There’s been an ongoing battle lately here in Royal Oak where the Trademark Productions office is located between folks in the community for and against medical marijuana. Keeping in mind that it’s been in the news again lately combined with the fact that one of the big things we do here is Social Media, one might not have to imagine too hard why I exclaimed “Are you kidding me?” when somebody in the office brought up hash tags.

Hash tags… Really? H1 tags, H2 tags, H3 tags and now this? Fortunately, one of the lads here, Craig, is fairly “in the know” about these things and the first word of the explanation that came out of his mouth more than set the stage; Twitter. I used to be able to handle MySpace quite well until it went down the toilet. I’m even fairly adept at Facebook once I learned to navigate through the endless sea of changes to their pages and privacy settings. But Twitter? I started an account simply to appease my publisher, but I don’t believe I’ve ever sold a book because of it. That aside, the service and reason for its existence confounds me, so it’s a good thing Craig embraces the heck out of it.

So, hash tags, right? It’s a # sign. Nothing more, nothing less. A # sign. And the point of adding this little marker is that if you happen to be following a conversation on Twitter—apparently people actually have these—you can participate by adding the # sign next to the subject that you’re following. For example, if you happen to be a fan of music pioneer Vangelis, then you’d type #Vangelis in your tweet along with your message. “Saw a YouTube video that used Song of the Sea by #Vangelis.” Anybody searching for Vangelis on Twitter will then see your tweet.

And for those of you who love musicians, TV shows or movies with more than one word in the title, all the words are simply run together. If you happen to be a fan of Keeping Up With The Zahringers, then you’d type #keepingupwiththezahringers in your tweet. Anybody with an interest in the Zahringers would then be able to keep up on all the gossip merely by searching for it on Twitter and seeing where the hash tags were used.

Hash tags are almost too simple to explain because if I can get it this easily, there’s a problem. Actually, the real problem comes in because I’ve still never found a personal use for them or Twitter, but I’m learning. I do have to say, though, that I am a huge fan of Keeping Up With The Zahringers.

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