HootSuite’s Dave Olson draws a crowd of newspaper editors in New Orleans
by Charlie Smith on July 21st, 2011
At a convention in New Orleans, Dave Olson talked about hashtags, including those used by supporters of the Egyptian revolution.
Sometimes, you have to make it big elsewhere before you start getting noticed in your hometown.
That’s what Dave Olson, community marketing director for Vancouver-based HootSuite, said with a smile when I ran into him today in New Orleans.
He was there to give a presentation on social media at the annual convention of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Several in the room were newspaper editors.
He told the audience that it took two years before HootSuite had one million people signed up to its social-media-dashboard service. The next million signed up in seven months.
HootSuite, a privately owned company based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, attracted global attention during the Egyptian uprising when then-dictator Hosni Mubarak blocked Twitter and Facebook.
Rebels were still able to get messages out through HootSuite. This prompted Olson to remark that for 36 glorious hours, his company became the voice of the revolution. He quickly mentioned that it also became the voice of the counterrevolution.
The company has also attracted celebrity users, including President Barack Obama, Oprah, and Martha Stewart, according to Olson.
“Christiane Amanpour live-tweeted through HootSuite,” he stated.
After his company created an infographic, the Voice of America called and asked if it could be translated into Farsi.
That was followed by calls from the U.S. State Department andNational Geographic.
He said the greatest number of tweets per second came when Japan won the Women’s World Cup. Ranking number two was the massive Japanese earthquake earlier this year.
“Japan is our number two market,” Olson noted. Referring to his company’s mascot, he added: “Some of it is attributable to the fact that we have a really cute owl.”
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.