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TechTips: #hashtags

August 12, 2009

Twitter has blown up recently!  If you are not on Twitter you are not up-to-date on the latest and greatest that is happening in the world around us.  Twitter is a micro-bloggin site that allows users to answer the question, “What are you doing?” in 140 characters.

“Tweets” the messages that users post to Twitter are sent to followers of the individual sending the tweet.

As Twitter has become more involved and communities of users have evolved, the language of Twitter has evolved as well.  One of the ways in whcih Twitter has evolved is the use of hashtags.  A hashtags will appear in a tweet like this: #yeg, #teaching, #edtech.  Each of these represents a different category or subject.

#yeg = Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

#teaching = teaching

#edtech = educational technology

Obviously some of the hashtags are easy to understand, others are not as intuitive.  The more tweets you begin to receive and read, the easier it is to understand what the hashtags mean.

You may be wondering why hashtags would even be used and that is a good question.  Because there are so many tweets on so many subjects, hashtags allow for the ability to search Twitter tweets.  One such search engine is the website http://www.icerocket.com.  I learned of this site through a tweet from Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Maverick’s and technology entrepeneur.

IceRocket allows you to search hashtags and text that appear in a tweet.  Click here to see a search of #edtech.

The results will show you when the tweet was made, who made the tweet, how many people follow the person who made the tweet, the tweet, and will give you the ability to reply to the poster or retweet the tweet.

Other websites that allow you to search Twitter content:

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One comment

  1. Dan,

    Thanks for sharing these search sites for hashtags. Since I am following #opened09 this week, it will be interesting to go to those sites and visualize what’s happening there.
    Ruth



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