#HeyBangor, did you know you have your own hashtag?

“It is sort of a silly story,” Diana Godin wrote to me in an email recently. Diana moved here from the Midwest in 2004. She started blogging when “the Internet was much smaller, and it felt like you could be friends with everyone.”

When she started using Twitter, she treated the social media site like any other place on the Internet: as a place where she could make friends. It was on Twitter that she discovered a small group of people in her new home of Bangor.

“It became a place for me to introduce myself to the new city I work in and now call my home,” Diana wrote to me.

Twitter is a useful little social media site, which allows its users to type up “tweets” of 140 characters or fewer. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic. Diana explained how her creation, the #HeyBangor hashtag, came to be.

“I use ‘hey’ far too much in conversation, if you ask my grandmother,” Diana told me. “I don’t remember the first tweet that I used it in, but the second one (to immediately follow) was along the lines of, “Oh, and if #heyBangor isn’t a thing, it should be. I demand it.”

So that’s how it all began. The first #HeyBangor tweet was sent September 7, 2012, at 9:01 p.m. by Diana and read: “#HeyBangor is that fireworks or thunder?”

Diana said it came about organically, “because I both 1) am rude when I’m trying to be funny and 2) use Twitter as my personal voice, especially when I’m trying to find something out (like ‘#heyBangor, where’s a girl going to find a good cheeseburger?’ and ‘#heyBangor did anybody else hear that?’).”

#HeyBangor is now a useful tool on Twitter. The hashtag has quite a group of users, including the City of Bangor. Diana didn’t seem surprised that it had taken on such a following.

“Like everything else on Twitter that’s changed in the last 10 years, it became its own thing, but that was all I ever wanted to use it for,” Diana said.

I related to Diana a lot. I took to Twitter as a journalist and was looking for a way to connect with Bangor residents. This hashtag did the trick. I’ve made a lot of connections simply from Twitter, and even found Diana by tweeting, “#HeyBangor, who came up with this hashtag, anyway? I’d like to talk with them for a blog post!” The hashtag attracted the attention of various Twitter users, who pointed me to @dianarchy, a.k.a Diana Godin.

She finished off our email exchange with something that was nice to hear and was certainly indicative of a true Mainer at heart — even if she came from the Midwest:

“Welcome to Bangor,” she said.

Shelby Hartin

About Shelby Hartin

Shelby Hartin was born and raised in southern Aroostook County in a tiny town called Crystal, population 269. After graduating from the University of Maine in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism, she relocated to Bangor. She now works at the Bangor Daily News as a customer service representative slash features reporter and is making a new home for herself by discovering what Bangor has to offer. Every week she will do something new and blog about it. It might be attending an art exhibit or checking out a new restaurant. It might be visiting a local museum or going on a tour offered in the area. She’s going to find things that people settling into their home of greater Bangor might enjoy — and she wants your help.