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Onward Date: #OS210 More Than A Date

We decided to experiment a bit this Valentine’s Day with some Onward State staff dates. We created a compatibility test and used a complex algorithm to match up staff members. The following is the story of Ally Greer, Drew Balis, Tyler Hoy, and Evan Kalikow’s adventure (with some other characters in between).

It all started as an idea centered around two people, but it morphed into a Twitter phenomenon. Based on a compatibility test given to several participants on the Onward State staff, Drew Balis and Ally Greer were matched up to go on a highly-hyped Onward State Valentine’s Day date. We decided to have the date at Café 210 West. The date was still five days away, but we elected to spice things up a bit in the form of a double date with the legends Tyler Hoy and Evan Kalikow (Who also happened to receive the highest compatibility rating in our survey).

Onward State staffer Dennis McNamara proposed that Ally and Drew should live tweet the date, since both are admittedly obsessed with social media. The idea seemed great at first, but like any social media nerd knows, any event that is live tweeted needs a good hashtag. After much deliberation, we decided to use #OS210. It’s worth mentioning that the date took place on Friday, February 10th when Cafe was serving many specials for $2.10, including skillet fries, nachos, burger baskets, and several drinks. None of us knew about the 2/10 factor until we arrived, but it turned out to be quite convenient.

Festivities began around 5:30, and the first hour and a half consisted of unsuccessfully trying to locate a table. Efforts were proving to be futile until out of nowhere, Ally spotted one of her friends who happened to be leaving and offered us her table. We were in luck, and the hashtag was picking up some serious steam. Several other underage Onward State staffers noticed the hashtag and quickly became quite jealous, deciding to take matters into their own hands in form of Twitter hate.

As more food was being ordered, several members including Eli Glazier, Devon Edwards, and Dennis McNamara rolled in at around 8:30. For the next four hours, we talked to strangers next to us, broke out into several random chants supporting New York Knicks hero Jeremy Lin, and mistakenly told a group of people at 8:45 that we would be leaving shortly (#SorryWereNotSorry)

#OS210 had transformed from a double date into a party, and the party became complete when Social Media Manager David Morar made a late appearance (much to the dismay of Devon). Tabs were opened, closed, and opened again. We ran Twitter polls to ask what we should order next. A 50 year old woman retweeted #OS210, even though she likely had no clue what it meant. Prolific Onward State commenter GTWMA picked up the hashtag and sent in several encouraging tweets. A few Penn State football bloggers (and wives), who wanted to attend the next event , offered to purchase us drinks.

An idea that took off as a hashtag became so much more. As many #OS210ers began to depart shortly after midnight, the only question that remained was, “When is Part 2?”

#OS210 Part 2 will happen sometime next month, and although last Friday set the bar high, it is expected to be even bigger and include more people after the first one picked up such an impressive following.

Perhaps Café can hook us up with some free stuff as we attempt to trend on Twitter.

Here’s a storify (courtesy of Ally Greer) to help explain just how epic this was:

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