(WXYZ) - You’ve heard it mentioned in our newscasts. Maybe you’ve even seen it in a post on Twitter. So what is the #backchannel?
First off, you’ll want to understand what a “hashtag” is. Maybe we should clarify what Twitter is, too.
Twitter is a social networking site that allows users to share short updates. Those might be news headlines and links or opinions and ideas.
A hashtag is a word or phrase that’s preceded by a # sign (like #backchannel). All updates that have a matching hashtag will be compiled in a searchable list. So whenever users send out a tweet with #backchannel, it will be added to a list of tweets that also include #backchannel.
Created by Action News anchor, Stephen Clark , the backchannel has become a way for viewers to interact with the Action News team before, during, and after the newscasts.
But it’s more than just a conversation, it’s become a community. Viewers are using the backchannel to tell us, and each other, what’s going on in the Metro Detroit area. Sometimes it’s a tip about breaking news or an update about a viewer’s icy commute. Other times it's just a place to share jokes or opinions.
MDOT has even used the #backchannel hashtag as a way of sharing construction updates with Metro Detroit. It’s just another way of sharing news and information the moment it happens.
What started off as a handful of viewers tweeting back and forth, continues to grow by the day. The next time you’re on Twitter, we hope you’ll use the #backchannel hashtag and join the conversation.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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