May 2011


hashtagNew to Twitter? Mystified by hashtags?

Then you’re in the right place. Here’s my easy, no-fuss guide on how to use these marvels of 21st century communication.

#keepthemshort

Yes, they add value – but only if they can be understood. If your hashtag forms an entire sentence, then your followers’ eyes will start to bleed, and – bless them – these ‘followers’ can be a litigious bunch. #andnobodywantsalawsuitexceptthelawyersandmaybetheoddjudgehereorthere

#removedoubt

You may be the high priest of sarcasm but with 140 characters to play with, context can be difficult. Drop in a #notreally at the end and watch the retweets pile sky high! #notreally

#doublehashtagsrock

You’ve executed a brilliant tweet and have 40-50 characters spare. Spare Twitter characters end up in the atmosphere and contributing to global warming, so don’t waste them: add an extra layer of comedy/entertainment/interest by double hashtagging! #climatechange #notreally

#nopunctuation

Hashtags break if you put any form of punctuation in: apostrophes, hyphens, question marks. That means they don’t look as good on screen, you lose online credibility, start acting increasingly crazy as a result, then attract the attention of the cops, and end up in jail. So just don’t do it. #notevenexclamationmarks!

#starthashtagging

And that’s it for now. Don’t forget that hashtags are the future of communication; they say so much in such a little space (or, if you want to be clever, with no space)! Also remember that if they’re good enough for Barack Obama to use as a campaign slogan, then they’re good enough for you. #hashtagswecanbelievein

#notreally

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My daughter starts school tomorrow.

I’m happy for her, as she’s more than ready: her brain badly needs the expansion that school will provide.

But I’m also a bit sad, as my influence on her life will only diminish from here on. Of course, it’s always diminishing; but going to school is one of those milestones that throws that decrease into its sharpest focus.

Part of me wants her to stay 5 and pre-school forever; but a bigger part of me wants her to go out into the world and further become the person she’s going to be.*

Good luck Zoe.

*A squillion dollar-earning LGPA pro golfer who’ll allow me to retire at 50 and travel the globe without a care in the world.