Twitter hashtag(#) is a way to accumulate information in a particular stream. These hashtags(#) are useful to gather information on some topic at a single place. You can simply find the information by searching those hash tags on Twitter search.
According to Twitter Help
“Because Twitter provided no easy way to group tweets or add extra data, the Twitter community came up with their own way: hashtags. A hashtag is similar to other web tags- it helps add tweets to a category. Hashtags have the ‘hash’ or ‘pound’ symbol (#) preceding the tag, like so: #traffic, #followfriday, #hashtag.”
If you don’t understand what I am talking about then let’s take a practical example: Suppose you want to get some information about WordPress what will you do? Your answer might be you go to Google and search for WordPress. This is a method to find the best content on WordPress.
But what if you fail to find amazing contents on Google. Try real-time search engine. It will help you to get some amazing articles on WordPress. If you want to see what people are talking about WordPress in a real-time stream then you have to go to Twitter Search and start searching for WordPress.
There are two ways to search in Twitter: 1) Without hashtag: Simply type WordPress and press the search button. You will see the results having words WordPress in it. But this is not a search you are looking for because these are not WordPress specific tweets (See tweet number 3rd and 4th).
Now use hashtag(#) on your search. Search for #Wordpress in Twitter search. You will get following results:
Here all the tweets are WordPress centric. This is a more filtered result for WordPress. If you are looking for some cool themes, any WordPress tricks, any hacks you can easily find with the help of using hashtag(#) before the word WordPress. Hashtags accumulate all the tweets around the world in a single channel and you can extract all the tweets in a real time.
Track Events from Hashtags
There are various events organized time to time. There are important conversations and discussion takes place. So what is the exact way to track those important conversations. There are two ways to track the event. First is Qik (A service to share live video) but this service is not so efficient because it is not possible every time that anyone is making live video of the event and share among others.
The other efficient way to do this is follow Hashtags(#). Every event has a particular Twitter hash tag. You can know the hash tag of an event by asking to organizers of an event or by asking to your friends who are there in an event. For example #tag for TED India which was held in the starting of this month was #tedindia, hashtag for Wordcamp India is #wci and hashtag for Nokia digital design boot camp is #nokdesign.
You can find hash tags use by people at #hashtags.org, Wthashtag.com
Here is a screenshot of Tweetdeck client showing various search result of WordPress and #Wordpress.
How to use hashtags
Hash tags are used by inserting # sign before any word. Don’t use hash tag before any word. Only add hash tag to those words which add value to the the stream and people search those term. Example #Wordpress, #Google, #Twitter #Tips, #Orkut. Don’t use #going #visit #bag #copy etc.
There are some popular hash tags such as #Followfriday, #Musicmonday #Newmoon etc.
Do you use hash tags on your tweet, if no, then start using it from right now. Don’t hesitate on editing other’s Retweet because ultimately you are adding value to the stream. If you have any doubts about hash tags, feel free to ask on comment section. You can also follow me on Twitter @techim.
Also read Ultimate Guide to Twitter Hashtags.