What is a #Hashtag? Is #Hashtags Dying? Twitter Search Wins?

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What the heck is a #Hashtag?

Ever notice in Twitter World that people have been using "#" signs in front of "Keywords" or "Groups" or "Locations" ?

Well these so called # groups are called "Hashtags" what is a hash tag you may ask?

Hashtags are used to create real time track records of creating groups on twitter. Placing the # sign in front of keywords or targeted groups, makes it easier to track all conversations in the twitter timeline via search.

Hashtags were most notable during the San Diego forest fires in 2007 when Nate Ritter used the hashtag "#sandiegofire" to identify his updates related to the disaster.

Some links to check out.......

http://hashtags.org/  is the website to track real time Twitter Hashtags being invented/used.

http://twitter.com/hashtags is the twitter account to follow in order to submit your new hashtags.

The famous Chris Messina who started the idea of using Hashtags on twitter as a new means of grouping found here on his blog.

Youtube video of Bwana explaining what is a hashtag.


Is #Hashtags dying?

Ok now that we are all caught up on hashtags, lets look deeper shall we.

Matt Browne wrote a great article on the Death of Hashtags on Twitter. He did an interesting search on different hashtags and found that by searching the actual words created the most reach of all.


  • #barcampsd
  • #bcsd08
  • barcampsd
  • barcamp san diego  
Now I know alot of people still use hashtags which is great most recently notorious on twitter was #VAR08 (Virginia Association of Realtors Convention) and #REBW (Real Estate Blog World)

The point Matt Browne was making is that hashtags aren't widely understood or searched by the majority. There are still alot of people out there not using hashtags because either a.) they dont know how or b.) they don't think its necessary.

Hashtags was actually very useful for the Twitt-Geeks and People researching information on twitter but nowadways theres a new Tool that takes precedence.

Twitter Search Winner

Keep in mind when Chris Messina came up with the idea of groups on twitter and the hashtag phenomenon, The new Twitter Search was not in place and was not able to keep smart real time track of conversations.

Check out http://search.twitter.com/ you can do your searches for either a hashtag or keywords here and keep tabs on all the real time tweets.  Notice the "trending topics" the vast majority is keywords with maybe a few hashtags thrown in the mix.

http://election.twitter.com/ is another real time trending topic only regarding election topics (this is very amusing to see real time tweets)

My 2 cents on Hashtags vs Twitter Search

I don't believe hashtags are becoming extinct.  I still see major bloggers and twittheads using them.  Now is the whole world using them? of course not, in time will they start using them?  I believe hashtags might keep getting more and more popular but not to the point where majority of Twitter will be using it mainstream.

Hashtags are becoming more exclusive cliques and more group oriented.  The people using the #hashtags are providing tracking information exclusively for their realm of followers and peers and not really open to the public.

I believe the #hashtag era will never die for that groups and peers will still use them to provide tracking but less and less will be used by the mainstream public like #celebritygossip or #ps3 will start slowly dying.

All in  All I enjoy reading and tracking hashtags on twitter and I also enjoy searching different groups non-hashtags on twitter.  

Both is great, what is your choice?




As always thanks for checking out my blog, feel free to leave a comment and have a great day!

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Team Gagliardi Daytona Beach Real Estate
Re/Max Signature - Daytona Beach, FL

Once I have a hashtag how do I claim it after I have made sure no one else is using?

Mar 16, 2009 12:44 PM #23
Justin Williams
Independent - Virginia Beach, VA
Loan Officer

@Janis - Unfortunately you can't claim ownership in #hashtags, its a public source :-(

Mar 16, 2009 01:03 PM #24
Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

I must admit that I do have a twitter and mysteriously have a few dozen followers, but have never really figured out how to use it or subscribed to anyone else.  Not sure I really want to hear updates about other people and what they are doing.

Apr 04, 2009 08:06 PM #25
Robert J. Taylor

I'm like Mr. May at Lethbridge Mortgage.  I want to do Twitter successfully but I never seem to find enough time to dive into the venue when it appears to be non-income producing.  Here's the question:  How can entrepreneurs like myself hashtag our way to new deals, perhaps creating a stock exchange style venue where participants buy and sell foreclosed real estate properties in real (very rapid) time like they do on the floor of NASDAQ.  Not an auction, but bona fide deal making!  Can you imagine how much stimulus that would be?  Come on Justin, you're on the finance side, I'm on the wholesaling side - let's create something out of that exceptional social networking knowledge you possess. 

Jun 02, 2009 06:45 AM #26
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Thanks, I had no idea what hashtags were or how they were used!  So much to learn about twitter.

