I have been using Twitter for almost four years, and for the most part, I think I have the basics of this social media tool down pat.   I have learned to be funny, serious and thought provoking in 140 characters, or less, so the comment can be ReTweeted.

And, after all this time, I thought knew how to use hastags (#), until I read an article  David Talbot wrote  for the Technology Review. In an interview with Google Fellow Amit Singhal, he points out that as Google and other search engines rely on Twitter, for content in their real-time searches overuse of hashtags may devalue your tweets.

So do the benefits outweigh the cons?  You decide!


  • When a hashtag is included in a tweet, the resulting tweet will show up when other Twitterers click the hashtag’s topic word.
  • Collecting tweets from conferences and other events is easier with a common hastag
  • Finding others with similar interests simplified by following the hastag

But Singhal warns “While such tags can usefully maximize exposure of a tweet, they can also serve as red flags to lower tweet quality and attract spam-like content”. And personally, I think with only 140 characters to work with, a tweet with 2 or 3 hastags, doesn’t really say very much.

So where do you stand on the Hashtag issue?  Love ’em or Hate ’em?

And while you are pondering that question, check out some of the twitter tips from our Twitter survey:

  • Don’t obsess too much about what your tweeting – the internet is permanent but also ephemeral.
  • Find well followed and liked people. Engage them with conversation.
  • I connect to people that keep the conversation flowing. Interact, don’t just broadcast – it’s SOCIAL media.
  • Twitter is a conversation, just in a new medium. Therefore don’t just dump your own ideas and thoughts into twitter, instead interact and respond to others.
  • Don’t over-analyze it – be yourself.