For my circulation project, I attempted to create and implement a hashtag to begin community discussion around food security issues in Pittsburgh. I chose to approach this by tacking up bold, plain text signs with facts about food insecurity and the city of Pittsburgh, with a hashtag at the bottom of the page. I was hoping I could track the tag on Twitter or Instagram.
I’ll be upfront in saying I didn’t track a single post. Thinking back on it, I think there were a few issues that compiled to hinder the success of the project.
I think the first issue was location. I placed my flyers in places heavily populated by other flyers— outside the Union, the law building, Posvar. I think having such plain flyers in a sea of brightly colored, highly stylized flyers made them difficult to see and notice. If the flyers had been in a less populated area, and placed next to each other, I think their message would have been more effective than spread out across a bright flyer background.
Another aspect that could have been improved was the information to connect posts. I don’t think just the hashtag was enough- I think linking my twitter would have been a good idea as well. I also think my internet presence could have been bigger— making more posts under the hashtag to be the genesis of the project, so if folks checked the hashtag, there would be something there to see.
Were I to reimagine this project, I would have started assembling information under the #pittsburghfoodsecurity hashtag earlier. I also would have placed flyers in places of higher traffic that wee a larger demographic than just college students— on busses, public restrooms, etc. I think community communication and engagement with food issues would result in a much stronger base to begin to understand and help combat food issues, and begin to eliminate food security in Pittsburgh. Strong, sustainable solutions are community driven— for the community, by the community, from the community. What better way to begin building a community than through social media?