“…please enter the last 4 digits of your social security number, followed by the pound sign.”
I get asked all the time…”What’s up with the ‘hashtag’?” Well, my answer is always, “How much time do you have?” ‘Cuz quite honestly, while it can seem silly (as seen here with Justin Timberlake & Jimmy Fallon on SNL) in reality, it’s pretty awesome! What used to be known only as the symbol for the pound (the U.S. lb. of weight measurement) AND used as a symbol for number, society has adopted this symbol to help us search for things on the internet, Twitter and Instagram…it’s called the “Hashtag”. If you are not an #IGaddict (Instagram Addict) like I am (@sue.craig and the newly launched @suecraigdotcom) or have a Twitter account (@thenewsusan) you probably think this is all just a ridiculous fad and wish people would “just stop!” the fact is…wait for it……it ain’t goin’ anywhere.
The “#” symbol is now being used to help you find people, places and things as well as those people, places and things finding YOU! Whether you are an individual, a new start up company, or an established one, this has becoming the new search tool. Now I’m not saying that folks aren’t out there still “Google-ing” cuz they are (90 million searches a month! That’s 1 trillion a year!) but let’s say you’re on instagram and you want to see a recent image of like, say…..Tokyo or the Golden Gate Bridge or heck, even a tattoo, you simply (with NO spaces) would go to the search bar and type in #GoldenGateBridge , #Tokyo , #Tattoo and BAM! You can sit for hours scrolling through image after image of whatever it is you care to search for. Sometimes I find such compelling and stunning photography that often times I will begin to “follow” the individual that posted that image or at the very least head to their feed and see what other sorts of things they’ve posted. A current fave of mine that I connected with in Croatia is @brandoncronan he “liked” some of my “hashtagged” #Croatia #Dubrovnik and #DalmatianCoast pix that I posted while I was there so I looked into his feed only to find that he was there at the same time! We were a day or 2 apart…it was fun to see our different perspectives of similar areas! Also, he has this great travel blog: Life Reengineered which I’m now addicted to as well! Just sayin’. This is fun…you can search for a hashtag just to see if it’s already in use and if it’s NOT, start a personal one like I did in Africa #SueFari or #Sueprisetrip for when I traveled to surprise my nieces on their spring trip…then you have your own little album!
Some of my Instagram hashtag searches have yielded a lot of laughs too: #BellyUp (for all my animal friends) #Fail (and you’re welcome) #WorkFail and a fave: #HelpingNotHelping You’ve been warned! 🙂
As for Twitter, as an example, back when Prince William and Princess Kate married, I had set my alarm to wake and watch it live (#fail). Once I got over my hatred for myself AND my alarm clock I grabbed my phone, sat on the porch and took to twitter. I did a hashtag search for #RoyalWedding and BAM! I got to scroll through and read commentary from all over the world! Pretty cool. Although, NOT how I envisioned I would witness the nuptials, it’s all I had. That and TMZ later that day! Twitter is a great search tool if you are looking for information on ANYthing! Well, because let’s face it…people share EVERYthing now…present company included. Want to find out a concert date? Search #KeithUrbanTour2015 …anyone that has posted with this hashtag will let you know! Couples getting married have been on the hashtag wagon for a while now requesting their guests to post pix on twitter and insta’ using special custom hashtags like: #KateWedsWilliam2015. I was recently at the Walker Art Center’s Internet Cat Video Festival in St Paul, MN where they, naturally, encouraged event goers to post with the hashtag #CatVidFest When you land on that feed you can see all the crazy cat people enjoying a beautiful night in downtown Saint Paul at the brand new Saints Stadium!
Then, of course, there’s the #OMG #ShouldHaveStayedInBed #Love #WhatWasIThinking the list goes on….
It doesn’t end there…don’t be afraid to use is whether you want to search for a restaurant review, an event, a city you want to travel to, OR just boast about your brand #SueCraigDotComROCKS. Quit hating and fear not, the hashtag..okay, quit SAYing it, but stop hating! 🙂