The Power of a Hashtag

I have been mulling over this post for a little over a month.   When I became a DEN LC blog member I had so many ideas that I wanted to share, write about, and post.  However, the reality of this year set in.  Changing schools, changing classes, and just change in general made everything go to the back burner.   I knew that I wanted my first post to be over hashtags.  You know that # that you see on twitter, facebook, and other social media sites.  I just didn’t know where to start.   Twitter help center has great information on using the hashtag and what they are.  By adding the hashtag you have created a searchable item.  Why would I want to search twitter you ask?  For many reasons.  I am an avid social media junkie, but I find it hard sometimes to read through the pages of twitter.  By searching through specific hashtags I am able to search twitter for information that is important to me or to my career.  There are thousands of educational hashtags.  Cybraryman has a Fantastic list.  The ones that I follow are #edchat #spedchat #atchat #wonderopolis and #brainsonfire for educational purposes.  I also follow some frivolous ones too such as #bigrichtexas #the3day and #3daytweeps  Not only is the hashtag fantastic for searching for certain topics, it is also a great way to get information out to a group of people with the same ideas.

All of this is good in theory, but I wanted to share how Social Media and the hashtag are helping a family in Amarillo, Texas.  I am from Canyon which is not a very large town.  Amarillo is just 20 minutes away.  Larger than Canyon, but still not the biggest city in the state of TexasYesterday afternoon I came across a video in my Facebook feed  A video created by a dad asking for help to find his daughter.  When I reposted it yesterday it only had 95 views.  Today it has almost 170,000 (as of 11:30am Friday December 30, 2011)  There are 2 hashtags being used by this family.  #findhaley and #lovehaley  By using these 2 hashtags with the video I was able to categorize and easily share information with all of my followers.    I am fairly new to the twitter world, so my followers are still small.  I know that by using a hashtag to one of the groups that I follow it would reach even more people.  Hopefully help in the chain reaction.  When I retweeted, reposted and shared I used the video hashtags, but also my group ones.  Wow!  Seeing hashtags at work is pretty amazing.

Take a moment to try one hashtag.  I dare you.  You will be amazed at the connections that you make, the ideas that you learn, and the possibilities the # can give you.

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