This blog post is to explain what they are, why I use them, why perhaps it’s something you could use too. I find them quite handy, and this is why ..
First, let’s give some basic intro into what #hashtags are
Short: adding a # in front of a word in your tweet, makes it a #hashtag.
Longer: By adding # in front of certain words in your tweet, you are able to add metadata to your twitter.com entries. Allowing easier grouping, tracking, tracing, searching, etc for you and your followers. If you post a blog entry you could for example say: A new #blog entry : title (tinyurl) … And if users want to find all your tweets regarding your blog, searching for the #blog tag will accomplish that.
I recommend to follow @hashtags (will auto follow you back) – they will then track your hashtags on http://www.hashtags.org/
Secondly, why I find them so handy to use.
There are a few times when I want to introduce someone to my feed and inform them of the things I’ve tweeted about. So instead of scrolling for days, I can just search for the hashtag I added to the tweets, and get a filtered response. Which is easy to link to.
Of course, others can do the same and use a search in tweetdeck or their favorite twitter program, or web site, and track my tweets regarding that group/topic. People from #vbfans (vbfans.com) might not be interested in #jtv (justin.tv) or #blog (mrfloris.com) entries. This allows them to still follow me, and not get cluttered with nonsense.
This is a two-way street, do not forget that! This means that it’s not just me who posts about #vbulletin or #blog or #apple, etc. Others do too. I find great twitter friends by simply following (searching) groups and read their tweets, and perhaps individually follow them. A great resource to discover twitter.com without spending months going through profiles.
A small tip – and one of the reasons why I use it. todo! how awesome is it you’re on the road and need to remember something? Just tweet it to yourself
@yourself Buy a rubber ducky – #todo
And finally, requesting you to consider using them too
Who knows what interesting content or information you have tweeted that I have missed. Because yes, I do sleep, and I do miss what you tweet. People seem to assume everybody reading everything. Reality is: they don’t. Neither do I.
Posting about #knitting or your #blog or #apple? Consider if it is worth to hashtag it so it shows up in my filter.
You will get followed by new people sharing the same interests as you – who you might otherwise never have found!
Twitter is all about sharing what you’re doing, what you are interested in, and allows this to be a two-way street. Drive around, but make sure people can see your turn sign so they can follow you too.
Before I let you go, I want to point out that I will NOT hashtag every tweet I make, I am trying to be conservative. I also try to be very specific or very generic. There’s no need to say : i am on the #toilet. I rather have you say nothing, but .. if you have to, then perhaps consider using #offtopic – I am on the toilet. This way I could filter out all your offtopic entries. That said, in this case I don’t even find it worthy to use a hashtag. Below are a few examples.
* events: #tedconference has started! bill gates talking now..
* news: People donated $10,000 to #sandiegofire – that is so cool!
* people: Good job America, with your new President! #obama
* products: I bought a new #apple iMac today! DROOLing on it right now..
Do you have to use hashtags everywhere? OH NO PLEASE DONT ! again .. be subtle and think twice .. There’s no use having #vbfans, #vbcom, #vbthemes, #vbhacks, etc when you can just #vbulletin hashtag it .. Or even leave it out. Normal search still works.
By the way, I am on twitter.com/floris – feel free to follow me 🙂