Use a #Hashtag Properly! Please.

I’m starting to lose my mind, there are so many misuses of #HashTags that is drives me bonkers!!! For the love of social media, PLEASE CAPITALIZE THE FIRST LETTER OF EACH WORD! People put so many words together and don’t capitalize the first letter of each word and it’s nearly impossible to decipher what that person is actually trying to say! Before I begin my rant, lets define HASHTAG:

hashtag: “[on social-networking websites] a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.” (Dictionary.com)

Ok, fairly clear right? How about some simple rules.

1. CapitalizeEachWord
2. #Don’t #hashtag #every #word and don’t use hashtags in place of spaces
3. Keep hashtags relevant to the comment #platypus
4. Check the hashtag before using it

Very simple, remember those four and you’ll be a better #HashTagger! The CyberWebs thank you in advance.

Without further ado, here are some examples of why those rules are important:

RULE ONE – A couple examples of hashtags that do NOT capitalize the first letter of each word:

#expertsexchange
#nowthatchersdead

Take a moment and read those a couple times… weird right? What kind of expert is that? And Cher’s dead?!?!

Correctly done, they would read:
#ExpertsExchange
#NowThatchersDead

Ah, that’s better… no wasted time with trying to figure out what is actually being said here and no rumors being created. Simple right? This is just more proof that common sense isn’t common after all.

RULE TWO – Here’s a good friend of mine using the hashtag incorrectly, on two accounts. The first is no capitals. Second, making a hashtag that’s horrible and no one would ever use.  Exhibit a:
#‎you#should#see#my#cat#leggings#‬save#that#for#another#picture‬

This horribly chosen hashtag would be much clearer if…
#‎YouShouldSeeMyCatLeggings‬ #SaveThatForAnotherPicture‬

And another from another friend, Exhibit b:  #i#would#let#you#buy#me#dinner#and#call#me#back#the#next#morning

Done correctly looks like this:
#IWouldLetYouBuyMeDinnerAndCallMeBackTheNextMorning

RULE THREE – See rule for example.

RULE FOUR – In some cases that hashtag has already been used, for something that you don’t really want to be a part of… no examples… for good reason!

How do I know what #HashtagToUse?

Best bet is to search on the social platform you’re using. This will keep things relevant and specific to the platform you’re using.

If you really want to analyze multiple options… here’s a great website that shows popular/trending hashtags: http://hashtagify.me/ 

HashtagifyPopularHashtags_ Top30-English

Final thoughts (history!)

The hashtag was once known as a “pound sign” (not to be confused with the the musical sign for sharp () or the Tic-tac-Toe grid) and is still used for a variety of non social purposes. Some uses are the designation of a number (for example, “#1” stands for “number one”), computer programing (various uses in code) and a button on a telephone (which is called the ‘Hex’ or ‘Hash’ key to conclude the entry of numbers). You’ve been educated, you’re welcome!

Please, do the World Wide Web a favor and use hashtags properly… and stop VagueBooking!
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Out Of Office? Needs more clever…


I’m bored of my out off office (OOO) replies. They’re always so stodgy and “professional”. Time to spice it up!!! Here are some ideas…

1. Put the choice back into the hands of the sender:

…I’m going to experiment with something new. I’m going to leave the decision in your hands:

  • If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I’m out, resend it with “INTERRUPT” at the beginning of the subject line and I’ll aim to reply quickly.
  • If you think someone else might be able to help you, feel free to email name@name.com.

Otherwise, I’ll respond when I return…

2. Just get rid of EVERYTHING that came in during your OOO time:

I’m on holiday and will be bulk deleting all emails on my return without reading any. If it’s important, re-send it on [date].

Outlook has a cool “delay deliver” function that would work great! Theoretically, if it’s that big of a deal, it’ll still be “fresh” when you get back.

3. Be nerdy. Use some sort of internet, movie or video game reference! Some people will get it and love you for it, others may be confused. Here’s a couple examples:

BackToTheFuture: If you’re reading this, Doc Brown was unable to make the train hit 88 miles per hour, and I’m stuck in 1885. I won’t be able to respond to emails until 9ish on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2015.

Portal: Cave Johnson here, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. Bad news is that [NAME] is out of the office until [date].

Good news is that you can direct your emails to [name@name.com] while she’s out. We’ve also replaced [name] with our new Aperture Science Personality Constructs to take care of everything for her. We’ve been personally promised by our scientists that this construct is nearly 47% less likely to cause your peripherals to catch fire! I suppose the second bit of bad news here is that there’s a pretty good chance this might go wrong.

Anyway good luck! 

Computer/Internet: Error 404: [NAME] Not Found
==========================================
I am out of the office.  I will be returning to work on [date].

4.. Use an alternative to email!

I’m not in the office right now but if it’s important – Skype me! 

OOO_outofoffice_thinkstock

If you’re really advneturous you could get them to tweet the issue to you with #Interupt[Names]Vacation. There’s no way to tell if that person has actually gotten the tweet but at least it’s using some social network and makes it public…on the other hand maybe it’s letting everyone know you’re gone and yoru house should be robbed.

Some quick tips for writing a good OOO:

 

  • Keep it brief. No one likes a wallof text (unless it’s about Doc Emmett Brown or Cave Johnson).
  • Dates, how long you’re gone. Not much more annoying than receiving the same email every day your’e gone.
  • Don’t rub it in or be insulting. They might even sign you up for some junk e-mail out of revenge.
  • Show personality! Be creative. Let them know you’re trapped in the car with shrieking children. Create some mystery: “I’m on a secret mission so I can’t tell you my whereabouts without risking your safety.”
  • Spell check and typos. Read it three or four times. Seriously, yuo wont lives down thase spleling miss steaks!!