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There are a lot of reasons for throwing a hackathon, and what value you get out of a hackathon will vary depending on who you are.

As I explore the hackathon phenomenom in 2012, I’m trying to track on what value hackathon organizers, API owners, mobile platforms, developers and other participants get out of hackathons.

I will be tracking on the different reasons people attend hackathons throughout the year, and share my findings, but here in January I know one thing for sure--hackthons are a marketing vehicle. Whether you are the hackathon organizer, an API provider or developer you are depending on the event to market your organization, business, API or talent and skills as a developer.

In future posts I will write, more about the marketing effect of hackathons, but I wanted to talk about a common mistake I’m seeing from hacakthon organizers--no Twitter hashtag for the event.

A Twitter hashtag is probably the most important marketing element of your hackathon. It should be everywhere, on your site, print materials, slides...everywhere. A hackathon organizer should be tweeting out every aspect of the event with the hashtag, before, during and after the event.

The hashtag will enable sponsors and other participating businesses to market themselves around the event. It will also allow hackathon developers to showcase their ideas, skills and applications.

While researching hackathons I have to spend a lot of time tracking down the event hashtag, and many times I have to ask an event organizer to provide it, and often there isn’t even one.

If your organizing an hackathon, make sure and establish a unique Twitter hashtag for event right away, and use it everywhere, everyone involved will benefit, and your event will be much more successful.




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