It has not been that long since returning from Frisian Twitter Day in Leeuwarden where the West Frisian language was trending for over 7 hours across the Netherlands, made over 4 million account impressions, and where over 6,500 tweets were sent out in the lnguage at a rate of about 4 tweets per minute. The national radio, channels one and two, reported the story and the local Frisian language television broadcaster and local newspaper reported the story too. Large national businesses, famous Frisian sport stars, singers and celebrities took part as well. A well respected Amsterdam based national museum of history and art and large national businesses took a moment to send out a Tweet which got a lot of chins wagging, and further raising the profile of the language. All of this happened on the third #FryskeTwitterDei last Thursday.
Next Thursday, 1st May 2014, will see the first Scottish Gaelic Twitter Day. It would be unrealistic to expect the same level of success as experienced in Frisia, however the knowledge gained from the field trip has suggested we can be confident in setting a good foundation to built on over the next year. Moreover, the quality and standard of the event can be just as high as that witnessed last week.
There has been a rise over the months and years of people using Twitter and hash tags, and there has been an increase in the number of people writing their Tweets in Gaelic too. According to Indigenous Tweets, there are currently around 120-150 Tweets sent out per week sent out using Scottish Gaelic. The number of people tweeting in Gaelic has increased by 800% since 2009 as well.
More recently, in the last three Thursdays of April, there have been 26 original Tweets using the #Gàidhlig hashtag, and the average number of Tweets including Retweets is 34! These have created an average of 28,644 timeline impressions. Therefore, although the project has the overall aim to trend on Twitter, the following objectives are looking to be met as a measure to gage success of the event:
- More than treble the average number of original tweets using the #Gàidhlig hashtag (+27 tweets)
- More than treble the average timeline impressions (+100,000)
- Aim for a velocity of at least 1 Tweet per minutes on Twitter Day
- Help to keep conversations flowing (and ensuring the #Gàidhlig hashtag is being used in Tweets)
- Attract new engagement from organisations and people
In a radio interview that was broadcast on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal’s Aithris na Maidne last Tuesday where there was an opportunity to explain some more about the forthcoming Twitter Day only some of the contributors were mentioned. It is anticipated that a diverse range of information, activities and surprises will be tweeted during Gaelic Twitter Day from at least a dozen known contributors. A key message in the interview was that social media like Twitter was an important media to bride the generation gap between young and old and that in Friesland, the newspapers reported that Frisians who were tweeting in their local tongue were having a positive contribution to language revitalisation.
For people and organisations that have yet to decide on how to engage in Gaelic Twitter Day, last week’s experience working on Frisian Twitter Day demonstrated that a Tweet of support, perhaps with an image or link attached, was an effective way to participate.
In the meantime, keep an eye on the #Gàidhlig hashtag, and remember when you’re tweeting in Gàelic, to add the #Gàidhlig hashtag!