POTW: Hashtag Culture

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The Peeve Of The Week (POTW) is an occasional feature on Slope which allows me to (a) gripe about something which bugs me, whether justified or not (b) put up a post when there's nothing in particular I want to say about the market. In spite of its moniker, the POTW may or may not shown up weekly. In any event, here's a new entry:

I've had a Twitter account for a while, and I've got about 4,900 subscribers (if you're not one – sign up!) Maybe I'm just getting old, but I seriously don't understand Twitter culture. Why, for instance, Ashton Kutcher has a gazillion followers. Or Charlie Sheen, for that matter.

But far more perplexing to me is the hashtag culture. Hashtags are those general topics that are included with a tweet that are preceded by a pound sign (such as #slopeofhope). When you go to anyone's Twitter page, you'll see the hottest "trending" hashtags displayed.

Unless there is a major news event (such as the Japanese nuclear meltdown), the hashtags invariably relate to the most banal pop culture or similar topics. When I first started checking out the tweets associated with hashtags, I thought the Tweeters would all be nerdy dorks like me. Errrr, not so. Let's just say that 99 times out of 100, if I ever click on a hashtag – on just about any topic – the folks using the hashtags don't exactly strike me as geeks.

0531-hashtags

In fact, at the risk of seeming politically incorrect, it seems that 90% of everyone using these things is, shall we say, urban. I'm not claiming to have done deep research on this, but it's my impression. If one drills down a level to explore the other thoughts of any of these hash-tagging participants, one must brace oneself:

0531-illiterate

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