It was the nostalgic 90s. Our nation was prospering rapidly and the middle-class folks had started getting their hands on the money. The elite class gadgets were now becoming a reality of the middle class, and we had such a dream come true as a corded landline telephone.
It was the time when the frequent blank calls meant that your darling daughters are getting attention from the Romeos of the town.
Our landline was not the one with a circular rotator but it had a modern keypad and for the first time on the same keypad, I came across this strange Symbol # , which was giving company to 0 along with * but its usability was unknown to us. For my eight-year child's brain, it was analogous to the Joker in the deck of cards.
Then in subsequent years, it became known to me that this symbol is a descendant of lb, a short form of the Latin word libra which means a balancing scale (that's why sun sign Libra has the picture of balancing scale on it). This symbol used to go by the name "pound" in those days but nobody would have known this pound would become James Bond of Internet era and would help in the sorting ideas and organizing thoughts.
During the initial days of Twitter, people were learning the power of expressing their opinion on the internet and it opened a door for global communication but there was a desperate need of group organizing framework.
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Chris Messina, a product designer working in Silicon Valley came up with this idea of hashtag. He tweeted on 23rd of August 2007
How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups? As in #barcamp [msg]?
And like any other new idea or opinion, it was not welcomed by the people of the internet, this idea was even rejected by Twitter saying that it is a nerdy thing it doesn't have a potential to be a mainstream phenomenon.
But Twitter was wrong, later in October of the same year, a friend of Chris was posting about San Diego wildfire, Chris asked him to add the hashtag San Diego fire to his tweets and as Darwin suggests our forefathers were apes and monkeys, people started copying the same hashtag it also gained traction when conservatives used it to.
Encourage Congress to vote in favor of an energy bill.
Two years later Twitter licked its own spit and added an option to search for hashtags and it turned out that lots of people wanted to have their opinions heard and they wanted to be the part of a global conversation.
Hashtags are now used by millions across
All social media marketingplatforms they act as a driving force behind the biggest social movements of our times like #metoo and #blacklivesmatter. Now a day’s hash tag is the most important ingredient in the recipe of internet Activism.
The reason behind the evolution of the hashtag tells us about the basic human tendency that we are social animals and we want to group together with like-minded people.
There are two takeaways from Chris Messina's story that believe in your idea even if the Giants of your field don't give a hack about it and a friend can be an asset use them other than to tell and listen to the drunken crazy stories.