How to use twitter: part Two

What the hell are hashtags?

There are two types of hashtag out there. One is used to group a load of tweets together and the other is used by an individual to label their tweet.

Grouping tweets together

Usually at conferences people are told the hashtag to use on the day. For example #bcnott for Barcamp Nottingham. This is so that it’s very easy to do a search on twitter for #bcnott and see all the tweets about that event. When a hashtag is used by a high percentage of tweeps it becomes a “trending topic”. Trending topics are usually really rubbish. Some are very good like  #describeyourpeniswithamovie (which my brother found absolutely hilarious).

People also use hashtags for searchability such as #recruitment #hiring #corsets (if someone can combine these into a sensible tweet I will be most amused).

Individual Hashtags

These are hashtags made up by an individual and added to your tweet to categorise it.

These can be amusing:

RT @wwwicked: Bought some smoked mackerel. The back of the pack bears a warning. "Contains fish" I had no idea. #despairforhumankind

But they can also be full of information:

RT @johnwithbeard: Eating lunch after this month's platelet donation session. #proudtobepartofNHS

If you do a search for #proudtobepartofNHS, you will likely find no other tweets. However this means a lot to both John and his followers as to the intention of the tweet.

Sometimes individual hashtags can catch on. There’s a group of us tweeps who regularly use #sundaybaconclub which quickly morphed into #sundaybakinclub. Check out these two on tagwalk below for some awesome pictures of bacon and cake. Nom.

Recommended Reading

Get yourself to the wonderful website by the even more wonderful @timhastings:

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