Last year, Stephanie Philbrick, Dr Samantha Thomas and I had a conversation that turned into Xmas at Home (I blogged about it here). It was a campaign that asked people to contribute to a hashtag that sought to offer company and companionship to those at home on Christmas Day – one of the loneliest times of the year for many people.
The success of last year’s campaign saw people connect in a variety of ways – tweeting comedy, music, pictures of pets – as well as spark conversations about things in common. The hashtag #xmasathome was what bound it together – that way, people discovered others on Twitter that normally they wouldn’t meet in their usual day to day life. That stories about it reached news outlets was a good thing – if only to make people aware of the campaign, even if it was after the fact.
One of the difficulties of Twitter is that hashtags and campaigns disappear as soon as they appear. I do hope, however, that people remember the publicity from last year and that we can this year’s #xmasathome as successful at last year’s, in terms of helping people find connections at a time where a lack of family connection is felt at its most acute level. It would a nice way to help close out the year – confirming that Twitter isn’t necessarily just the home of ranting, complaining and trolling. It can be used to reach out as well.