Spare the hashtags
By David Worthington
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve has been a television fixture since its inception in the early 1970’s. This year’s performance was replete with #hashtagged lyrics as performers lip-synced along to their hits. None of it became top trending tweets.
Hashtags are a way to pool disconnected people together into a discussion, so a hashtag should add value and context to it. “Tcot” has been trending almost daily during the #fiscalcliff deliberations. Tcot’s a hashtag that political conservatives in the U.S. use to ‘mark’ their tweets, and it’s proven effective. Similarly, one of the top New Year’s hashtags was #resolutions – something straightforward, yet meaningful.
Snippets of Justin Bieber and Karmin lyrics just don’t have the same effect; they dilute the value of hashtags. A more appropriate use would have been to draw attention to a socio-economic issue like Sandy relief or a tribute to the late Dick Clark. A single word is enough to encourage people to participate – provided it has purpose that serves to categorize thought.
Karaoke style hashtags have no purpose other than to highlight the over use of hashtags. Twitter is popular as a communications tool, because sometimes less (140 characters) is actually more. The same rule applies to hashtags.
(image credit: justjared.com)