Hashtag Revolution


Written by Clementine Lloyd
10 Monday 10th May 2010

Get Linked#in to #hashtags and help #design and shape the way it is used. No, these aren’t spelling errors. This is the new toy of the tweet. Hashtags are the simple and quick way to collaborate with the rest of the ‘Twittosphere’, and make trends that are responsive to the hot topics of the moment. It is simple, easy to use, and great for the ‘crowd sourcing‘ concept held dear by most media/marketing corporations. However, when used incorrectly, it can cause great collective headaches and a wealth of stored information which is useless to almost everyone. One of the worst things with ‘hashtags‘ is the over complicating of a basic idea. This is your one stop, simplistic Hash shop.
One massive pro with this system is that all you need to do is put a hash (#) symbol before a phrase or word (negating any spaces), and your tag will be spotted and included on the website. Do not forget to follow the ‘hashtag’ twitter account though; otherwise your tweets will go unnoticed. Once you have followed, you can compare tweets, and have your say via the online network. That done, you can check out a whole world of cyber voices by visiting hashtags.org, which gives up to the hour updates about twitter trends, and just what these online imps are saying.
Another interesting innovation, which helps make the most of this novelty, are the sites which offer you updates, via email, of selected hashtags YOU want to follow. The best up to the minute example of this is the General Election Eve. Channel four hosted the Alternative Election proceedings, with cyber events aplenty in the shape of tweets, live backstage messenger, and the #C4altelection tag. Anyone who included this in their tweets would be included in the online C4 website festival of public satirical witticisms. It really connected everyone involved into one easy to manage arena of fun.
The savvy ‘twitter’ brained amongst you may have already figured out the very best part of this user-generated social system. The organisational benefits. Events and meetings can been hash-tagged to create an area in which all those who plan to attend, and need to know any change of plans, can find out quickly and easily. Mobiles are useful, but think of the time that will be saved by tweeting one simple message, and everyone involved will get it! Provided they are kept up to date via monitter or twitterfall etc.
The best way to test the boundaries of the hashtag is to get involved. Have a play with your tweets and tags, and encourage your friends to join you. If you get lost there is always the ‘Tagalus’, an online dictionary of Hash-tweets for you to peruse. You may even supply some of your own in time. A parting word of advice, however, keep your hashtag simple. Organising an barbeque on the beach? How about #Barbeach? Now go have some fun tweeting the #tag fantastic!

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