I have to expand on this notion. If you want to be REALLY cool, there’s even a hand movement sweeping the post-grad nation. If you’re a Texan then “hook ‘em horns,” otherwise “rock on.” Now make a sweeping movement south and a sweeping movement left to right. You’ve just made your first physical hashtag! Ashley Parker describes an even geekier version in her New York Times article about the evolution of twitter’s hashtag.
It’s true, it’s a movement that took a while to catch on; but when the “hashtag godfather,” google developer Chris Messina, helped introduce an easier and simplier way to communicate on twitter, it snowballed into a cultural phenomenon.
Using a hashtag is also a way for someone to convey that they’re part of a certain scene. “You kind of have to be in-the-know,” Mr. Messina said. “So it’s one of those jokes where you’re like, ‘Oh, I see what you did there, because you’re on Twitter and I’m on Twitter.’ ”
Agencies like Oxygen Media have taken to using the hashtag as a way to transcend both cultural “coolness” barriers as well as to improve upon marketing tactics. “It’s a nod to ‘we know you and we live in your world,’ but it’s also a way to get a conversation started in our advertising,” says Jane Olsen, Senior Vice President. You wouldn’t use hashtags in conversation with your grandmother, she wouldn’t understand. However, they’re quickly snowballing into an everyday conversation phenomenon with Charlie Sheen being the poster boy for their wittiness.