What's A #Hashtag?

I am truly not afraid of displaying my ignorance for all to see. Especially if it serves as a means for helping others learn something new. Today I found out about “hashtags.”

It IS NOT a price sticker on a can of Hormel hash. It IS a hash markmethod of categorizing or “grouping” topics on Twitter. The Twitter experience can be somewhat confusing, increasingly so as you grow the number of twitter-ers you follow. I see hashtags as an aid for commenting on a specific topic, organizing comments and encouraging dialog among twitter-ers on that topic.

Taken from the Twitter Fan Wiki:

Hashtags are a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to your tweets. They’re like tags on Flickr, only added inline to your post. You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag.

Hashtags were developed as a means to create “groupings” on Twitter, without having to change the basic service. The hash symbol is a convention borrowed primarily from IRC channels, and later from Jaiku’s channels

hashtags.org provides real-time tracking of Twitter hashtags. Opt-in by following @hashtags to have your hashtags tracked.  Similarly, Twemes offers real-time tracking without the necessity of following a specific Twitter account.  Also, with their purchase of Summize, Twitter itself now offers some support of hashtags at their search engine: http://search.twitter.com

According to the Wiki, hashtag popularity boomed in 2007 when twitter-er Nate Ritter used it to tag updates about the San Diego wild fires. The Wiki writer advises that this feature is emerging and the rules of engagement are still in flux. Consequently, the writer advises that hashtags should be used sparingly. Suggested uses include: events or conferences; disasters; memes; context; or recall.

I can think of additional uses, including promotion of a business, product or service. However, as with any type of promotion, especially in a medium that prizes itself on casual conversation, excessive promotional use could be viewed as a turn-off. Twitter is a subtle tool that does not lend itself to hammer strikes. In any event, I would love to get some comments from Twitterafficionados as to their thoughts on best use of hashtags.

What’s A #Hashtag?

I am truly not afraid of displaying my ignorance for all to see. Especially if it serves as a means for helping others learn something new. Today I found out about “hashtags.”

It IS NOT a price sticker on a can of Hormel hash. It IS a hash markmethod of categorizing or “grouping” topics on Twitter. The Twitter experience can be somewhat confusing, increasingly so as you grow the number of twitter-ers you follow. I see hashtags as an aid for commenting on a specific topic, organizing comments and encouraging dialog among twitter-ers on that topic.

Taken from the Twitter Fan Wiki:

Hashtags are a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to your tweets. They’re like tags on Flickr, only added inline to your post. You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag.

Hashtags were developed as a means to create “groupings” on Twitter, without having to change the basic service. The hash symbol is a convention borrowed primarily from IRC channels, and later from Jaiku’s channels

hashtags.org provides real-time tracking of Twitter hashtags. Opt-in by following @hashtags to have your hashtags tracked.  Similarly, Twemes offers real-time tracking without the necessity of following a specific Twitter account.  Also, with their purchase of Summize, Twitter itself now offers some support of hashtags at their search engine: http://search.twitter.com

According to the Wiki, hashtag popularity boomed in 2007 when twitter-er Nate Ritter used it to tag updates about the San Diego wild fires. The Wiki writer advises that this feature is emerging and the rules of engagement are still in flux. Consequently, the writer advises that hashtags should be used sparingly. Suggested uses include: events or conferences; disasters; memes; context; or recall.

I can think of additional uses, including promotion of a business, product or service. However, as with any type of promotion, especially in a medium that prizes itself on casual conversation, excessive promotional use could be viewed as a turn-off. Twitter is a subtle tool that does not lend itself to hammer strikes. In any event, I would love to get some comments from Twitterafficionados as to their thoughts on best use of hashtags.

Robert Ambrogi's LawSites: VersusLaw Unveils Free Case Law Search

Robert Ambrogi reports on the drastic price drop over at VersusLaw all the way to free! FindACase is a free legal research service clearly targeted at consumers. The service mines federal and state court cases. Although you can search by citation (as well as keyword), the result is stripped of identifying information such as citations and docket numbers (the full citation can be purchased for $2.95). Cases are organized by state, with federal as its own category. Not a bad price for the ability to perform a quick, general search!

Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites: VersusLaw Unveils Free Case Law Search

Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites: VersusLaw Unveils Free Case Law Search

Robert Ambrogi reports on the drastic price drop over at VersusLaw all the way to free! FindACase is a free legal research service clearly targeted at consumers. The service mines federal and state court cases. Although you can search by citation (as well as keyword), the result is stripped of identifying information such as citations and docket numbers (the full citation can be purchased for $2.95). Cases are organized by state, with federal as its own category. Not a bad price for the ability to perform a quick, general search!

Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites: VersusLaw Unveils Free Case Law Search

Even The Courts Can Sing

How cool is this? A court on the cutting edge of social media technology? Although courts are not usually famous for their tech savvy or early adopter tendencies, the First Judicial District of Court of Pennsylvania has started posting updates or “tweets” to followers on Twitter. Law.com has the story here. Twitter, the micro-blogging tool that I have previously commented on and have wholeheartedly jumped headfirst into, is an efficient mechanism for fast and brief communication. Currently, the Court’s tweets are limited to the same information available in the “News and Announcements” section of its web page.  The content may be expanded in the future as the Chief Deputy Court Commissioner has invited feedback from the legal community on how to improve access.

If you are not a “tweep”, never fear. The Court has you covered with SMS messaging, email alerts or other web applications. Quite forward thinking, if one were to ask me!

United States or Bust?

How timely. Law Librarian Blog reports that CreditCards.com has created an interactive map of compiled bankruptcy statistics by state. The map tracks Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings only. The site utilizes AACER (Automated Access To Court Electronic Records). And guess what? They report that bankruptcy filings are on the rise.

Patent Lawyers Need Love Too

I am not a patent lawyer and don’t even profess to play on on TV (although I admit to being fascinated with their practice). I find it noteworthy to re-report on an article I saw on the Technolawyer blog about a social network for patent lawyers called, aptly enough, Patent Buddy. The site also caters to patent agents, and provides resources for marketing, job hunting, networking and research. Like LinkedIn, you can create a profile and you can even link to patents that you have prosecuted so that your work product can be reviewed. At the time of posting, the front page of the site showed 39,072 member lawyers and 12,967 member organizations or firms. At this time, you must provide a USPTO registration to get started, but the site promises that open registration for inventors and researchers will be provided in the near future. It’s a big Patent Party and You’re Invited!

AttorneyPages Launches Product for New Google Phone and iPhone Users – MarketWatch

Google phone, iPhone and Blackberry users may have the jump on finding us lawyers FAST. The Wall Street Journal – Market Watch reports that Advice Company has announced a mobile phone interface to assist in the search for an attorney. Advice Company is the parent company for on-line consumer attorney directory www.attorneypages.com. By pointing the phone’s browser at this site and then keying in the zip code and desired area of practice, the user will be supplied with a list of qualified attorneys that can be called with a mere click on the listing. It doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to envision scenarios in which such an app might come in very handy.

AttorneyPages Launches Product for New Google Phone and iPhone Users – MarketWatch