Hail the Almighty Hashtag

Hail the Hashtag
Hail the Hashtag! Img remixed; original by Doug Ellis Photography

One of the things that I think Twitter deserves a lot of credit for is the inclusion of #hashtags. Without that simple technique – to add a “#” symbol on the front of a word or phrase, so much of Twitter’s value would not have emerged. But thanks to the inclusion of the self-managed, personally-generated hashtagging process, Twitter users around the world can anchor themselves to a wide range of conversations and communities. I think the best thing Twitter did was choose not to operate any sort of index, directory, or authority on hashtagging; but rather it’s part of the process of becoming a savvy user.

But hashtagging may be a little misunderstood, and is frequently mis-applied.

Brian VickeryBrian Vickery – @dbvickery
Don’t hashtag everything 😉 RT @albertqian: Add Data Common Sense to Your #socialmedia #marketing Strategy – http://ow.ly/5YpRq

I think Brian’s takeaway from the article (based in a large part off research & results from Argyle Social) is astute. Hashtagging is an art. It doesn’t take much to go from a nicely tagged tweet – accented with the right balance of hashtags and content – to become an amalgamated mess of pound-signs run amok.

Mario Dávalos P.Mario Dávalos P. – @davalette
Creating a #hashtag is not a brand strategy, nor adding # to every idea you have is not one either. Edit your ideas before you publish them.

Mario, I completely agree with your thoughts here. Continue reading Hail the Almighty Hashtag

Social Search might kill Google’s Integrity

Danny SullivanDanny Sullivan – @dannysullivan
posted late yesterday, How Being “Friends” On Google+ Leads To Better Rankings http://selnd.com/o2m3mk – this surprised me.

Danny Sullivan’s article here stoked some interesting questions about Google’s search results – questions I’ve had for a couple weeks now, after experiencing “social search” modifications to my search results. My initial reaction was blase – so my search results would be tweaked based upon what my friends, followers, and social connections have marked. No big deal.

But the more I think about this, the more I think this is a HUGE deal. I think Google may be playing with their entire brand & business.

Think about this: Google has spent virtually their entire existence reinforcing the concept that they’re the information portal. Continue reading Social Search might kill Google’s Integrity

Google Plus Circles Visualized

Just playing around today, trying to better visualize Google Plus’ circles-based sharing mechanisms.

I’m still on the fence about how sustainable Google+’s circles will be in the long run. I’m comfortable with thinking that Dunbar’s number applies for individual one-to-one relationships, but how effective are we at managing groups of relationships? Paul Adams’ (@Padday) slideshare is one of the most traveled examinations of complex real-life social networks, and has been referenced by a ton of other sites when Google+ launched (not surprising since Paul is an ex-Google Facebook-er, and ergo as close to an expert on this stuff as it comes).

View more documents from Paul Adams
But more to the point – are “circles” effective and sustainable? Dunbar’s number assumes that we can manage 150 independent relationships, but how many simultaneous groups can we hold together? My guess is that the number is something on the order of 4-6.

Why do I say that? Total speculation – but let’s think about most peoples’ lives. We typically associate with only a handful of active groups at any given time. I’d guess that for most folks, those groups would be: Continue reading Google Plus Circles Visualized