The Sun newspaper has followed the example of TV shows putting a Twitter hashtag up on screen to steer online discussion by adding hashtags to some of its print stories in the daily newspaper.
The Sun's editor David Dinsmore said the hope is to "make it easy for readers to share their opinions and continue the story online". He also said he hopes to create enough noise to draw in new readers.
At the time of writing, the above hashtag - #sportsfunding - is yet to yield a single tweet related to The Sun's story though it should be said it is still early days for the initiative.
However, it wouldn't be surprising if it does struggle to take off.
Certainly the reason TV programmes have found success in sparking debate and discussion online has far more to do with timing than with making a hashtag available. When audiences start tweeting and start looking to see what others are saying it is because they know they are becoming part of a shared experience which takes place during a very focused - often pretty short - time window where everybody experiences the same things, at the same time.
Tweets which use a programme's hashtag generally only appear in any significant number for the duration of the scheduled broadcast, or in the seconds and minutes following its conclusion. Those watching on catch-up are less likely to use the hasthag, or expect to see others using it while they are watching, because they know what conversation there may have been has gone quiet.
So although The Sun sells around two million newspapers per day, meaning a few thousand readers may be regular Twitter users, the likelihood that enough of them will be reading the same story at the same time and having a strong enough opinion to tweet about it in such a way that their words will reach other interested Twitter users within a small enough window of time to create some momentum around the hashtag is fairly small.
Unlike TV audiences, The Sun's two million readers, some just interested in sport, some just in showbiz, some just in news, don't all start reading from page one at the same time at the same speed. They don't reach the same parts of the paper at the same time. Unlike eight million people all sitting down to watch a programme such as the X Factor at 8pm on a Sunday The Sun's two million readers are spread, very thinly at times, throughout a 24 hour period albeit one with a peak across three or four hours in the morning. As such, creating a shared experience likely to generate significant levels of conversation on Twitter will prove a very difficult task.
For more on how Twitter is shaping our television viewing experience, read 'Twitter and TV: The shape of things to come'.