Since 2006, the San Francisco-based social media giant, Twitter, has been changing the way people share news, ideas and information. Blogs created the blogosphere, Facebook invented the "Like" mechanism, and Google has become an entity unto itself fueling its Facebook-competitive Google+ social media platform. But it has been Twitter that has popularized one of the strongest social tools to date: The Hashtag. A Twitter hashtag is any word or phrase preceded by the number or "hash" sign (#). A hashtag is defined by Twitter as follows:
The # symbol ... is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.
It has become a sort of universal search term mechanism for sorting through the massive amount of "stuff" (to put it lightly) on the Internet. They have even prompted a page Hashtags.org where you can research trending and popular hashtags to either capitalize on a popular topic, or to see what topical hashtags are already in use so you can add your thoughts into the conversation.
OEM Off-Highway has been using Twitter since June of 2009 and is no stranger to hashtags. Last year we launched our first personalized hashtag, #OEMatIFPE, on our Twitter feed (@OEMOffHighway... the @ symbol before a word or phrase predicates a Twitter account). The hope was to encourage OEM Off-Highway readers to use the hashtag—either by implementing its use for OEM Off-Highway relevant information in their own tweets, or simply by searching it at Twitter.com to keep abreast of what we were seeing live from the show floor. We've since used several other hashtags including #OEMatINTERMAT and #OEMatAMC so our Twitter followers can see all of the products and news we find while attending shows.
This year OEM Off-Highway will be introducing our first interactive show hashtag, #FindMax for our MINExpo 2012 (@MINExpo2012) launch of Max the Miner. (Follow Max on Twitter at @MaxtheMiner)
Max will be walking the show with our project partner PT Tech to gather video footage on the show floor and hosting giveaways at secret locations only announced to those following @MaxtheMiner through the hashtag #FindMax.
@OEMOffHighway will be retweeting Max's tweets to spread the word to our followers.
Following tradition, we will also be using #OEMatMINExpo for other interesting show announcements while in Vegas, including TwitPics (pictures posted on Twitter) of the show.
I hope that this encourages you all to find us in the Twitterverse to share your news, products and information. Join in the conversation and discover a new way to communicate in short, concise thoughts.