I’ve been stalking the wily hashtag (pound sign—#) on twitter. People half my age are brought into the world understanding hashtags, while I am more of the Underwood-typewriter generation. <sigh> I have randomly scattered tweets with hashtags sensible to me, only recently discovering I could’ve better used those characters.
I understood the hashtag’s purpose—to link information about related, desirable topics, making the subjects easier to find—but didn’t understand which hastags were “real” and which ones waste a precious character (leaving only 139).
I didn’t know to omit spaces: #Women of the Wall should be #WomenoftheWall, or #WoW, for instance. And discovering abbreviations took time, but they’re valuable. Why use fifteen characters (#WomenoftheWall) when I can use four (#WoW)?
Hashtags ARE important. If you write about antiquities, lost World Heritage Sites, and the Middle East, you target your market tightly. Making posts easier to find is pivotal to building the essential public platform acquisitions editors and publishers demand.
Believing you might be as confused by hashtags as I am/was/will be, I’d like to suggest these sites explaining more about hashtags. If you know of others, I’m very interested. I suspect my days of stalking the elusive hashtag are far from over.
http://bit.ly/maEPoU — Twitter’s take on hashtags. Providing basic information, this is a great place to start.
http://bit.ly/4O4A — Twitter’s recommended listing of in-voque hashtags. I like this site because it lets me know what others are tagging, and broadens my hashtag horizons.
http://bit.ly/W086tr — This general summary of hastags is very user-friendly.