You know all about hashtags. They have become second nature to us social media maniacs.
But have you heard the word? Now we have hshtags. All lower case. The first "a" has been omitted. And oh yeah, it's followed by .com.
And what the hell, pray tell, is hashtags.com?
You read it right. It's a social media search engine dedicated to hashtags. Brothers and sisters, can I get a hllelulah? _men. (That would be Amen with no A.)
Ain't no joke.
I like what I see. And understand this, usually I don't.
We're all bombarded with new media, services, apps and dot-something-or-the-other daily. But I get flung an extra heap of digital dung. I suspect it's because I'm so active online with guest blogging and such. So the beta brigade hunts me down and asks me to try, test, evaluate, and review their wares. I tend to play along. But I also tend to get confused fairly fast and tune out thinking... Does the world really need another whizamajig like this? Is it valuable enough to learn how to use?
Now that last question is key. I don't want to learn how to use new stuff any more than I want to get out of bed on the day of my annual prostrate exam. Do you? (You don't have to answer that.)
The beauty of hshtags is there's nothing to learn.
And yes, it would appear this is the rare dinglehopper (name that flick) that will actually fill a void and serve a purpose.
Hshtags is a thing of beauty.
The simplicity of this site is absolutely astounding. So much so, it feels like a post-mortem delivery from Steve Jobs. Really. It took longer to catch on to hashtags with an "a" than it will to catch on to hshtags without one.
Check it out. Cool color scheme. Elegant type. Great use of icons. Supreme minimalism. I mean this thing makes an iPod seem fussy.
There's no manual. No forum. No videos to explain a thing. There is an FAQ. It should take you all of one minute to plod through it and you might feel silly afterwards because the answers are awfully obvious. (For example: How do I delete a tag? Click the 'x" symbol.)
The "Google" of social media?
That's what Digital Trends calls it in their story from last week. The story's author, Molly McHugh explains as an old school hashtag user, you had to log in to your sites or service of choice to do that thing you do with that symbol we used to call "numbers sign" and telecom folks call "pound key."
Hshtag.com does away with such shenanigans. It searches your # of choice from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo and Flickr. An odd 5-pack, I think you might agree, but Google+ and some of the usual suspects should be coming soon.
The results of a search look like this.
Nifty, eh? If you speak icon, you can see, you can share the updates you're served and go directly to the link-which is the update if there's no link in it or the piece being shared if there is a link. You can filter the results too: by post type (text, image, video) or by social media platform.
A word from its mastermind.
Kim Goulbourne created Hshtags. For now, she earns her shillings from the Wondersauce agency out of NY as a front-end developer.
She baked the idea in college. "I was interested in the concept of designing something based around social networks and keywords. At first the idea started off as just categorizing posts based on keywords, allowing a user to then select a category and explore posts."
Kim continues, "I revisited the concept months later and Hshtags evolved into a tool for searching through social media using hashtags." After learning how to code like a big leaguer, and help from friends, she built Hshtags.
Hshtags launched in September. In an interview with Molly, Goulbourne sad it's caught on with international users. She also said Hshtags hasn't started analyzing the activity yet, but "It feels like I see lots of brand-type hashtags on Twitter, a lot of descriptions on Instagram, and a lot of randomness on Facebook."
"I want to create a powerful search engine that focuses on social media but using hashtags as its core," said Goulbourne. "I think a hashtag is such a robust device when it comes to having global conversations on one topic in the social realm. They are easy ways to open dialogue on particular topics and strong promotional tools for brands or companies who are looking to build and analyze conversations with consumers around their product."
It's that simple.