Tags

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I can’t stand hashtags.

It’s not that I don’t think they’re useful. They definitely are. Maybe. If you can use them. I can’t.

Hashtags require you to think the way others think. To think of the ways they’ll ask question or search for ideas. If I’m searching for a Shokugeki no Souma, do I want to cite #foodwars (the American translation) or #ShokugekinoSoma (a variant on Souma)?

Computerized searches tend to be literal. That’s good. When I want Google searching for something specific, I had it when it returns my queries “Did you really mean [x]?
and then gives me those results. No, you stupid program, I meant what I typed.

Boil this down to a more fundamental issue, what if you can’t predict or imagine what someone else will use for searching? What if I used the word “basic” in place of “fundamental”? Doesn’t that change the entire search parameters?

What happens when you don’t or can’t think the ways others are thinking? Are you terminology is just off enough that no one knows? Isn’t that almost the point? To be a little off? Except, in the precision driven world of data, that specificity matters.

All this may or may not be leading to a question:

Why do I, as a writer and aspiring author, care about such things?

Straight forward really.

I need readers and, essentially, an audience. Search functions help people find random things they might not otherwise find. Now, generally speaking, that’s hard with the depth and breadth of content on the internet. But, a platform helps. And, somehow, a bunch of readers have wandered over.

I’m not actually sold on hashtags in terms of their effectiveness. If 3 million people hashtag the #Phillies, your comment gets lost in the noise. But, if no one’s looking, then a slightly off beat tag might not matter.

Personally, I think it’s best to think of it as a categorization mechanism. Organization. These are what these thoughts are pertaining to. Then, if someone’s looking, they can happen across a thought, get some context and decide if it interests them. Maybe it’s all noise but on the off chance it isn’t, it’s a small thing.

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