#winewednesday – Question: Who “Owns” a twitter hashtag?


The story is quite simple:
Shortly after the birth of #traveltuesday (read my post here), Eric aka @TwSommelier had the great idea to launch #winewednesday on Twitter and today we have the second #winewednesday.

A great idea indeed, but, but, but: To my view that doesn’t mean that TweSommelier “owns” the hashtag neither does he “own” the discussion. I believe the following:

  1. The tweets are “owned” by the respective twitterati
  2. Without the participants there is no #winewednesday
  3. This good initiative should have a more solid foundation than one mere Twitter Account holder, no matter who the account holds.

The reason for this post is twofold:
Last week, shortly after the first #winewednesday, I asked TweSomelier who would recap the #winewednesday event and I meant that on a weekly basis. His answer was that he had just recapped it in a couple of tweets. Now my problem is that whenever he decides to terminate his twitter account, all participants stand to loose a great experience. So my suggestion is to give #winewednesday a more permanent basis than one based merely on a Twitter account. I’m sure there are more participants out there who are willing to participate in a more permanent form.

Then I hit upon Twibes and created there Twibes/WineWednesday. As soon as TweSommelier noticed, he asked me to hand over that Twibe to him as the founder of #winewednesday. At this moment Twibes is in Beta and it is far from clear whether it will have any value at all eventually. Today it doesn’t have a lot of value as the tweets only are one page long and do not go back in history. Twibes is clear about the Twibe owner: The one who first tweets a group is the group “owner”. Twibes doesn’t provide (yet) for handing over a group. Should I hand the twibe over to TweSommelier? For the moment I’m not prepared to “hand it over” (apart from the fact that that would mean striking the Twibe and ask TweSommelier to re establish the Twibe), because I dare TweSommelier to give the whole #winewednesday movement a bit more permanent basis. Maybe I’m on a wrong track. So I’m asking my readers:

What do you think we should do?

  1. create a community Winewednesday blog?
  2. Create a Wine Wednesday Ning community?
  3. Leave it as it is? or
  4. Other suggestions?

19 thoughts on “#winewednesday – Question: Who “Owns” a twitter hashtag?”

  1. I agree with you that no one should ‘own’ a hashtag. Nor should there be an ‘owner’ for Twibes (unfortunately, Twibe isn’t set up that way). An ‘initiator’ of a hashtag or a Twibe, yes, but that doesn’t mean one ‘owns’ them. Both are communities that bind people with a common passion and hence are open to all and we should all be responsible for pulling each other along and making our individual contributions to make the community a success.
    I think it’s a great idea to set up a separate winewednesday blog where we can all share our wine tips and ideas. But the question is: who will ‘own’ it? 🙂

  2. Dear Guido,

    Firstly let me thank you for approaching this sensitive topic with your usual tact, charm & grace ;o).
    I applaud your suggestion to create a Wine Wednesday Ning Community as this will spread it truly Global, beyond the Twitterverse! It will also be a more succinct way perhaps to cull the best of the tweets from each week, which we could take in turns to do, rather than lump the administration on just one person.

    I feel that, as there are so many of us interested in tweeting about wine, working in the wine industry & studying wine that, at the very least, we should pool the vast knowledge base available to us & support the community. Lets get creative, especially during the present economic downturn!

    Kind regards
    Beverley aka @FleurB @FleurWine

  3. I’ve been following this event from the beginning and contributed to it for a great deal by spreading the message in Italian, Dutch and German so that as many Twitterari as possible could follow up. Driving by enthousiasm last week I spent quite some Twitterminutes on it. As a thank you for contributing to and putting effort in the ‘official’ #winewednesday I received a socalled ‘shoutout’ by TweSommelier who claims to have started the event by retweeting hisself and his first tweet about it.
    As I liked the pure idea of spreading the wine message I have contacted him to coordinate this event silently from the background, silently but throughout all continents. Unfortunately the self-elected owner of the event was not interested in more support after I expressed my idea to stay on the background and let it unfold itself.
    Now, am I missing the point here? I thought I witnessed the creation of a new movement on the internet. Which as a wineman I would warmly welcome (also on a wednesday). But as @happyhotelier said clearly above, any movement lives and dies by it’s followers.
    Considering this and the tweets coming in in these very moments I think that the only hashtag that at this point is still pure and spontaneous is the #wine tag as also the #ttl tag has commercial interests. I also believe this is quite a non-discussion and that if it continues any longer it will mean an early death of #winewednesday which I repeat had to be a spontaneous event with the intention to bring the winecommunity on Twitter together and share thoughts and more. Just as @happyhotelier @cunovanthoff and myself started the first dutch wine tweetup and we are not arguying on who started it, yet 😉

