|Posted on 1 January, 2015 at 1:25|
In my bid to better my tan and to stick to at least one of my New Year's Resolution for 2015, namely 'stay up to date with technologies and innovations'; I pulled out my Surface Pro 3 during my pool breaks and began reflecting on technologies in 2014.
It appears that whilst 2013 was the year of the 'selfie', 2014 was the year of the 'hashtag'. Interestingly, many of the twitter posts that I have viewed, and I view quite a few, have hashtags that according programming metalanguage rules, don't actually have any relevance to the post itself. In old school programming days, using metalanguage which essentially had the same purpose as hashtags were to be clear and concise. They were to aid a searcher find your website, image, or data with minimal complexities.
According to Oxford Dictionaries, a hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media sites such as Twitter to identify messages on a specific topic: "spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with them".
Interestingly, the most prominent hashtags, that is the most used hashtags are those that were created by individuals as a result of traumatic events that made headlines for all of the wrong reasons. #putyourbatsout, #bringbackourgirls, and #illridewithyou amongst those that will forever stay with us. Click here for the top ten hashtags used globally: http://i-d.vice.com/en_gb/article/top-10-hashtags-of-2014
So, for the hashtag first timer , here are a few steps to help you create hashtags that are relevant and purposeful and most importantly, bring a lot of fun to your personal/professional digital networks;
1. Understand hashtags. The universe of Twitter is vast and can be a little confusing to navigate. Hashtags are one of the most important and efficient ways of organizing information on Twitter. Anyone can make a hashtag at any time, simply by typing a phrase of the form “#topic” in a tweet. For example, if you were tweeting about reading this article, you might say "Reading #wikihow article on using #hashtags with #twitter." Then, anybody searching for #wikihow, #hashtags, or #twitter would see your tweet. After a hashtag has been created, other Twitter users can use that hashtag in their own tweets to add to the larger conversation about that topic. Hashtags can be as general (#wikiHow) or as specific (#howToUseHashtagsOnTwitter) as desired. They are a completely organic form of organization, created and managed by Twitter users, not Twitter itself.
2. Create your own hashtag. The form for doing this is exactly the same as for including an already existing hashtag. Simply type a phrase of the form “#topic.” Do not put any spaces in the phrase that you want to turn into a hashtag, because the hashtag begins with the “#” and ends with the first space. When you click “Tweet”, your new tweet will appear in your list of tweets, and the hashtag you created will appear in blue. Scroll over it and click on it to be redirected to the page for the hashtag. If you have really created a brand new hashtag, your tweet should be the only one on the page. Now, every time someone includes your hashtag in a tweet, it will be added to the page.
3. Include an existing hashtag in your tweet. You can do this simply by typing a phrase of the form “#topic” within your tweet. After you click “Tweet,” your tweet will appear in your list of tweets with the hashtag in blue type. Scroll over the hashtag and click on it to go to the page for that hashtag. Your tweet will now appear when other users visit the hashtag page. If you wish to use an existing hashtag, make sure that your spelling is correct and that there are no spaces between the words you wish to include in the hashtag. Capitalization, however, does not matter. Thus “#wikihow”, “#wikiHow”, and “#WikiHow” will all produce the same result.
4. Be polite. When using hashtags, observe hashtag etiquette. Twitter's best practices suggest you not use more than two hashtags in the tweet, because this can dilute their usefulness for other users, and make it a royal pain in the eyeballs to read. Understand the purposes of different hashtags. Some are obviously meant to be silly, while others are more serious. Make sure you observe these differences if you do not want to draw the ire of other Twitter users. Only use hashtags that are relevant to the topic you're tweeting about.