Twitter, to all intents and purposes, is sort of like a secret society, which you are slowly inducted into through public humiliation and hazing. Okay, maybe they don’t make you run through the streets naked while chanting “BANGARANG, RUFIO!”, but you certainly have to make a complete fool of yourself until you’re well-acquainted with the guidelines and slang terms of Twitter.
@….Mention…Re-Tweet…Tiny URL…Small URL…Hashtags…180 Characters…Trends…Following…Followers…Lists…DM…PM…and there’s probably a BM, too…the list goes on and on…
I pride myself in knowing almost all these terms, and today, I take that last step in becoming fully initiated in the Twitterverse: I will finally use a hashtag, and I will know why.
Hashtags are applicable labels to your Tweets which sort of act like tags on blog posts. They organize ideas/thoughts/trends/topics all over Twitter so that you can search for, say, #ripePeruvianmelons, or #ChristianBaleRants. You simply apply a "”#”, or a hashtag, to your topic, and boom…instant organization. You are now a responsible Tweeter.
Most topics are pretty straight forward (#parenting, #beverages, #movies). However, there has been one hashtag that has continually perplexed me, and it’s time I put a stop to the madness. I present for your examination…the elusive hashtag:
So, you’re probably asking “What the FF?!?”, especially those of you who do not Tweet or cannot Tweet due to a pre-existing medical condition. “FF” stands for Follow Friday, Friend Follow, or even Followable Folks. Allow me to open your eyes, ears, and other orifices to what #FF really means, through the use of a brilliant comic from my new favorite website, The Oatmeal (copyright Matthew Inman, 2010):
In a nutshell, the #FF hashtag is a way for Tweeters to promote and advertise other Tweeters/bloggers/websites with a simple mention. It’s a wonderful reciprocal gesture in the Blog-O-Sphere, creating connections between friends, acquaintances, and people you like to follow.
Originally, the #FF tag was reserved solely for Fridays, and you’ll notice how highly it’s trending today on Twitter. So, in the spirit of friendship, following, and FREEDOM (sorry, had to throw that one in there for my alliteration/Braveheart fans), I present to you my #FF picks for the week of December 26th-31st:
As a new camera owner, I’m constantly looking for photography/picture website which give me great ideas and inspiration for my own shots. This week on Freshly Pressed, there was a photographer featured who chose to shoot the same scene eight times to demonstrate how lighting, setting, time of day, and minute details can drastically change a picture.
It’s a study on photography, but it also has a deeper meaning, too. How often have we let something once exciting and wonderful in our lives become boring and ritualistic? Why has a drive around the lake become just another car ride? Why has a friendship, once energizing and fulfilling, become an acquaintance? And, more importantly, how can we keep the things that mean most to us in our lives consistently full of the energy we initially found in them?
Take a look below at some beautiful shots of Edinburgh Calton Hill and a wonderful photography blog. If these don’t inspire you to re-invent your Friday, I’ll video tape me dancing and post it on YouTube.
Never be afraid to take the same photograph again…
As a photographer I’m constantly seeking out new views and subject matters. However, with Edinburgh being my main focus over time it can be difficult to find something new. What this led me to discover is that doing the same shot over and over again isn’t a bad thing. Familiarity with the subject and trying something a little different can often produce a vastly improved or very different shot. This is the scene I’ll use to demonstrate, the class … Read More
If you’re a fan of Cyanide and Happiness, then you’ll love The Oatmeal Comics. Irreverent, batty, and always hilarious, The Oatmeal features several different comics, all written and produced by the very talented Matthew Inman, who also runs his own blog and store. He produced the aforementioned comic about the #FF hashtag, as well as comics like the following, which can be viewed with a simple click:
That’s it for my first #FF Friday! Follow me on Twitter to watch me give in to the craze and awesomely put this hashtag to good use. Enjoy your respective New Year’s Eves, and please come back to me Saturday with all limbs, heads, and eyes still attached! Happy New Year!