  4. You know if I read this post about 8 months ago, i would say it’s not yours. However, after having some bad luck with partners and seeing how people want to claim what is theirs when you’ve invested the time to do a lot of the work, regardless if they came up with the idea, I definitely think you are the owner, since you cared enough about it in the first place. and it’s your right to fight for it!
    The Travel Expert(a) – Living and Traveling Central America

  5. I’ve given a lot of thought to whether I should say something about the lengthy rant on Twitter today about this ‘ownership’ issue and who did what. I feel that I, as someone who felt inspired by the #winewednesday movement, should say something. I’m sorry for the fact that it’s come down to this: an old-fashion brawl about a topic that means something special to others. Really, it’s a good discussion to have, but one that could’ve been conducted right here instead of under the millions of eyes in the Twitterverse. That rant today, I’m sorry to say, was embarrassing and certainly didn’t do the #winewednesday event any good. There were many #winewednesday fans (including myself) who felt bad about it but felt it wiser to refrain from any comments that might worsen the situation. I enjoy a good public discussion but when it starts to get to a more personal level, I strongly feel that the discussion should be taken out of the mainstream public domain.
    Anyway, I’ve said my piece. The thing that unites us is our passion for wines. We should focus on that and spread the joy of what it feels like to smell the bouquet of and sip on an absolutely divine glass of wine.

    ps/ Sipping on a Linden Estate Chardonnay right this minute. Its glorious bouquet and vanilla/oaky tones tell me that peace will be made and that next Wednesday’s #winewednesday event will be magnificent!

  6. You my dear Guido are a diplomat extraordinaire. Hopefully TweSommelier will read what you have written and the comments which follow and agree that no one person or account owns a hashtag and the success of the event was and wll continue to be dependent on the enthusiasm and efforts of the participants. Anyone who participated can do a “re-cap”. What is the difference if there are several “re-caps” Like friends chatting amongst themselves and with others about their day. No need for the group to have one spokesperson.
    Sometimes pettiness is best ignored. Just keep on doing what you are doing. Make love not war. Cooperation not competition. Abundance not scarcity.
    Peace and much love…and wine.

  7. Great comment, Guido. Our feeling is the hashtags, unless attributed to a specific organization, like #tbex, are open to the Twitter community. We participate in a number of hashtag days, #followfriday, #traveltuesday, #woofwednesday among others and we don’t think about who created the hashtag as everyone participates. As to creating a Wine Wednesday Ning community, our feeling is there already enough ning wine communities already, many of which are already linked so we don’t see the need for yet another to belong to. We would recommend wine folks join one of the existing communities and participate in the events already underway. As Beverly said, we appreciate you bringing your usual tact, grace and charm to the discussion. Thanks!

  8. @All: After the post I had a lot to do in my Hotel so I left the discussion a while for what it was. When I returned I really was surprised. I decided to let it rest – also yesterday when I was very busy with very dear guests and other matters of much more importance.

    @TweSommelier you deemed it appropriate not write a comment here, but to rant on Twitter in answer to my post.

    1. @HappyHotelier For the benefit of the #winewednesday event and followers I would hope you want to keep it fun and enjoyable for everyone. (see Tweet)
    2. @HappyHotelier .But I do need to respond to your post. First off, I don’t lay claim to owning #winewednesday or the hash tag. (see Tweet)
    3. @HappyHotelier In your posting you state that I’ve said it’s mine to control. However, read my post from the 17th. https://mobile.twitter.com/TweSommelier/statuses/1543826064” (see Twee)
    4. @HappyHotelier Your post came out today my post was sent on April 17th . . .so what am I missing here? (seet Tweet)
    5. @HappyHotelier As for the Twibe account I believe I asked you respectfully as the Twitter #winewednesday founder if you would transfer it.( see Tweet)
    6. @HappyHotelier I also stated if you had created #hotelsunday and I then created a Twibe called HotelSunday. I’d transfer it. #winewednesday. (see Tweet)
    7. @HappyHotelier In any case, I know that you know where I stand in principle, and that I’ve repeatedly thanked you helping. #winewednesday (see Tweet)
    8. And then, all of a sudden, he overplays his hand as we use to say in Bridge:

    9. @HappyHotelier It’s a real shame that you’ve tried to present me and my character in a negative light for personal gain. #winewednesday.(see Tweet)
    10. @HappyHotelier The Twitter wine community deserves more than this kind of slander. The #winewednesday event I created was for them not you.(see Tweet)
    11. @HappyHotelier You said today I claim ownership of #winewednesday. Read my post on the 17th. – https://mobile.twitter.com/TweSommelier/statuses/1543826064 #winewednesday (See Tweet)
    12. @HappyHotelier Please don’t try and ruin this great new weekly wine tradition on Twitter. #winewednesday.(See Tweet)

    He posted much more. Therefore it is easier to see and to follow if you use Twitter Search TweSommelier, but these are his direct answers to me.

