Twitter Tuesdays #4 and Happy Valentine’s Day!

So — (shocker alert!) I’m a little late in getting my Twitter Tuesday post up this week. 🙂

It’s also Valentines Day, and I’ve been having lots of fun with the kiddos — we made valentines with lots and lots of stickers and sparkles and poofs! My dining room looks like a litter box for fairies.

Also, I’ve been writing, a lot. Thorns of Decision has grown by over 8,000 words since Saturday. The middle is usually the hardest and slowest part of writing for me, so this has been good news! 🙂

But I did promise a post about a VERY IMPORTANT, and very misunderstood/underused topic on Twitter. The Almighty Hashtag! 🙂

I know you’ve seen them. Hashtags are everywhere these days. Movies, books, businesses, they all end their posts with a little hashmark # and the name of whatever. (If you HAVEN’T seen it, they look like this #DuskGate or this #TwitterTuesday).

A hashtag is a way of categorizing things on Twitter, so you can find people who are talking about the same things you are. If you enjoy, for example, reading about the Twilight books, or news or whatever, you can go to Twitter and type #twilight in the search box. You’ll get a whole column of things related to Twilight. Some hashtags are far more prosperous and useful than others.

Hashtags are a constantly changing and fluid thing on Twitter. There is nothing actually formal about them, they are simply a way to search. People often use hashtags on Twitter that they’ve just made up #becauseIlikeinventinghashtags.

But, if you master the art of the hashtag, you will open up a whole new world for yourself on Twitter. Especially if you use a program that gives you columns (see last week’s post about the magical columns!)

If you are new to Twitter, you probably haven’t found all that many people to interact with (or you’ve found them, but they don’t seem to have heard you). Hashtags can change all of that. There are entire communities built up around certain hashtags.

For example, one of my favorite communities on Twitter is #wordmongering. I keep a whole column of TweetDeck dedicated to #wordmongering ALL THE TIME.

(If you’re a writer who needs motivation to be productive, by the way, the #wordmongering community is fan-freaking-tastic. They’re people who start writing at the top of each hour, write like mad for thirty minutes, and when they’re done, tweet their word counts back to #wordmongering and cheer each other on.)

Here’s the TweetDeck Tip! At the very top of your screen, right next to the yellow “post an update” button, is a “plus” sign. Click it, and it will create a new column, and a little search box will pop up. You can type a hashtag in that box, and then all of a sudden, you will have a whole column in TweetDeck dedicated to just following that hashtag. You can have as many columns as you’d like.

Now, whenever I include the #wordmongering hashtag in my tweets, everyone who follows #wordmongering will see it — whether they personally follow me (yet!) or not. Now you’re having the conversations that lead to meeting people on Twitter you’ll wish you’d known your whole life.

Try using some hashtags this week. Find a community that looks fun and start chatting in it. I promise you’ll love Twitter even more.

If you’ve read this far, I have some Valentine’s Day love for you. The first three people to comment and ask for it, can have their choice of a free e-copy of either Seeds of Discovery or Roots of Insight, your choice, in whatever digital format you prefer. 🙂

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About breeanaputtroff

Writer, teacher, chatter, mom, indie, fun-loving, eclectic!

Posted on February 14, 2012, in Twitter, Twitter Tuesdays and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I didn’t know you could do hashtag columns in TweetDeck. That’s VERY good information to know. Maybe dealing with groups I have an interest in will make the whole Twitter experience better for me. It’s not that it’s as bad as scrubbing toilets for me, but I dread it almost that much. When you try to interact with people on Twitter, how far in the stream do you go back? Or do you just deal with the hashtag groups? The main stream seems to mostly be promotion for other authors’ books. Hard to interact with that.

    Keep the Twitter help coming please!!! 🙂

    • Yes, you can do hashtag columns, and you can also do columns of individual people or of lists that you create. Basically anything that you can search on Twitter can be listed in a TweetDeck column.

      I don’t always interact with my entire stream. A lot of days I just focus on the hashtag communities that I care about, and people on lists that I’ve created. I go back the whole way on certain hashtags (though often it’s not that many tweets — that’s what is so freaking fantastic about columns!)

  2. i did not know this!!! oh my gosh – you have saved me from hell. Thank you.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

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