Hash that tag, baby!
Ok. I’ll admit it. My name is Diane, and I’m a twitterholic. To be more precise, I’m twitterholic who is addicted to the hashtag.
For people not familiar with Twitter, it is usually described as a micro-blogging site. You have 140 characters in which you can do pretty much anything (as long as you limit yourself to 140 characters!): spruik a business message, share interesting information, chat to other tweeters, butt into conversations, participate in debates, find like-minded people, search for interesting stuff, make friends, and even bring down a despot or two. (I have written a post if you aren’t on Twitter and want to know more about it.)
And that’s where hashtags come in (if you are interested, you can read about the history of the Twitter hashtag here). By using a hashtag before a word or phrase in a tweet, you can follow or search on a theme or term, for example #ausvotes or #oldspice or #justsaying or #potato or #Abba or #keynote5. You get the picture. If enough people pick up on the hashtag and use it, it can become a trending topic (which is quite exciting – I once tried to get #Winklevi trending after seeing The Social Network, with no luck. I’ve had much more success with #ADLFoeys).
But the other wonderful thing that hashtagging does is add depth and context to your tweets. Hashtags are a bit like an aside in a conversation, the stuff in brackets. They add humour and clarification. I love using them, and mainly for this reason. And once the conversation starts around a hashtag, the tweet ends up with a life of its own.
Warning: once you start hash tagging, it’s addictive!
PS Hat tip to @CathieTranent‘s Hashtag Queen design, which I used for this post. I have the design as a t-shirt, which means, of course, that I really must be a Hashtag Queen. You can get your Hashtag Queen t-shirt too, by clicking here!