Q: Should I be using hashtags when I tweet?

Should you use a hashtag?? That’s like asking me if you should tuck in your shirt. I can’t just answer Yes or No to that without more info. Where are you going? Will other people there be tucking in their shirts? Do you want to be like everyone else there? Is it a matter of appropriateness? Do  you usually tuck in your shirt? I mean – is this consistent with your fashion sense? Are you trying to show off your great ass?

Immediately I think that if you want to be awesome at twitter, you might consider that there is no set of rules or a formula that must be followed. (sure there are best practices, we can talk about those some other time.) But, bottom line my answer is – do what you want to do!

If you were at a cocktail party, and someone cracked a joke I’m doubting you’d ask me if you should laugh and then add your funny quip to keep the rollicking going. Nah, you’d just be yourself! Since I’m ALWAYS at cocktail parties, I don’t mind that you ask me for advice… I’m an expert at cocktail parties cause I’m always at them. 😉 But really, I just do my best to be my self…. my best, funniest, most concise, not too loud not to quiet self. Sometimes I like to dance, sometimes I like to sit quietly in the corner and talk to a smaller group about specific topics with depth and introspection.

FIND CONVERSATIONS THAT INTEREST YOU AND JOIN IN! If you used a hashtag to find it, then use a hashtag to join it! AND If you have a lot of pull like Ellen (#askellen), use a hashtag to start a conversation!

Interestingly about hashtags – they were originally invented by Twitter users…. not Twitter — to track single topic threads within the stream, for context. Eventually they became overused and subsequently, they become a parody. So now we have a social reaction to a tool that dilutes the tool’s original purpose, which is all fine with me as I love progression and the infinite cycle of evolution……..   Cue the Lion King Soundtrack, see the World Record for longest hashtag… and don’t miss the Slate article about How Black People Use Twitter.

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