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Twitter, Hashtags, and the Curious Dev

Hi,

Regular lurker, first time poster.
Short version:

When you're looking for things on twitter related to programming, are you searching for hashtags or just words? Or do you look for people and look at who they interact with?

Backstory:

I'm a hobbyist dev who has spent most of his life in support type roles, learning programming as a means to an end (either to create tools to help my life or to work with the application I was supporting that had some sdk/api/language elements).

I managed to get a job doing social media for for one of their general developer handles because I could speak developer, I could read code, I understood social media (as much as anyone can), and I wasn't a developer who would get paid bigger bucks.

The current mood on twitter is to move away from hashtags. Twitters search is far better these days and you don't need to search for #cocoa or #cpp anymore, you can just search for the terms, although, of course, you can subscribe to that hashtag, but, the thing is, I really don't believe people do that.

My breaking point with hashtags probably came when I saw a hashtag of #news (or maybe it was #apps). Because who is going to subscribe to that hashtag and dig through all the obvious detritus just to get the nuggets they want.

I've galaxy brain meme'd myself to the realization that the only really good hashtags are event related (even pseudo-events like movie releases) or joke hashtags. I can make allowances for product names that are really specific (ie, Excel but not Word. GoogleDocs but not Spreadsheets) but as it gets more generic (iOS, Android) it begins to feel pointless. And I do realize that this becomes a case-by-case basis thing, but that's okay. There shouldn't be a global rule on this. I wouldn't expect Microsoft to think that it'd be smart to hashtag Windows (the curse of a generic word name) but I know they like to hashtag languages.

The problem is proving that to the powers that be. Because there's always traffic that pulls in hashtags, making it seem inflated. No real twitter monitoring shows 'This person found your tweet by way of the #HASHTAG and then clicked through your link AND spent 10 minutes on your page, clicking through to a couple other articles' (yes, I recognize some of that is trackable, but, by and large it's piecing it together and you need to be using the right services that let you do it, which if you don't own the purse strings, is a challenge.

So, since this is probably the most welcoming community for developers, I wanted to ask my question here.

Top comments (0)

DEV

Thank you.

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