough!

The person who found the phone saw the Twitter stream on the “Wall” and then knew the phone belonged to someone at PubCon.

She turned it into PubCon’s staff. The lost-and-found cell phone was returned the next morning.

Cell Phone Found & Delivered due to Twitter

Twitter found my cell phone. Amanda Leequinn returns it.

Thank you, Twitter! Twitter, that organic life-encriching and friendship-building communication platform, took on a life of its own.

Twitter was the most efficient Lost & Found service imaginable.

Follow the #PubCon Hashtag

#PubCon 2010 will be the hashtag stream to watch for search and social marketing nuggets the week of November 8.

Tune in your favorite Twtter search tool to find real-time news. Follow the #PubCon hashtag to be found, to find someone, and to discover golden nuggets of search marketing insight, or to utilize the power of crowdsourcing should you happen to lose your cell phone:

P.S. I’ll be tweeting at PubCon 2010 under my personal account @lookadoo and under @YoYoSEO. Please shout out a Yo!

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