At SXSW I had quite a few hallway conversations about what I consider the Twitter hashtag problem. As a constructive contribution to the ongoing discussion, in between sessions I threw together a way to strip out hashtags from Twitter a account and create a new, hashtag-free account using Yahoo Pipes and Twitterfeed. You can see it and read about it at:
It requires a few manual steps since I have to create a new Twitter.com account for the person, and then set up Twitterfeed to feed RSS to it. I’m taking requests if there’s anyone you follow who you wish you could see without the # signs, or if you yourself use them and would like to offer your friends a hash-free version of your account. Just drop me a comment or email. Assistance on the project is also welcome in terms of design, development, or anything else you’d like to jump in on.
As soon as I finish it up I’ll be adding an interactive form that lets you play around with the hashtags in Twitter streams and get instant feedback.
Special thanks to Jonas and Jonathan at lk9 for the moral support and name suggestions, and to Chris Messina for agreeing to be one of my first guinea pigs and helping spread the word.
This sounds like something that could be addressed with client-side formatting. You could certainly imagine an API client parsing the tweet to parse and display meta-data like #hashtags and @replies in a more useful format. I could imagine doing this easily in TTYtter; do any other clients allow user plugins?
Good idea. I don’t know off-hand, but will be looking in to it now. Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions here and the great extended thoughts on your blog.
Hey Dave, it was good to meet you and to see you execute on this project over SXSW! I’m definitely supportive of making hashtags more user-friendly, or at least less obnoxious to those who don’t care to see them. It’ll be curious to see who follows my non-hashtagged doppleganger! ;)