    I could have given the following answers in Twitter’s #winewednesday chatbox If I really would have wanted to ruin it:
    @TweSommelier : Unfortunately, before you tweeted this, I had a high esteem for you #winewednesday

    @TweSommelier :This is a bit the form how the discussion could have gone on on Twitter if I really would have liked to ruin #winewednesday

    @TweSommelier : Why on earth did I waste my time posting this question about hashtag “ownership” #winewednesday?

    @TweSommelier : Because I liked the concept of #winewednesday an supported it with the first official post and many more posts, as you know and saw and acknowledged several times.

    @TweSommelier : and because I got distracted by the fact that you kept tweeting: “I’m the founder of #winewednesday”.

    @TweSommelier : and you even went so far as to use this as a “credit” in your Twitter Bio #winewednesday

    @TweSommelier : To my view a “Founder” found something or Founded something that he owns after he found or founded it, So you imply ownership in your tweets.

    @TweSommelier : In another Tweet you state #winewednesday is a gift from you to the followers. That also implies you “own” #winewednesday

    @TweSommelier : “How distracting” I thought “Let’s go on with the subject”. I like the concept. Don’t distract me with your uber self esteem. #winewednesday!

    @TweSommelier : I thought “This is probably due to a difference in style between the “Old World and the New World”, leave it HH”. #winewednesday.

    @TweSommelier : However, as soon you found out I “founded” a corresponding Twibe, actually to hand it over to you, you started begging (nearly bugging) me to “hand over the Twibe to you” via Twitter Direct Messages, because you claimed to be The Founder of #winewednesday.

    @TweSomelier : At the same time I got signals from several directions that you were “working” them in the background, via direct messages, to influence their opinion of me, #winewednesday

    @TweSomelier : Therefore I decided to devote a post to the subject. I changed venue from a Twitter discussion to a Blog discussion.

    @TweSomelier : However, you chose not to follow me and to answer via flamatory Tweets. #winewednesday

    @TweSommelier : I suggested to form a sort of organisation to make the #winewednesday movement even stronger

    @TweSommelier : but you choose not to answer to this positive suggestion.

    @TweSommelier : Moreover your “I’m the Founder” tweets attracted massive tweets from others who had previously used the term Wine Wednesday without the # tag and claim you “stole it” from them

    @TweSommelier : If you analyze #Winewednesday more in depth, you will see:

    @TweSommelier : there is a whole circle of Twitterati around those persons who you “stole” #winewednesday from that is taking tweet space, probably because you don’t acknowledge them and only pat yourself on the back.

    @TweSomelier : To me it seems you shot yourself in the foot by this totally unnecessary A)Self Promotion and B)Flaming on #winewednesday.

    @TweSomelier : Finally you disappointed me, because you promised to recap #winewednesday, which promise you didn’t keep.

    @TweSomelier : I would have gladly recapped it, but this discussion kep me from doing it.

    @TweSomelier : I rest my case. Thankfully the comments here are wiser than your unnecessary flame.

    @TweSomelier : But also because of this very wise Tweet of this Gentleman on #winewednesday:

    @mgnelson: @TweSommelier & @HappHotelier, Can we all just get along? I love #winewednesday and I want to participate. I don’t care who “owns” it.

    A lesson: “Always keep your composure” in Twitterquette learnt? I hope so! I also hope that I myself will be able not getting so distracted as I got here.

    Thanks @all

  9. My good man. I would like to take this opportunity to respond to your original blog post and comments you later posted. I simply want to state the facts, clear the air, and put this matter forever behind us.

    You opened your original post with the following statements.
    “The story is quite simple:
Shortly after the birth of #traveltuesday (read my post here), Eric aka @TweSommelier had the great idea to launch #winewednesday on Twitter.”

    That is it in a nutshell. I simply wanted to start a new weekly event on Twitter that the wine community could enjoy. I based it entirely off of the popular #followfriday event and named it #winewednesday to use the same convention.

