My take on hashtags
GirlsAskGuys has been updated, bringing you some new stuffs and features. One of the major change the site made is improving the functioning of hashtags by providing a separate panel for this. You can simply hover your mouse (or tap in mobile version) the # sign in the header of the site to open the list of hot topics literally, the trending hashtags being used in the site.
What is hashtag?
According to the Wikipedia,
"A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the hash character (or number sign), #, to form a label. It is a type of metadata tag. Words or phrases in messages on microblogging and social networking services such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram, or Twitter may be tagged by entering # before them, either as they appear in a sentence, e.g., "New artists announced for #SXSW2014 Music Festival" or appended to it. A hashtag allows grouping of similarly tagged messages, and also allows an electronic search to return all messages that contain it."
In simpler words, it is a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), to emphasize and create a search page gathering results from your hashtagged keywords. On GAG, it facilitates a search for the questions and myTakes containing that hashtag in the titles or in the details.
How to use hashtags?
After reading the above definition, it sounds like a no big deal. You will just have to put # symbol before the word and BAM! you used the hashtag. But there's a proper etiquette to use the hashtags. It's more than just putting the hash character in your posts. There are some misconstructions, mistakes and of course, the benefits of using this. So let's check it out how to use them like a boss :-
1. CamelCase and Spelling ambiguity
Capitalisation is very necessary in the hashtags. Hashtags cannot contain space, dash, underscore or apostrophe, otherwise it'll break. If you're hashtagging a phrase, you'll have to write it continuously. In that case, capitalise the first word of every word. For example, #SusanAlbumParty. In this hashtag, we have three words 'Susan', 'Album' and 'Party' which is very easy to read even if it's moulded into a single word because of proper capitalisation. Furthermore, it keeps the true meaning of your hashtag. For example #susanalbumparty. Not just it is harder to interpret but it has various meanings. Other examples :- #TherapistFinder vs. #therapistfinder ; #ExpertsExchange vs. #expertsexchange ; #WhoReviews vs. #whoreviews etc.
Right grammar and spelling is mandatory. It's futile if you made a spelling mistake in the hashtag. It will show different results or most likely, no results at all. Furthermore, keep it professional and memorable so that your hashtag will make better sense and could easily be adopted. For example #DatIsKool in not really cool while #ThatIsCool is really streets ahead.
3. Check trends and pick the right hashtag
Most of the people give up using the hashtags because they start to think that these are inefficacious. They pick the wrong hashtag and over expect from their nugatory attempts. You should check the trends before using the hashtags. Choosing a trending topic will make your post to the conspicuous area. If it is 'summer' which is in the news and you're posting something on 'winter', get ready to fade away in the horde. Furthermore, it's not just about choosing the right topic, but also the right keyword. You will have to pick the correct and scrupulous hashtag if you want recognition. For example :- #HappyNewYear =/= #HappyNewYear2015 ; #USvsUK =/= #UKvsUS. Logically, this maybe the same thing but practically, it is not.
4. K.I.S.S. rule
"Simplicity is beauty". Do not use long hashtags. #NoOneLikesTheHashtagsWhichAreTooLongToRead, it causes annoyance. Plus, long hashtags cannot be read in the phones. There's a CSS bug in the site which cuts the long words. Furthermore, don’t put your #hashtags in the #middle of the #sentence. That makes #reading the sentence #annoying. See? Instead, write out your whole post. At the bottom of the post, add the hashtags. Keep it simple, stupid.
5. Don't cheat
After checking out the trending hashtags, you might want to use it in your post to ameliorate it, but what if you don't have the right content about it? You end up using this with inappropriate content to reach to most of the readers. But this is cheating. This degenerates the hashtags and finally your post will be perished. Don't use the hashtag if you don't have appropriate content. For example, #ScoobyDoobyDoo became the trending topic on GAG
Let's say a 14 year old girl who loves cartoons see this. She would get delighted and pleased to click it to read or post regarding this, but as soon as she'll click, she'll find out an explicit sexual question asking to get laid with petite girl. Major setback!
One of the best ways to make your post in to most of the search results is to hashtag every word possible.
This is not good. Totally unacceptable. You are a spammer. It deteriorates the overall quality of your post. This is the reason hashtags are becoming infamous. You should use upto three hashtags per post (one being perfect, two normal and three in an emergency).
7. Create your own topics or at least categorize them
Hashtags are not only for sharing publically but in fact, they can also be used for personal purposes. By using these hashtags, I can easily sort out similar questions I asked. For example :- #FiveDaysOfNewFollowing ; #FiveDaysOfGagCreepers. By clicking on them, I can have all of the similar questions I asked in the past and I don't even have to search and scroll through a long list, quite easy, no? And through that I can make my own topics and share it with the people I know or the people with the similar interests. Hashtags have seeped into the way we communicate. It's a fun way to communicate without writing complete sentences! Tip: Make it unique.
8. Join a team or send message
By adding a hashtag you can join a team or group of people. Or you can send a message regarding your support to a group, authority, organisation or movement etc. For example, recently GAG had two teams #ProLife vs. #ProChoice. By adding one of these hashtag you are bestowing your support. Remember, don't use both lol.
9. Promote but don't advertise
You don't have to follow the trends. You can make your own hashtags. Creating your own hashtag can be a powerful thing. If you do it right, and have a lot of luck on your side, your hashtag will start trending. Be consistent and keep promoting this. It really needs hard work. Every hashtag starts from zero. Once you’ve created a clever hashtag or you’ve jumped on the bandwagon of a trending one it’s important to not become a junkie. When you start abusing it on anything and everything you post it will come off as spam. Find the right posts to share your created hashtags. Not just your hashtags will get attention but your posts will receive acclaim. If you're going to use hashtags, answer this important question first: What's my objective?
10. Don't spread negativity and use it for fun
Yes, there are a lot of do’s and don’ts out there when it comes to hashtags but it is very important to remember to have fun. If you’re not having fun then what's the point, right? One key, though, is that you can't really go wrong by using them. You should give them a try. Use them emphatically with sanguine approach.
Java terms and reports
Thank you admin staff for introducing this feature. Like we spoke earlier that you are trying to make it better and you told me that you'll give support to opinions and opinion comments too that is a great idea. I'd like to add that, limit it to opinions only to reduce the clutter and tackle the hashtag spamming. I'd also like to have two separate panels for hashtags, one for GAGTrends (which are trending on GAG) and another for WorldTrends (which are trending in the world). It would help and lure users to ask questions about latest and different topics and GAG will be highlighted more in the results of search engines because of wider approach and zeal of users to participate in it.
Thank you GAGers for reading this. These are my personal opinions, better stay in your comfort zone. Your ingenious suggestions/opinions will be acclaimed. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide :) Start hashtagging and bring it on a #HashtagRevolution
Game on folks, believe!