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Faversham can have its hour!

#Favershamhour: harnessing the town’s energy each Wednesday evening from 7.30pm

Twitter can be (and often is) a wonderfully positive platform; an opportunity for people to share their enthusiasm, their passion and their commitment to ideas, projects, to people and to their community.

It was with this concept in mind that I set up a dedicated #Favershamhour on Twitter earlier this year, in order to start
capturing some of this positivity, and to link the various communities in and around Faversham, to get them talking to one another. Faversham has a wonderfully thriving series of communities: retail industries (with a particularly vibrant collection of independent shops), artists, heritage, pubs and restaurants – and it’s pleasing to see many on Twitter. There are several
local Twitter pages promoting aspects of Faversham – its market, the ‘Best Of’ – but there’s always the danger that these can be isolated promotional platforms, and when many are clamouring for consideration, it’s very easy not to pay
attention to any of them and to become immune to so many shouting for your attention.

Twitter is, of course, a social media platform, with the emphasis very much on ‘social.’ For me, it works best when it allows you to engage in dialogue and debate, to exchange ideas, to involve people in discussion. The forthcoming May election; Faversham’s double-yellow lines; the possibility of another branch of Costa opening at 12 Market Place;Twitter is alive with debate raging back and forth about the suitability of prospective Parliamentary candidates, of drives to support the creek, and the relative merits of coffee and croissants. The town is switched on and engaged; we just need to harness that engagement. Other tweet-ups such as #createinkent and #kenthour show that this can work very well, and it struck me that we needed one dedicated to Faversham in particular.

Which is where #Favershamhour comes in. Each Wednesday at 7.30pm, you can join in the dialogue (either by including the hashtag #Favershamhour in your tweets, or by following @hernhillforum), and take part for as long or as short a time during the hour as you wish. Local businesses are using it to promote their products; others are using it to engage in political debate and social concerns; some are sharing forthcoming events and festivals, in particular the Hat Festival next month and the Magna Carta weekend in June.

The aim is to widen participation in the tweet-up, to get people and businesses talking and working together, to share both enthusiasm for and concerns over the things that matter to the local community – the fact that debate is taking place shows that there are people to whom these things are important.

So drop in to #Favershamhour at 7.30pm on a Wednesday evening; let us know what’s important to you, from handbags to hardback books, from Creekside preservation to croissants, politics to panini; champion your campaign, tell us what’s coming up, and share your enthusiasm for the Market Town of Kings.

Tom O’Bedlam
Committed to Faversham’s vibrant heritage and communities, Tom has lived and worked in Kent since 2008, and is fervent in the desire to forge community links to promote and support Faversham’s rich cultural heritage and to developing its self-belief. He blogs at http://hernhillforum.wordpress.com  and runs #Favershamhour from @hernhillforum.



Lucy Guthrie



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