    I’ve never claimed or desired ownership of the hashtag #winewednesday or the word phrase called Wine Wednesday. In fact, as I have tweeted previously, the term Wine Wednesday has been used for years by wineries, restaurants and event planners around the globe. Simply do a Google search on Wine Wednesday and you will see endless pages of results. All I did was create the Twitter version of #winewednesday no more no less.

    In your comments you said you asked me to recap the first #winewednesday and I said I would be happy to. You then asked me if I had a blog and I told you that I didn’t and that I only micro-blog on Twitter.

    So, I did recap the event on Twitter, as I do everything else, and you wrote the following “I asked TweSomelier if he would recap the #winewednesday event and I meant that on a weekly basis. His answer was that he had just recapped it in a couple of tweets. Now my problem is that whenever he decides to terminate his twitter account, all participants stand to loose a great experience. So my suggestion is to give #winewednesday a more permanent basis than one based merely on a Twitter account.”

    The question here Sir is this, am I at fault here, or is the problem you had with my actions. I did tell you that I only use Twitter correct? I did recap the first event, but it seems the real problem was more your own as you did not find my approach acceptable. This is supported by your comments “because I dare TweSommelier to give the whole #winewednesday movement a bit more permanent basis. But I may be an a wrong track.”

    When I started #winewednesday my goal was to have it grow and blossom on it’s own, similar to #followfriday. I can happily report that it continues to do so week after week with the help and support of all who participate including yourself. It was never something that I wanted to personally control or govern through some body of people. Your expectations and my expectations, as you can see were out of sorts, neither are wrong, but am I a bad person for having a different expectation than yours?

    You then wrote “Then I hit upon Twibes and created there Twibes/WineWednesday. As soon as TweSommelier noticed, he asked me to hand over that Twibe to him as the founder of #winewednesday.”

    I think that is a bit harsh Sir. As you know, I respectfully asked if you would do so in these three tweets below.

    – Thank you for reserving the WineWednesday Twibes account. I’d appreciate it if you would transfer to me as the Twitter event founder. 4:13 PM Apr 21st

    – I didn’t get the chance to go an create the account until today and then saw that you have reserved it.
    4:15 PM Apr 21st

    -When do you think we could do it? Thank you in advance.
    4:23 PM Apr 21st

    Your reponse back to me was “Twibes clearly says the person who founds the Twibe is the owner of the account”. You later wrote the following in your response to my public tweets. “@TweSommelier : However, as soon you found out I “founded” a corresponding Twibe, actually to hand it over to you, you started begging (nearly bugging) me to “hand over the Twibe to you” via Twitter Direct Messages, because you claimed to be The Founder of #winewednesday.”

    Now that is just a bit unfair don’t you think? I don’t believe your intentions were ever to hand the Twibe over to me and I don’t see where I begged for it as you indicated. I also don’t have to claim anything Sir. You have my original Twitter tweet posted as an image at the beginning of this blog posting and you yourself say under it that I had the great idea to launch #winewednesday.

    I also notice that you did not post in your response to my tweet anything about my final comments to you. Here is what I said. “If you had created #hotelsunday and I went and created a twibe called HotelSunday, I would have had the courtesy to transfer over to you out of principle”. You then wrote me back “I get your point, but I am not prepared to transfer the account at this time.” I then told you just to keep the account and I thanked you for all your help and support of #winewednesday. Shortly after this message exchange you posted this blog message “#winewednesday – Question: Who “Owns” a twitter hashtag?”

    Anyways, I just want to get along as the wise gentlemen stated. I simply had an idea one day to start this event on Twitter for the wine community actively engage in and enjoy on a weekly basis. I’m sorry that for the public debate that you and I have had and I would hope we can become friends and support the great good and the #winewednesday event moving forward.

    Thank you @TweSommelier

  10. @TweSomelier
    First of all: I’m neither “Sir” nor “Your Good Man”. I’m simply Happy Hotelier, HH or Guido.
    Secondly: I like to bury the discussion as well. I’ve other and more important things to do.
    Thirdly: At this moment I doubt we will ever become good friends as I am more inclined to be very direct and you have a way of avoiding my points: I’m still not amused by two of your wrongful tweets that I’ve put in bold in my prior comment. I’m also not amused by the fact that even before I had an opportunity to look at your comment, you started tweeting around that I had erased your comment. In this Blog comments simply need to be approved before they are published. Normal Blog policy in order to prevent spam or off topic comments.

    I suggest we close this discussion and try to live on peacefully on the mutual understanding that we Agree to Disagree!

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