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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