Jun 02, 2009 09:47 PM #27
Stephen M. Wigg
http://4114Info.com - Omaha, NE

I'm using hashtags to launch a new website during the College World Series called BleacherBabble.com. I sure hope they're not going extinct. Follow events, not people or key words. For example, to put in a key word search for "College World Series" and get back comments like, "Watching the College World Series" serves what purpose?  Who wants to read that? I mean REALLY! So, putting in a hashtag of #cws meaning you have something to SAY is where I'm hoping Tweeters will go eventually. Yelling at the umpire with hundreds of other Tweeters is fun! I got the idea watching a friend yelling at his TV. Again, what's THAT about? 


p.s. I wore Orange the first day. Go UVa!

Jun 14, 2009 11:16 PM #28
Christopher Johnston
The Johnston Team - Metairie, LA

Hashtags were something that came from the programming community and when Oprah descended on Twitter and brought it to the masses there was bound to be confusion. While Twitter search has helped, hashtags and the abbreviations associated with them, are designed to help when you only have 140 characters to work with. In your example #bcsd08 vs barcamp san diego is 6 characters vs 17 characters. 6 characters is 4 percent of your total limit where 17 characters is 12 percent. You have to be brief with twitter and the shorter the hashtag the better.

I think there is still a place for them but ultimatley it will depend on the masses learning how to use them.

Jul 05, 2009 04:24 PM #29
Bob Wilson
Access San Diego - San Diego, CA

I dont think thery are going extinct as much as the lowest common denominator factor is kicking in. As users become more experienced, they pick up on the tricks.

Jul 18, 2009 04:37 AM #30
In active
Irvine, CA

Can we get a side of hashtags with those scrambled eggs? 


Orange County web design,


Aug 19, 2009 05:48 PM #31
Kryste Adams
RE/MAX Key Properties - Luxury Homes, Golf Course Homes - Bend, OR
Bend, Oregon Real Estate

Great explanation.  I recently started using hashtags.

Aug 23, 2009 06:20 AM #32
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

too much information Justin!

Sep 05, 2009 11:54 AM #33
Gail Gardner
GrowMap: MAP Your Path to GROW Your Business - Grand Prairie, TX

Hashtags are more useful when the words someone wants to search on are commonly used for multiple subjects which is the very reason that searching without the hashmark returns more results and why those results will not be nearly as strongly targeted.

They are also best for sharing all Tweets among a particular group where those Tweets may not have any other specific words in them as in the examples you mention for #VAR08 (Virginia Association of Realtors Convention) and #REBW (Real Estate Blog World). 

Dec 21, 2009 04:42 AM #34
Kevin Cottrell
Austin Real Estate Today - Austin, TX

Great piece - as a power user of Twitter - I use hashtags daily!  Without them, given the size of my followers and group I follow, I wouldn't be able to use Tweetdeck to filter as effectively.

Jan 17, 2010 01:08 PM #35
Daniel "Diggler" Proczko

Twitter hashtags are definitely a great tool. THey let you segment the twitter-verse to reach a passionate and caring demographic. http://apt2labs.com/2011/03/16/hastags-secret-twitter-tool/

Mar 16, 2011 03:32 AM #36
Allison Bernard
Keller Williams Central Rhode Island - East Greenwich, RI
Real Estate & Relocation Services 401-533-6916

Thank you for the introduction.  I will check out the links to which you refer.

Jun 07, 2013 12:07 PM #37
Mike Baltierra
Rise Realty - Eastvale, CA
Full Service at Your Service Realtor-Eastvale CA

That's was and is a very interesting and well written article on hashtags.

May 20, 2014 12:22 AM #38
IRMA Beltran
Century 21 M & M and Associates-Turlock homes Real Estate - Turlock, CA
Your Real Estate Agent 4 Life Always there 4 You!

very interesting and informative, thank you for sharing.

Have a Blessed day!!!!!!!

May 20, 2014 03:38 AM #39
Steven Nickens
Wailea Realty - Wailea, HI
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii

Very interesting, so what about using them on google plus.

May 20, 2014 04:49 AM #40
Monte Wall
Keller Williams Premier Realty - Katy, TX
Keller Williams Premier Realty - Katy, Texas

I think hashtags will become more popular as people understand how to use them. Not going away anytime soon.  Great post Justin.

May 20, 2014 07:35 AM #41
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

It is interesting that you wrote your blog post few years before hashtag exploded all over:)  We learned on mistakes and blogs/articles like yours help to educate those who are still learning the etiquette of social medias.

Apr 05, 2015 05:50 PM #42
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