#tag

Hashtag.

The lonered symbol on the keypad of a Nokia.

10 years ago it was used at the end of a pin code, now it is the start of a code—a trend.

HASHTAG

The start of a social revolution acting as a catalyst for change, organisation, and audience engagement.  With early beginnings on Twitter in 2007, users introduced this symbol into the twittersphere to direct people to user interests. This has now evolved where citizens can search hashtags anywhere in the world and join a conversation and explore the world that is the internet thus encouraging social capital.

Acting as a global trend, audiences can comment on televisions shows #orangeisthenewblack, demonstrate individual expression #throwbackthursday and aid slack participation #soznotsoz thus promoting audience crowd surfing.

Overused? or justified?

PRO’S:

  1. Alters traditional monologic media—encouraging passive participation and crowd silence—to dialogic media—prosumer culture allowing for individual expression without restriction.
  2. Trendsetter! Trends transcend the barriers of all media and flow to connect the world. The #illridewithyou hashtag created by users amidst the Sydney Siege to coordinate and organise a safety net for Muslims on public transport. The hashtag went global, trending on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. News reporters saw the hype of this trend and used it to connect others within Australia through broadcasts—a pivotal moment of Australian mateship.
  3. Reduces the control industries have over the former consumers as content is created by citizens.

CON’S:

  1. No limitations of the hashtag thus reduces the quality produced.
  2. There are no filters or gatekeepers for connectivity to conversation. Once its out there, its online for the whole world to see!
  3. No control causes industries to take drastic measures. The Chinese government shut down access to Twitter on the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen as there was no way to filter conversation. (Shirky.C, 2009)

Refrences: (text post)

Doctor, V, 2013, ‘Hashtag History: When and What started it?’ Hashtags.org, 30 May, last viewed 2 April 2015 <https://www.hashtags.org/featured/hashtag-history-when-and-what-started-it/&gt;

Guardian staff, 2014, ‘ #illridewithyou: Hashtag offers solidarity with Sydney Muslims after seige’, The Guardian, 14 December, Last viewed 2 April 2015, <http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/dec/15/illridewithyou-hashtag-offers-solidarity-to-sydneys-muslims-after-cafe-siege&gt;

Shirkey, C, 2009, ‘Clay Shirkey: How cellphones, twitter, facebook can make history’ TED, online video, last viewed 4th April <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_iN_QubRs0&gt;

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