Tuesday, December 03, 2013


Remember when # meant pound or number? I do. Sometimes that symbol is still called the pound key on a phone. But ask most people what the # is and they'll call it a hashtag.

Where did it all begin? According to our friends at Wikipedia, the hashtag has been used for decades by the IT department to highlight special meaning. Then it grew in popularity with the general public as Twitter's popularity grew. The word hashtag was first used in a 2007 blog post by Stowe Boyd.

Now we're faced with the ability to use the hashtag on Facebook as well as Twitter. Is this a positive step? Does this make it easier to pay attention to our Facebook friends' status updates? Is it just Zuckerburg's way of convincing us that Twitter is obsolete?

A part of me understands the Twitter hashtag. It's a way to keep up with who in the entire Twittersphere is discussing the same subjects in 140 characters or less. Do the hashtags on Facebook function similarly? I don't actually know. I'm not familiar with the practice of hashtagging on Facebook yet. But shouldn't we limit hashtagging to one form of social media? Doesn't it get redundant? Although, I am guilty of using a hashtag or two on Instagram from time to time. And I know I've seen people using them on Vine. In fact, hashtags are recognized by more than a dozen social media sites.

I guess I just can't keep up with all this technology in my old age.

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