Corned Beef #cornedbeefhash

At one point in my efforts to build a larger blog following, I heard that having a presence on Twitter is critical.  I set myself up there, but I still don’t think I’m using it properly.  It’s as if I’m squatting in the brush, swinging an electron microscope to smash my way into a termite mound.

In an ironic twist, there is no use of #hash-tag in the text.  (Image from mycitybynight dot co dot za)
In an ironic twist, there is no use of #hash-tag in the text.  Also, people were so outraged at the first name that no one noticed that they got her last name from a bottle of Irish whiskey.   Rumor has it the proud parents will call her “#”  for short.  (Image from mycitybynight dot co dot za)

As a case in point,  I still haven’t quite grasped the whole “hash-tag” thing.  On Twitter and other social media sites, it seems to be the preferred way of maximizing a message’s relevance to a given topic – but more often than not, it just seems to be really overused.  For those of you who are even more clueless than I, the “hash-tag” apparently involves putting a pound sign in front of a bunch of topical words – and by “topical” I mean “random“.  How or when some unknown entity decided to change the pound sign into a hash-tag is a mystery to me.  Lord only knows what people are supposed to use for a pound sign now.

A friend recently posted the following on her Facebook page: Newwwww hair #ombre #hairr #ahhhhh #ihave2getusedtoit #craycray #stylishh #mommydontlike #too2badd #mee #webstagram.  I had to cut and paste it so I’d get it exactly right – I was worried I might mispell “Newwwww”.  Thanks to a couple of anthropology courses in college, I was able to deduce that this message was either about her new hairstyle or a desperate cry for rescue from the voices in her head.

This is not my friend from Facebook, this is a model who shows up in a Google search when I type in "ombre hairstyle".  I don't know what makes this ombre.  Clearly I know even less about hairstyles than I do about hash-tags - refer to my gravatar pic if you need a reminder of how well I get along with hair.  (Image from colored hairstyle dot info)
This is not my friend from Facebook, this is a model who shows up in a Google search when I type in “ombre hairstyle”. I don’t know what makes this ombre. Clearly I know even less about hairstyles than I do about hash-tags – refer to my gravatar pic if you need a reminder of how well I get along with hair. (Image from colored hairstyle dot info)

I went to Twitter to investigate, and found all the posts with the hash-tag “mommydontlike”.  Some D-list celebrity had written something moderately witty and 117 people had re-Tweeted it. Otherwise, there wasn’t much to see.

The next logical place to look was Webstagram, but I mistakenly typed in “Instagram”.  I believe Instagram has something to do with doctoring pictures from your cell phone to make them look artsy.  It bills itself as “A fast, beautiful and fun way to share your photos with friends and family”.   I’m sure that the folks at Instagram are accurate in their description, but I don’t know if I’m ready for it.

I found that Webstagram is a site which bills itself as a “the best Instagram web viewer”.  Instagram already advertises that you can share your photos to Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, but Webstagram implies that their site is an even better place to show ones photos.  I’m not sure if Webstagram is any better for Instagram pictures, but one thing is for sure; it’s another place to display your pictures.  When I typed in one or two of the hash-tags on Webstagram, I found my friend’s photo.  I knew it was hers because I had already seen the pic when she posted it with the original hash-tag fest on Facebook.  It was only the one photo, and it really didn’t show her new(newwwww) hairstyle, but that’s just #myyy#biggphat#opinion.  For those of you keeping track at home, that makes the score –  Photos: 1   Hash-Tags: 13

After my first proofread of this mess, I realized that posting it with my friend’s original hash-tags might result in my many followers getting a good look at this girl’s hairstyle, and she might not want anyone to see her photo except everyone else in cyber space.  I took the liberty of doctoring some of the hash-tags so that only the most persistant of stalkers could figure it out.

After all this screwing around, I still haven’t figured out what the hell hash-tags can do for me.

I’ve tweeted a fair amount, and some of my Tweets were pretty darn clever, which is tough for me to do in 140 characters.  In addition, every time I post a blog, there’s an automatic link which shows up as a Tweet by me.  I’m not really sure if those Tweets have resulted in a single hit on the blog.  Let’s face it, the vast majority of Twitter subscribers are running low on attention spans by the time they reach around the 73-character mark.  It’s an awful lot to expect them to click on the link and read one of my 1000 word treatises on constipation.

