I think that's the same as a hash with Summize, which is now Twitter search.
From Jaiku: From any Jaiku interface you can post to a channel by prefixing your message with the channelname. Example: #jaiku Hello everyone! But, you have to officially request the #channel.
So, with Twitter, you can type #eduweb2008 anywhere in any tweet, and then go to Twitter search and enter the hash. The results are, in essence, a channel. The results generate an RSS feed with notifications when there are new entries in that channel.
The nice thing is that, rather having to request a #channel (as in Jaiku), Twitters channels are community managed folksonomy. I just searched for a Campus Technology conference "channel" and didn't find one, and so "claimed" the #camptech08 channel. Now, I'll see if anyone posts ...
However ... I'm new to this, so there may be things I'm missing ...
As far as I know, the use of the hashes also came about from Hashtags.org--on Twitter as @hashtags, of course-- which we were using before Summize was popular (and well before it was bought by Twitter).
Hashtags (the service) became pretty much obsolete, though, when Twitter turned off some of the features that it used to index Tweets. As you can see from their site, the last Tweets they've indexed are from almost a month ago now.
Well, you were the one who answered my earlier question about this, so I'm relieved to be "right" ;)
The nice thing about Twitter search/Summize is that ANY term, preceeded by any character, can become a "channel" with its own RSS feed.
This is the very development that changes Twitter from a "where-are-you" vanity tool into a useful service that supports community tagging, a la Delicious.
That said, this whole conversation is in a walled garden (Ning) in the same way that a parallel conversion is in another walled garden (Facebook). How do we get our intellectual work out of here! I want to get out into fresh air!
So I was. I always forget who I lend a hand to on there because it happens so frequently. I've found Twitter a great source for quick "how-to" questions, so of course I help others out the same way. ;)
Emphatically agreed on your other two points. I've been having a long-running debate with a friend who doesn't "get" Twitter (she's also in higher ed, albeit on the learning design side), and I really need to make these points to her. You did so very nicely and succinctly here, and it's a feature a lot of people don't find or use if they're just starting out over there (unless, like many at #eduweb2008, that's how they were introduced).
And while Ning does require a log-in to participate, it does have its own RSS feeds, so I would say that its walls are nowhere near as bad as Facebook's. Plus it's public, so people can at least read along without a log-in.
Jay - I think Google picks these up pretty quickly. I'm amazed how visible this site is in Google. My discussions and "my page" show up in the first page of search results when you Google my name. Just shows how "search engine friendly" social media can be.
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