This column has been pinballing around my head for the past few months. I’m curious about hashtags. I’m under the impression that although everyone knows what a hashtag looks like, not many people pay attention to Twitter statistics beyond Follower counts. And now that every commercial – online or televised – comes with a hashtag, many of which seem perfunctory, I want to make an inexact science a bit more exact by evaluating basic Internet data and applying it to our coverage for the previous week.
Twitter clearly has value. Celebrities of varying degrees get paid silly amounts of money for sponsored tweets (sidebar: did you know that Melissa Joan Hart makes $9,100 for some of her tweets? That’s more obnoxious than silly). With money and brand equity to be had in the Twitter economy, every company can now slap a hashtag onto a visual ad and pretend to know what it’s doing. Remember when Newsweek ran with #MuslimRage? Or McDonald’s unintentionally eviscerating itself with #McDStories? Twitter can be tricky for the lazy and oblivious.