Why You Are So Afraid of Hashtags

How many times have you heard this said?

“Damn hashtags. I hate those things!”

Usually we dislike systems and technology changes that we do not understand. Technology can be overwhelming. Add on change and it can get downright scary. Yet, if you plan to stay abreast with trends that you love, I suggest you become friends with them!

Simply put, hashtags are a way of searching post groupings on a social networking platform just by typing in one word.

Say, for instance, you love horses. You can go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, the four most popular social platforms right now, type in “horses” in their search function, and you will get endless posts about horses. You will find links to articles, forums, videos, photos and more.

Hashtags are, in essence, a way to discover infinite posts on your passions, all by just typing in one word.

How to use them in your posts? Simply put a pound symbol in front of your word. Think about your post and who you will want to connect with. For instance, my passion is child abuse survivors, so my most used one word tags are #abuse #child #children #survivors #csa (that last one stands for child sexual abuse).

If you are into sailing you might use #sailing #sea #sails #sailboat in order to connect with your fellow #sailors

There are also hashtag phrases. Popular Twitter users, Rachel Thompson, @RachelintheOC and Bobbi Parish, @TruthisHers utilize their Twitter account @SexAbuseChat for a global networking chat every Tuesday night where Twitter users can chat with each other by  using the hashtag #sexabusechat

To join their discussion, one simply adds their hashtag to the end of their tweet. #sexabusechat << just like that

I hope this helps those who don’t understand hashtags to become more familiar with them so you can embrace their existence as an inventive way to find everything you love by simply typing one word.

Hashtags have been around a while, and I don’t forsee them going away. In fact, I’m watching social network users utilizing them in extremely productive ways. So don’t be afraid! Come #hashtag with us!

Collaborator No More 

Don’t ask me to collaberate unless there’s compensation, and that compensation has to be given to me first.  I’ve been burned more than not in the area of collaborating. Giving my time and talents over to anyone is a privilege.  My gifts have value.

Collaborators are interesting creatures.  They love bomb like this:  “Vennie you’re the greatest (flattery, flattery, flattery) I’d love for you to (write/paint/sing for me)!”

In the past, my response was to trust, have ethics and step up to the plate in the exchange.  Until…

Weeks later… The collaborator had their shit from me (because I followed through with what I said I was going to do), and I had… Nothing in return. Then suddenly their love bombing disappeared, the collaborator conveniently doesn’t know me anymore and pays no more attention to my work.  They have moved on to their next victim.   They are in the business of extraction.

So when people ask me to collaberate the answer is no unless there is direct compensation.

I am sure many creatives can relate to this type of scenario. Creative exchange should be an equal flow.  Not one side using the other.

Creatives who have gone Hollywood are a turn off to me.  They are stripped of ethics and swept up into the pattern of using and discarding people. They care only about notoriety.  Where is the passion when art becomes emotional and financial greed?  We creatives should receive compensation, of course.   But when creatives use other creatives, that is not collaboration.  That is piranha ass hattery.

Erykah Badu said that once a creative gives their gifts away it doesn’t belong to them anymore.  I agree.   I give away my words every day.  I bare my soul.  I risk plagiarism, and it doesn’t matter because I’m connecting with lives.  I do so by choice.

But don’t ask me to work on your project for free.  My free time is already invested into the stock of Vennie.