Hashtags truly do bring people together

TweetHashtagWe know that the Hashtag (#) is used to bring people interested in, or searching for, a similar topic together online.  Maybe you are looking for info/conversation on #audi or maybe #mcdonalds or just the #followfriday or #FF.  This helps us as we search for similar areas of interest.

But, recently that little hashtag connecting me with a friend that I hadn’t seen in ages.  I was at the Canada 3.0 conference here in Toronto.  I decided to tweet about how much I enjoyed the social media presentation by Jason Townsend from NASA. In that tweet I included the event hashtag #cda30, which is normal practice at conferences/events these days.  And it was just because of that simple little hashtag that my friend, who unbeknownst to me, was at the same conference and following the hashtag of the event, connected with me.

Within minutes, I had a tweet from her informing me that she was also at the conference and that we should connect for lunch.  And that was it, a date for lunch that day was made.  A few more confirmation tweets back and forth and an hour later we were sitting down to lunch and catching up.  I know that this revelation isn’t new and it’s far from a unique situation, but I found it very interesting.

Did you know that the hashtag was only created on August 23, 2007, by Chris Messina.  Many people were not even on Twitter yet at that point, nor heard of this ‘Hashtag’.  Now this little number sign or hashtag can bring people together online and in person.

I think about the process that would have had to take place years ago to have made that lunch between two friends at the same conference happen.  It might have just happened because of a chance meeting of paths crossing.  But most likely, not at all.

Remember, it’s that simple act of tagging and hashtagging that can be life changing just through the connections that you can make.  Remember to do it, but do it well.

Thank you Chris Messina and your hashtag!