News of the Tweet: #WhatIsAHashTag?

Sex panthers, secret squirrels and salty seadogs.

By Seb Kemp

Today is the last day of my winter beard. Spring is here and no longer will I be wrapped up in my Snuggy hiding behind a screen. Now I have to face people, and doing so with a face that looks like a badly knitted cardigan is not a good idea. Some people say beards make chaps look jolly. Some people say they make men look rapey. My beard just makes me look like a seadog, so today I shall be extra salty. Welcome back chin, but first, here is the back of my hand.

I thought for a moment that Troy Brosnan was trying to piss me off. I'd love to think that Troy Brosnan reads #NOTT, but I doubt it. These young guns don't need to read, they are too damn talented…

Brilliant. I've started following Anthony Messere. Last year he not only did the best thing on a mountain bike at any jumpy-spinny-contest ever, but this year he makes the best case for teachers actually getting the support they need.

Damn, I must be getting old and miserable if I care about teachers feelings. Maybe its the burden of buggerchops weighing heavy on my shoulders. #dollarshaveclub

The UK magazine industry never ceases to amaze me. British fellas are always ready to lay it on the line and air their dirty laundry. This week the drama was when Brant Richards (the imagineer behind various brands – X-Planet, On-One, Ragley to name just three) went public with, supposedly confidential, comment from the group publisher of Future Publishing (they make a lot of the blue sky British mountain bike magazines).

Now, let's not get into the murky waters of this topic but us it as an opening example of how to use Twitter. Brant Richards has used it to spark discussion or cause a forum riot (yawn, do people still use internet forums? Where do people get the time to troll on forums?). Whereas Brett Tippie uses his Twitter account like a tart uses perfume – piles it on and with not enough care.

Talking of pungent scents…

It was announced last week that there will be a sequel to Anchorman.

Sam Reynolds (a dirty tranny pumper from the UK) gives us a great example of the use of #hashtags in tweets. The hashtag started life as a way that users could to make a tweet easier to search for amongst the universe of tweets.

For example, if you wanted to make a comment about a particular product (as supernova Ian Hylands does so in his tweet) then you would mark the name or phrase with a hashtag and therefore it would be more likely to come up in a search for tweets about the NikonD3s.

The way Sam Reynolds uses the hashtag totally subverts the original use as no one is going to search that term (I'm not going to retype it). However, tweeters have appropriating hashtags in new ways and they have undergone a change. Nowadays, hashtags are more likely to be used to set apart a side commentary on tweets.

As you can see Brendan Fairclough has used his hashtag to give a little commentary to his own tweet. More so, hashtags used in this form give a sort of personal touch to tweets. Reading tweets with hashtags like this is much like you have had an intimate moment with the writer. Sort of like they have leaned over and whispered something.

Dan Barham uses his twitter to connect and engage with his followers. Not because he is a superstar like Tippie (although Dan would probably say he is a superstar) but because he sees it as good marketing if executed well. Here we see Barham using twitter to self-publish a new project (gone are the traditional gate keepers of the media empire) but more so, they way he does so is such that it is a personal invite to engage in a more intimate manner. A personal viewing of Barham's private draws. #whowouldntwantaneyefullofthat?

Bike magazine have a super sleuth on #itisaniphone, Instagram and #canoncannon duties all over the globe right now. From round one of the World Cup to the Cape Epic, there has been a secret squirrel shooting stunning shots. Who is it? Well, I think we can narrow it down a bit….

All through the week the South African comedy duo of Gary Perkin and Sven Martin (somewhat like Little and Large but which is which) have been twittering up a storm from the Cape Epic. I've never been interested in such a race before, but their personal observations and behind the scenes insights have made me look into it more. I even checked out all five days of Specialized's daily video updates (by John Lawlor and Victor Lucas I believe).

The popular hashtag they used was #shitthathappenatepic.

Anyway, I must run. Time for the shears. Can't be late, otherwise #gettingmistakenforamiserableoldtwatagain