Twitter is a powerful social networking tool that allows users to spread information quickly and widely in succinct, 140 character conversations. I began using Twitter in late March after I took a "How to Twitter" course. That course inspired my 3-post series about how to use Twitter: Part 1: 4 Myths and Realities about Twitter, Part 2: 5 Reasons Why You Should Use Twitter, & Part 3: 5 Points to Consider Before Creating Your Twitter Identity.
Hashtags: Use & History
When I first started tweeting, I found hashtags to be a bit overwhelming because of their sheer number. Hashtags denote the group or topic of a tweet. They came about in August 2007, when Chris Messina, aka @FactoryJoe, asked other Twitter users what they thought about using # (pound) to classify groups. (Interesting historical fact, Chris Messina and I were high school classmates.) Thus Twitter users started to use #hashtags at the end of their tweets to tell other users what the content is and who it is directed at.
Historians use hashtags to direct information to all historians via #Twitterstorians or #history or to historians who study a specific field, such as #AmRev for American Revolution or #EarlyAmHist for Early American History. Twitter users also use hashtags to follow specific conversations. For example, I follow the hashtags #Twitterstorians, #EarlyAmHist, #writers, #writing, #postac (post-academic), and #altac (alternative academic) in separate lists as far more people than I follow participate in these conversations.
I started keeping a list of different history-related hashtags before tweeting and hashtags became second nature. This is by no means a complete list. Hashtags possess an organic-like nature in that people create new hashtags every day. Regardless, I feel that it is a good list and that it will help any historian or history enthusiast grasp the plethora of history-related conversations occurring on Twitter and locate conversations of interest to them.
I have created a new page on my site to host the History Hashtags list. You can access it anytime you like via this post or by clicking the page link located near the top of the right sidebar on my website. I included a Google form on the History Hashtags page with the hope that you will help me keep this list up-to-date. Through this form you can submit any new history-related hashtag that you come across or create for inclusion on the list.
What Do You Think?
What are your favorite history and non-history hashtags?
Are you on Twitter? Please send me a tweet and introduce yourself.