By Stefanie Hahn
Hashtags are everywhere on the Web right now.
During last week’s RE BarCamp Atlantic City and the Triple Play 2009 REALTOR® Convention and Trade Expo, anyone in attendance could follow along and get messages via the virtual map created by the #REBCAC and #TP09 hashtags. Attendees, presenters, and vendors were using these hashtags when posting information, photos, and videos online so that even those who were not in attendance could follow along. The #TP09 hashtag offered (and continues to offer) a view inside the conference — with bits of info from those tweeting about their class, sharing photos from the different events and video from the convention floor, or just offering up their PowerPoint slide deck for the benefit of the group. As the old saying goes… information is everywhere, you just need to know where to look.
Hashtags are a beautiful thing. So, what exactly are they?
Well, if you blog, you tag your post with certain words that identify what your post is all about. Hashtags work in much the same way. When you tweet about something, you can use a hashtag to tie your update to others that share the same tag. For example, if I were to tweet something the presenter said in my Triple Play class that I thought was truly great and must be shared – I could use the #TP09 hashtag to tie my single tweet to those of all the other Triple Play folks.
Not on Twitter? Not a problem! Go to http://search.twitter.com/ to see the posts and get an idea of what you missed. The hashtag also allows me to tag my photos and videos from the event when I upload them to my photo and video sites.
Hashtags can be used for any topic. Find out what hashtags are trending at http://hashtags.org/.
Most of you are familiar with tagging from your social networking on Facebook, where you can be tagged in a photo, video or note. This tag works in much the same way, the person tagging you is associating you with the post.
You can also geo-tag a post — adding geographical information to your update, photo or video. Geo-tagging shows the location of your post. In late November, Twitter enabled geo-location functionality – go to Settings, then on the Account tab, click on the “Enable Geo-tagging.” This will only work with third-party applications and not on twitter.com itself.
So, can’t make it to the next big real estate conference or RE BarCamp? Just follow the tags! You will be amazed at what you can learn.
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Willow Grove, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.