Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#ScatteredFamily: An experimental Shimer hashtag

For much of the 20th century, official Shimer publications featured news from alumnae and alumni under the heading "Scattered Family" or "The Family Scattered." Here, for example, is a column from the inaugural issue of the Frances Shimer Quarterly in 1909, and here is one from the Shimer College Record of October 1958. More recently, of course, the column in the Symposium has generally gone by a more prosaic name, but it seems to me that this is one of those old forms that is worth reviving -- updated for our ever-more-scattered age.

So, as an experiment, I've started tagging tweets about the doings of Shimer alums with the hashtag #scatteredfamily. If you're on Twitter, please feel free to follow suit, whether for your own news or someone else's.

Of course, this is not an entirely noise-free channel; occasionally someone from outside the community will happen to use the tag for their own reasons. But from what I've seen so far, this doesn't appear to happen very often.