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I've frequently been asked about Western's Twitter account and about the hashtag we use to mark posts as The University of Western Ontario.
Currently, there are two prevailing hashtags. Many people use #uwo to denote Western while we officially endorse and encourage #westernu.
I understand why #uwo is popular and seems like a logical choice for a hashtag. It's short and therefore easy to type, especially on a smartphone but I thought I'd take a few minutes to explain the reason why we use #westernu and feel it's the way to go.
Except for USC election time, only about 35% of the tweets that use the #uwo hastag reflect Western at all. Even if the tweet looks legit, it's often difficult to tell. If someone posts: "Where is the best place on campus to buy Skittles?" there is no way to tell if they're referring to Western or Oshkosh without looking at their profile. Even then, if the user hasn't filled in their profile (or at least their location), there is no way to know and possibly get them help.
So that's the long answer as to why Western officially uses the #westernu hashtag instead of the #uwo one. We certainly watch for tweets that use either hashtag, but it's easier for us to respond and see what great things are going on in the community if people use #westernu (and/or update their profile to reflect who or where they are).
We have no intention on asking people to change their Twitter habits, we just thought we'd share. Your thoughts are welcome and encouraged.
PS: according to google translate, uwo a Malaysian word. Can anyone confirm this? I'd love to know what it means!
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Department of Communications and Public Affairs
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