My Tweet with this picture read "Good News - Your face transplant is a success and you found true love.  Bad News - You look like Gene Simmons"To the best of my knowledge, no re-Tweets, no likes, no nuthin!  (Image from Yahoo)
My Tweet with this picture read “Good News – Your face transplant is a success and you found true love. Bad News – You look like Gene Simmons”
To the best of my knowledge, no re-Tweets, no likes, no nuthin!  Where my #cynical #peeps at?  (Image from Yahoo)

I decided to take the bull by the horns and post my own hash-tagged topic and see if anyone took the bait.  On Easter Sunday, I created a holiday-related hash-tag with my own quip following it.  I know none of you saw it, so here it is: #asparagusscentedpee one of Easter’s less celebrated traditions.  To date, no one has hopped on board.  Now that Easter is sooo last week, my snazzy hash-tag may as well have been carved onto a stone tablet and buried in the yard.

I estimate that my Twitter presence will continue to be a non-factor until I’m at least as famous as a D-list celebrity.  Till then, I’m just going to try to work at keeping my posts under 1000 words and hang onto my day job.

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34 thoughts on “Corned Beef #cornedbeefhash

  1. The twitter escapes me too. I give it a shot, I’m @VictorTookes #unoriginal #Twit #names #zombiesOMGeeee .
    I would like to express my supreme disappointment that I was not given a #free plate of #CornedBeefHash for #reading.

  2. If we are already at the stage of miscomprehension, what next? I would like to think that even those using the hash-tags really don’t know any more about it than we do. There just blithering along like the rest of us. Actually, it’s all too geekie for me. Where’s my typewriter? Anybody seen it? jt

  3. I don’t get Twitter either. I tried it for a while, but meh. And anyway, how am I supposed to fit my blabbermouth into that few words? I can’t even make my comments short, so forget that. I don’t get the hashtag either, even though I’ve read tons of definitions. It might be that I don’t care. Poor baby hashtag – by the time she’s old enough to say her name, no one will understand what the hell it is because people will be using some other idiot form of social media. Just like that poor MySpace kid in my child’s class. Sad.

  4. Well, I am more clueless than you when it comes to twitter. I have a friend who uses hashtags in front of every single word in her Facebook status updates. It really #stumpsme as to #whatthefrigginpurposeis.

    And I have to admit: I hate twitter. Really I do. My blog posts go up on twitter automatically but like you said, who from twitter is reading my posts? Probably less than zero. People are always telling me “well, you’re not using twitter right!” or “once you start tweeting, it’s so addictive!” Uh….no and no.

    1. I think the success of Twitter is largely because of the easily digested, instantateous nature of the tweets. The new and improved version will have 30 or 40 less characters, so people don’t have to waste nearly as much time reading what Ricky Gervais has to say about the Pope.

  5. Also, how do you pronounce hashtags? Is #cornedbeefhash pronounced “hash corned beef hash”, or is the # silent, or what? Or do people just never read tweets out loud?

  6. I am with you! I don’t understand Twitter either. I have avoided the hash tag completely. I am up to like 20 followers though (AL Franken is one of them) other than him though, it’s mostly people trying to sell me stuff. A few people from the blog have decided to follow me, I have no idea why. Maybe just because the link is there and they got bored because like you, my posts are long and well… Twitter at least imposes a character limit.

    1. I have a few blog followers who also follow me on Twitter. I’m guessing it’s because they’re trying to see if they enjoy my writing in much smaller doses. The only “big” name follower I have is Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, who followed me after I’d written a humorous blog post suggesting new flavors, like Heroin Crunch.

  7. Hashtags are the most annoying things ever. They are supposed to be used sparingly and as a way to search for categories of things one might be interested in. Social media will always morph into something annoying and useless, I fear. Because young people have no discipline. Damn other people’s kids! And get off my lawn!

    1. In an ironic twist, I made a reference to the “get off my lawn” guy in an upcoming post on Speaker 7’s incredible spin-off “How To” blog. It looks like it’s slated for publication on 4/15. Keep your eyes peeled!

      Sorry about that…it’s just that I can’t help but shamelessly self-promote when I’ve got a good one coming up. Please forgive me.

  8. I looked up “tweets” in my outdated yet subsequently useless dictionary. Did not define or mention: hashish, hash-tags, hash, corn or beef. However, front and centre and mentioned in great detail was: chirping idiots.

    That works for me….

    1. What somehow got lost in my diatribe was the exciting new ombre hair coloring/treatment, which appears to accentuate the problem of dark roots by only coloring the last few inches of hair in the first place. It’s quite the #breakthrough.

  9. I tried to stay with you on this because I know I should figure out Twitter, but you lost me after the first paragraph. Which is a shame, because I’m sure it was hysterical. Damn I’m old.

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