So I sat and wondered today as I watched another PowerPoint, how different things have become when it comes to even talking about places we communicate in. It’s non-cool these these days to use http:// or even double-u double-u double-u dot. Even email has become somewhat of a time stamp. Some people only have their work email address, and others have hotmail or yahoo. When we interact off line, our use of ‘place’ tells others something about us even though we might be aware of it. We may appear a dinosaur or a space-cadet it seems.
The @ symbol has changed it’s meaning, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s flicked someone my Twitter name and then been asked – is that dot com? The point of my drawing is to show that even simple symbols have radically changed their meaning and like many symbolic languages, both the @ and the # have many meanings depending on audience, media and intention.
So it appears to me that establishing a #hastag today is as important as a domain – and reflects the increasingly simplicity we have to mark-out a point of reference online. A domain once represented a website – a repository of information, where as the #hashtag represents a community, and can be owned by everyone, not just the registrar. It is logical to me that organisations interactively manage a taxonomy of #hashtags and @accounts and that these things have a valid place on even printed stationary. But in doing that they also need to ensure that they raise their level of communication to meet the expectation of the audience. It’s only going to get more complex I guess.