#Hashtags: Ever Wonder How They Became a Part Of Our #CyberLife?

hashtag is a word or unspaced phrase prefixed with the hash symbol

Infographic from Social Media Today

Infographic from Social Media Today

 

The Hashtag as much more than #

Remember when this # was a “pound”  or just a symbol for a number? How did it become such a powerful key to our social media? 

Twitter can take much of the credit, it all started August 23, 2007, with a post that went like this: “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?”. I wonder if Chris Messina knew where we would be less than 7 years after his proposal.

No, Medina didn’t invent the use of the symbol, it had been used since the 1970’s but mostly by techy people when they wanted to highlight the special meaning of something. As Wikipedia says:  “the hash symbol was used to denote immediate address mode in the assembly language of the PDP-11 when placed next to a symbol or a number. In 1978, Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie used # in the C programming language for special keywords that had to be processed first by the C preprocessor.” But this is all way before Geek became Cool when most of us had little to do with #. 

The hash symbol had been used before Twitter in Internet Relay Chat (IRC) networks like mIRC to label groups and topics, yes, many of us vaguely remember that too.

 

#Twitter

A couple years after its first Twitter use, the Hash symbol became globally popular during the protest over the Iranian elections  2009-2010. Many say these world events consolidated the #Hashtag into an international style of writing and never again would it be just a “pound key”.

The # gets personal… When I got married, not too long ago, a friend recommended we use a #AMMA (our initials) so all our friends who couldn’t attend our paradise wedding in Costa Rica, could be a part by following us on Social Media. This was my AHA moment. I was late coming into the Hashtag world, but these very important dates marked the #before and #after, even though for our wedding it didn’t work very well. Today, as Social Media is more and more a part of my professional life, I can’t imagine #Life #Without #Hashtags.  As weird as the word Hashtag sounds, it can really become useful fast for any connection, complaint, promotion, advertisement, location or just plain and simple to let our voice be heard (and let people know real quick what our voice is talking about). That said, I don’t think the phrase “Connect to Disconnect” works in 2015 as well as it did in the early 2000’s.  We’ve seen Hashtags outgrow Twitter labels and flood all corners of our Social Media and Digital Life. I would definitely consider them one of the easiest, fastest ways to connect, search and even more, relate with content by others, anywhere in the world!

 

The Power of One is #Inspiring

Yes, the power of a single symbol, once unpopular and maybe even boring. So no matter how awkward, geeky, lonely or disconnected we could have felt, today more than ever before the right ideas put to use in new creative ways are what’s Trending! As I said before, what used to be seen as Geeky when I was growing up, is the New Cool of our days. These are exciting times to be alive and to get creative. This is a new world with ever changing rules, and every single #ONE of us has a role to play. Stop hiding and start connecting! Go online, post, share, think, who’d be surprised how many people are following.

Why is #GasLampDenver not just another bar in town? Because, like you, we try to understand the people in this fast paced, creative world. So we have created a classy, elegant, relaxing, trendy space, both in Denver as well as online! Where you can come to be you, bring your ideas along, and your friends if you like, and enjoy! Glad you’re here.  Trendy, yes that’s us and proudly so!