Monday, May 13, 2013

#confessionsofhashtagvirgin @skfashionweek #skfwk

#lauriebrown #saskatoon #unbelievable #alwayschanging
@skfashionweek #skfwk 

From the moment it began it never really stopped.In fact, it is still happening.  Everyone is talking about the second annual Saskatchewan Fashion Week that took place from May 9 - 11, 2013. 

Sitting from my front row seat at SFW with my peers in the media business, we were poised and ready, with two smart phones, a notepad and a pen. From the first moment, the cell phones came out and the story of Saskatchewan Fashion Week began to be told in a language of imagery, @s (at) and #s (hash tag), being uploaded to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The show this year was described by many people as having reached a whole new level, which is quite amazing considering last year set a very high bar.

Last year I was there to see Saskatchewan take its first steps into the fashion show industry.  In fact, our entire family attended to watch our daughter present her line.  Admittedly I was blown away as would be any mother  watching my daughter's creativity and vision manifest itself on the runway. For mother's, first steps are the best steps.

This year, I am bursting at the seams with excitement as I see the beginning of a this new future unfold and the optimism that it embodies. I could not help but be impressed beyond measure as I watched each creation grace the runway, telling their own stories of vision, creativity and determination to be seen in the fashion industry.

It's exciting. A high fashion social media extravaganza is on fire,inspired by our passion and enthusiasm. We are excited about creating a new industry that will not only engage writers, designers, photographers, models, event planners, set builders, accountants, marketers, and retailers but will also create a place to be seen in the industry beyond Saskatchewan.

As this story is being told in hash tags on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, I have become mesmerized by the imagery and the hash tag language that spreads this story like a prairie wild fire on a hot summer day.

I am still absorbing the myriad of images that continue to be shared across social media channels, each time seeing a different aspect of the stories.

In the summer SKY, we will tell the story of this experience, which will be distributed to 32,000 households in Regina and Saskatoon. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, please feel free to visit the SKY Magazine Instagram page.


Hashtags are mostly used as unmoderated ad-hoc discussion forums; any combination of characters led by a hash sign is a hashtag, and any hashtag, if promoted by enough individuals, can "trend" and attract more individual users to discussion using the hashtag.

On Twitter, when a hashtag becomes extremely popular, it will appear in the "Trending Topics" area of a user's homepage. The trending topics can be organized by geographic area or by all of Twitter.

Hashtags are neither registered nor controlled by any one user or group of users, and neither can they be "retired" from public usage, meaning that hashtags can be used in theoretical perpetuity depending upon the longevity of the word or set of characters in a written language. They also do not contain any set definitions, meaning that a single hashtag can be used for any number of purposes as espoused by those who make use of them.

Because of their loose nature, hashtags often become more recognized as associated with particular topics of discussion based upon a more specific spelling of the hashtag (e.g., "#cake" as opposed to "#thecakeisalie") that will be differentiated from a more general spelling. However, this can also make it difficult for topics to become "trending topics" because people often use different spelling or words to refer to the same topic. In order for topics to trend, there has to be a consensus, whether silent or stated, that the hashtag refers to that specific topic.

Hashtags also function as beacons in order for users to find and "follow" (subscribe) or "list" (organize into public contact lists) other users of similar interest.
 Hashtags can be used on the social network Instagram, by posting pictures and hashtagging it with its subject. As an example, a photo of you and a friend posted to the social network can be hashtagged #bffl or #friends.

Hashtags are also used informally to express context around a given message, with no intent to actually categorize the message for later searching, sharing, or other reasons. This can help express humor, excitement, sadness or other contextual cues, for example, "Just found out my mom is my health teacher. #awkward" or "It's Monday!! #excited #sarcasm". 

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- Lynn Armstrong, Publisher