Thanks for your feedback. Its kind of you to jump in a catalyze a discussion. Actually, a primary focus of our mission is about data and reporting. The concept started as the Post and Sun pulled their staff out of the county and the Flier kept shrinking on our doorstep. We kept saying "We're a community of 300,000, someone should be doing this better." As we found ourselves continuing to complain about it, we realized that we were in a unique position to offer a new approach. After 15 years in the media business with Pixel Workshop, we already had the video, audio, and computer equipment required to offer broadcast-quality and broadcast-style journalism for HoCo. As active, connected members of the community we already had access to stories and newsmakers without having to start from scratch.
As we started to explore different approaches to the web development, we found the Ning platform and thought that using it would provide additional services to the community like the calendar and forums. So we've built the container and are starting to fill it with content. Over the summer, (during this open beta period) we're exploring how we want to cover different kinds of stories and working through the trial and error of content creation under the hectic time constraints required for a reliable news site.
Some of the programming ideas we're exploring include: a "Sunday morning talk show style" weekly community issues program, a one-one-one interview program (perhaps with a live audience), a man-on-the-street community issues program, and a variety of personality-driven radio-style programs. Non-programming ideas we're exploring include having weekly happy-hour gatherings for community discussions of a different pre-determined issue each week, co-hosting a local TED conference, and Geocacheing contests around the county, just to name a few.
In terms of hashtag, as you know we're using #HoCoMoJo for news-related Tweets, along with your brainchild the #HoCo for social Tweets. Honestly, I didn't think of creating a # for the twentyfivefortyfive after party, but I'm not sure a cocktail party is meaty enough to need its own #. It seems to me that for the number of people Tweeting in HoCo at the moment, the #HoCoMoJo and #HoCo tag seem to be sufficient, and people are starting to contribute and use the hocomojo hash tag. While we're getting started it doesn't seem wise to dilute and potentially confuse people by adding a bunch of arbitrary tags. This will surely evolve, of course.
I like the idea in concept, but the thing about hashtags (and this my be because I'm overly verbose) is that they can take up an pretty big % of your 140 characters. #HoCoMoJo adds 10 character to any Tweet. So I think the trick is in coding them so people can remember but making them short enough to not interfere with a complete thought.