What the #blck? – Explaining Hashtags

I’m still writing up the series explaining Twitter in 3 posts. However, this is a common Twitter question that I would like to explain in more than 140 characters. If you have no idea what Twitter is, then you might want to check this post out.

Twitter users @AroundHarlem and @iluvblackwomen started an interesting conversation about how to find other black people on Twitter. After all, there were a few problems with the current system.

  1. A short bio that only allows 160 characters.
  2. Some people are uncomfortable putting up their own picture as an avatar.
  3. There’s no real easy way to search.

While ideas such as "creating a black twitter” group went around, even I didn’t like the idea. I mean, look what happened to BlackPlanet. So, the next idea called for using a hashtag as part of your twitter update. A hashtag is simply a tag that helps organize information.

#blck is a tag created at first with the idea that you can identify yourself as a “black person” on Twitter. However, I threw in an idea that it can also be use for black-related news and links. At first, they did not agree with it, but eventually, the community have spoken and started using #blck as a way to say “I’m black and I’m proud” as well as show some sites, videos, sayings or tweets of black-centric interest.

So, why is hashtags a good way to organize data on twitter? Here’s a good example:

Mumbai Attacks

November 26, 2008 references to Mumbai attacks start appearing in people’s Twitter updates as #mumbai. With this, people can search up any up-to-date information in regards to the Mambai attacks in India that happened during that day. Twitter, for one day, became a more valuable way of reporting the news as it happens.

However, keep in mind that hashtags can be abused by anyone. They can create a tag and they what they tweet about is not related at all. So, keep in mind when using a hashtag, be respectable.

Hashtags can also be used:

I used Twitter’s Search Engine to look up hashtags, but there are other ways of looking up hashtags.

And Hashtags can be used to form communities, such as this one:

index_r2_c4

www.blck.me was created to make it easier to follow the #blck tweets. To join the community and share your thoughts, you don’t need a secret hand shake or to join another site. Just type #blck along with your update. It’s that simple.

Thanks to @waynesutton and @iluvblackwomen, we now have a way of seeing updates from people who using the #blck hashtag. However, I do have one question:

Who’s going to explain how #blck is use and why we need to use it?

I guess we will never find that out. *rolls eyes n’ smiles*

Shout outs to Wayne Sutton for placing me as an interesting “#blck tweeple” to follow. :)

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  • Shantelle Jackson

    Your last question is the real question!
    This makes absolutely no sense.

    It's another example of OLD thinking in a NEW era (as was blackplanet.com)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/iluvblackwomen iluvblackwomen

    being that person who doesnt usually become part of the news but just reports the news i am glad to be a part of news for doing something that is groundbreaking and positive. Hash Tags may become the new way to create an online movement if you use them properly.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/nukirk nukirk

    It's a rhetorical question. lol

  • http://holleratyourgirls.blogspot.com Tamika

    Great post and good background on the hashtag. I thought it was interesting that CNN used the #Mumbai hashtag to help with some of its reporting. It will be interesting to watch #blck evolve.

  • heather

    maybe i just don't "get it" because i'm not black, but it would seem that the "inability to distinguish" race, class or other on twitter would be a good thing? isn't that the ultimate in equality or "colorless world" that we've all been aspiring to?

  • http://bigisthenewsmall.com ScottWilliams

    Good Post! Thanks for the info.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/nukirk nukirk

    Well, this is just for people who are interested in using the #blck hashtag. But notice that I made this post about what a hashtag is, how is used and what you can do with a hashtag. #blck is just a tag, it's not something that you have to use. It helps organize information, nothing more.

    Not everyone gets it, but that's okay. You don't have to use it if you don't want to. But I hope my explanation of what hashtags are will help you understand twitter a bit better.

  • SM

    Just beware of self-appointed HashTag police (i.e. idiots) trying to tell OTHER people how and when to use the tag and how and when to post to Twitter. I mean, really !!

  • Pingback: #blck on Twitter | Black Web 2.0

  • http://oldude59.livejournal.com/ Oldude59

    I’m glad someone took this step – there is no reason to avoid – blackness – with or without Obama, we can and should honor and associate with those that want to speak and live of collaboration. It is true that “authenticity” can not be nor should it be a issue. The issue is community building and honoring – so I for one will use the hash on those instances that fit – like I use other # that fit different situation.

  • http://gojawar.com JaWar

    Thank you for the explanation of the #… and hashtag details. This explain some things for me here.

    It seems as though anyone may start a hashtag, but where do they go? How are certain hashtags organized where people may find info on useful topics, etc.?

  • http://busywomensfitnessblog.com Donovan Owens

    I appreciate the explanation at the hashtag.

    On the other hand, as an African American, I'm not a fan of segregating myself with any group as we have come so far from that.

    There's a huge world out there.

    Donovan "DFitnessguy" Owens

    Follow me on TWITTER
    Hutto, Texas Boot Camp