Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hashtags On TV

Hashtags on TV graphic from Music 3.0 blog
You know that a social phenomena has really broken out when you begin to see it pop up on television. Once upon a time not all that long ago, it was a big deal when a brand's website URL was presented during a commercial; now it's commonplace. The same with Facebook, where a brand page URL is shown on not only commercials, but sporting events, prime time shows and talk shows.

But another new social element heretofore relegated to only online is now beginning to show up - Twitter hashtags. For those of you who don't know, a hashtag is a keyword with a # sign in front of it. Using one or more can make your tweet easier to find if someone does a Twitter search for that particular keyword (see more about hashtags in this post.) This is how breaking news can travel so fast (see Arab Spring).

As an example, the Daytona 500 recently ran "#Daytona500" and "Raindelay" bugs on the upper right screen during the event (see the graphic on the left). The Oscar telecast then tried the same thing with "#Oscars," but implemented it poorly by only briefly flashing it before commercials. I've even seen some hashtags recently on some regional baseball broadcasts on the MLB Network. Image that - it's made it down to the regional level already.

Regardless of the implementation, the fact of the matter is that when a huge mass-media like television finally adopts something, you can consider it in the everyday consciousness of the average viewer. Ladies and gentleman, you may or may not use this social network yet, but Twitter is now mainstream.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

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