HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIL’ TWITTER BIRD! On Monday, Twitter turned five years old. I’ve told you about how Twitter can be used to look for jobs. I thought it only appropriate that I explain one of the most common terms when “tweeting”. The pound sign is called a “hashtag”. This can be used to direct your tweet into a group of tweets which match your subject area. Often I use them when conversing with friends at a conference, for example. All the tweets which contain that hashtag actually arrive in a list together on twitter and can be read like an ongoing conversation timeline. So, a tweet for a conference might look something like this:

Really enjoyed hearing @victorantonio and @katebuckjr last month. I've already applied some of their suggestions. #bbww11

The #bbww11 stands for the “Business Bootcamp for Wonder Women 2011”  which I attended in February. The organizer, Taryn Pisaneschi, put on such a great gathering of ideas that the hashtag has lived on past the conference as a way for people to speak to others who attended that conference.

So, the hashtag can have a business / community application.

And then it can have a silly application. Sometimes people use hashtags on Twitter to represent a sense of sarcasm and humor. One of my favorite ones to follow is the hashtag of #firstworld problem. About now I can hear you saying to me, “What in the world is a #firstworldproblem?” Stick with me all of you non-tweeters.

First world problems are those that only people who are blessed to live in an industrialized and develop country like America would have. These are issues which would be non-relevant if living in a third world country. Basically they are issues of the spoiled. Those tweets look something like this:

Made myself a pot of coffee, then realized that there's no half and half! #firstworldproblems
No Splenda at this restaurant. I don't like tea with the pink stuff. #firstworldproblems
Wonder which outfit I should dress the dog in today? #firstworldproblems
Kids are crying because we forgot the collection of dvds at home for our spring break trip. #firstworldproblems

It is interesting to see some of the conversations and trending topics happening on twitter.  If you wish to take a look a the #firstworldproblems hashtag on twitter you should take a peek a the ongoing tweet list – FirstWorldProblems – you do not need an account (though I recommend you do have one). If you listen carefully, this term has now worked its way into our daily verbal conversations. It’s like a little joke about recognizing how spoiled we really are at times.

If you have any questions about Twitter use I will be happy to answer them in the comment section below. And PLEASE, try not to complain about your #firstworldproblems so much!