Technology

Dumb Hashtags More Popular than Smart, Newsy Ones (Study)

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According to a new study, those lame hashtags like “#worstpickuplines” and “#rulesforgirls” and “#stuffifoundinmynose” or whatever tend to catch on much more quickly and become more widespread than the serious ones, like “#jan25” or “#egypt”. And apparently you’re more likely to buy a new gadget if a tech blogger tweets about it than if Ashton Kutcher does. Oh, also! “An earlier Stanford study found that bloggers, over time, had more influence than mainstream publications in areas like technology or entertainment.” Hell. Yeah. Blogging is not dead.

Researchers at Cornell have shown that more controversial hashtags — i.e., ones with political connotations and whatnot — take longer to catch on. The dumb ones either take off right away or fall flat.

Today in depressing facts:

In just one hour last Tuesday, “icantdateyou” racked up nearly 274,000 mentions on Twitter, with posts like “icantdateyou if all you wanna do is fuss” and “icantdateyou if you look like your brother.”

People are stupid, etc. Why can’t you date someone if they look like their brother? Of course they look like their brother.

As for the Kutcher vs. tech bloggers conundrum, that one has an explanation as well: tech bloggers know things about technology, and Ashton Kutcher doesn’t, six million followers be damned. The way a social network is constructed is actually more important than its size. We pay more attention to what’s going on in our smaller and more tightly knit networks (which, duh, that’s intuitive; but we do tend to assume that more Twitter followers = more clout. Not so true.).

Okay, and to repeat:

An earlier Stanford study found that bloggers, over time, had more influence than mainstream publications in areas like technology or entertainment.

Right! Blogs 4 lyfe. Hopefully this means that my advice on the Super Bowl will be followed by the vast majority of Americans.

[Rosie Gray] [@_rosiegray]