The hashtag turns 13
An interview with the hashtag inventor on the symbol’s unlikely role during a challenging and unruly cultural moment
Con todos ustedes, el creador del hashtag
El , como seguramente sabes, es una forma de etiquetar información, pero un es mucho más que una almohadilla y una…
Andres Lomeña’s questions are prefixed with AL.
My answers are prefixed with CM.
AL:You have told hashtag’s origins many times, so I wonder if you have considered to write a book about it.
CM: Ha, indeed I have! But less about the hashtag itself, although I’m sure there are plenty of interesting stories to tell. Instead, I’m personally more interested in contemplating the individual’s role and responsibility for the technology products that they create, and what obligations they might have in socializing their motivations, intentions, and purpose, and reflecting on the consequences of their work.
I don’t tire of recounting the origin story of the hashtag because I’m the only person who can tell it. And now that the hashtag has become so widely adopted around the world, I have a unique perspective and insight to offer other people who may (or may not) want to “change the world”, so that I can help them better understand what it might mean if they succeed in that goal.
AL: I interviewed the historian Ian Milligan about his book History in the age of abundance: how the web is transforming historical research. Your contribution seems simple but it is going to add a new chapter to library science, right? Perhaps you are like a new Melvil Dewey…
CM: I’ve thought about this a bit and I think there’s a difference with the hashtag and the Dewey Decimal system in several aspects:
- The Dewey Decimal System isn’t semantic — meaning that’s it’s a system of indirect reference. Through oblique notation, it will help you find the book or material that…