A Hashtag is seen on Twitter as a word preceded by a #symbol. Whenever you see a hashtag on Twitter, you can click on it, and you will see all similar tweets that are using this same hashtag.

There are two ways that hashtags are used on Twitter. One is to organize tweets into one twitter stream so that many people can contribute their perspectives on the same conversation. Usually this first use is only one word or an abbreviated word.

A second use for a hashtag is to illustrate a thought bubble. These tweets are generally characterized by several words linked together like #iThoughtYouMightSayThat.

There is a great article, posted on 2.8.11 by Adriel Hampton on The Subtle Art of Hashtagging that is worth reading.

In the Emergency Management Community, you will see a number of hashtags in use on any given day. This page will seek to identify current hashtags with brief definitions so that you can observe various streams on twitter.

General Hashtags

  • #SMEM = Social Media & Emergency Management [Used to share info on the intersection between social media & emergency management. You may see articles shared, questions posed and broad information-sharing.]
  • #SMEMChat = Used during Friday one-hour conversations on Twitter between 12:30p-1:30ap Eastern Time
  • #EM = Emergency Management
  • #EGov or #OGov = Electronic Government or Open Government
  • #Gov20 = Government 2.0 references government use of online tools, broader than emergency management
  • #HSEM = Homeland Security Emergency Management (discussion underway about using this instead of SMEM to designate incident underway)
  • #SM = Social Media
  • #WX = Weather-Specific Tweets (for state-specific, these will be preceded by state initials).
  • #CoEMS = Chronicles of EMS

Conference & Association Hashtags

  • #NEMA = National Association of Emergency Management
  • #IAEM = International Association of Emergency Management
  • #UASI = Urban Area Security Initiative
  • #VSMWG = Virtual Social Media Working Group (w/ DHS Science & Technology Directorate)
  • #IAEMETC = IAEM Emerging Tech Committee
  • #VOST = Virtual Operations Support Teams
  • #HMRD = Humanity Road