It’s been a decade since Dougie Baird officially started the Twitter chat #ScotlandHour, in October 2011. He had this to say about those early days,
I used to have a general Scotland hour hashtag. I would pick an hour and put up pics and tweets about Scotland. Got a good response. Lots of tourism folk liked it. Lots of ex visitors and future tourists used it for questions. Arrive as a tourist and leave as a friend, was my motto. After a while — Fiona, Mark, Aileen, Lesley, Susan, and I met up at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and decided to make #ScotlandHour the last Wednesday in the month with structured questions and a chosen subject.
The rest, as the cliché goes, is history. And we’re still going strong! With current team members: Colin, Fiona, Kirsten and Mark. And we don’t have plans to stop hosting #ScotlandHour. If anything we learned in 2020 that our community needed the chat as a way to support one another and lift one another up during the hardest of times for tourism. We’re grateful to all who place their trust in us to be a safe place to gather.
But we did want to pause from our monthly topics to gather together and celebrate all that the chat supporting Scottish tourism has been, and all it could be in the future as well! We have so many thoughts on that. And we bet you do too. Aye this’ll be the time to share ’em.
SO, JOIN US ON THE 27TH OCTOBER 9 PM TO 10 PM SCOTLAND-TIME. WE’LL BE celebrating and TWEETING IN ANSWER OF THESE QUESTIONS:
9:00 pm – Q1. Do you remember when you first joined a #ScotlandHour? Or how long have you been participating in #ScotlandHour?
9:10 pm – Q2. What’s been your favorite theme for a #ScotlandHour chat?
9:20 pm – Q3. Why do you love #ScotlandHour? What’s makes it special and perhaps different from other chats?
9:30 pm – Q4. Why do you think #ScotlandHour has lasted this long? And what do you think is next for #ScotlandHour? Any ideas?
9:40 pm – Q5. Is there anything you think we haven’t covered before on #ScotlandHour?
9:50 pm – Q6. And finally, share your favorite Scotland photos for this special anniversary #ScotlandHour!
Don’t forget to start your tweet with A1, A2, and so forth, so everyone can know what question you’re answering. And don’t forget to include the hashtag #ScotlandHour in your tweet of course.
We also wanted to pause and reflect on what the chat, and being part of it, means to us.
Thoughts from our current team members as we celebrate this anniversary
I’ve loved being part of it can’t believe it’s ten years ago. Though that day at the Parliament seems a life time ago. Just before Covid it felt that maybe these hours had their day. But felt Covid the tourism industry needed the hope and we tried to provide that and now it feels stronger than ever. I love Scotland and promoting it and I’m really proud to be part of this.
I wasn’t there for the very first chat but I was at an early #ScotlandHour during the first ever Blogmanay in Edinburgh. It was immediately something I wanted to be involved in again. The energy! Nearly 9 years later, it’s incredible to be part of the team officially and able to say it’s my job to help support and encourage Scottish Tourism through the chat. It may be a volunteer job, but it’s no less an honor and privilege.
It’s been great being part of the team for the last few years. Each and every one of the team and those taking part each month do so much to promote Scotland. It’s been a tough 18 months, but what an achievement to now reach 10 years. Good times are around the corner again – come visit, explore and enjoy!
I’m delighted to have been involved with Scotlandhour since we started promoting tourism in our wonderful country back in 2011. It’s equally great to get recognised for our work by Parliament as well as in tweets from someone joining in an hour. We’re all looking forward to more tweets and chats about tourism in Scotland and hope everyone continues to enjoy it too.
From past team members
Working with the #ScolandHour team to build the global online community of people passionate about Scotland has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my time on @Twitter. It really has been social media for good.
The chat is a wonderful way to connect with so many passionate individuals and businesses from all over the country and world, who are keen to promote Scottish Tourism. Being part of #Scotlandhour is a privilege. We are a unique platform which values the views from everyone. The world of social media is evolving and with so many channels, it is so hard to keep up. But I still think that there is a role for twitter and twitter chats like Scotland hour. Specially because over 99% of businesses in Scotland are SMEs without big budgets for advertising and Scotland hour unlocks the potential of all these little guys who are part of the tourism and hospitality landscape by exposing them via the twitter chat.
#Scotlandhour opened the door to exploring my cultural heritage and introduced me to many Scots whom I later met and befriended on my travels to Scotland. Being the first international #Scotlandhour team member was a great honour I’ll always cherish.
So on 27th October, have a dram o’ whisky at the ready. Or perhaps you prefer a Scottish beer or gin. However you celebrate, celebrate with us this month.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being part of our community!
the Scotland Hour Team