6 #Hashtags, what are they good for?

Quite a lot, actually. By now hashtags have found their way across multiple social media platforms. On Twitter, selecting any hashtag you see will take you to a list of tweets that feature that tag. It’s a way to quickly see a list of tweets about a specific topic.

Some important hashtags for your R journey are:

6.1 #RStats

To indicate that a tweet is about an R-related topic, the #rstats hashtag is used. As a hashtag consisting of just one letter (#R) didn’t quite cut it, the hashtag that was settled on was #rstats. First used in 2009, it is now probably the most widely used hashtag by the R Twitter community.

The @rstatstweet account retweets any tweets that contain the #rstats hashtag. The good thing about this is that your tweet will get more exposure. A possible downside from following the @rstatstweet account is that you might get overwhelmed by the huge amount of tweets that use this hashtag.

6.2 #TidyTuesday

Every week there is a Tidy Tuesday challenge posted. It’s a dataset that everyone makes visualisations about and shares their results (and often source code too!). This is a fun way to improve your own skills by learning how others do things and practicing on interesting datasets. Read more about Tidy Tuesday on their Github page. New #TidyTuesday data sets are posted on Twitter by @thomas_mock, usually on Monday. Search for or click on the #TidyTuesday hashtag to see all the visualisations that were posted recently.

To easily browse older #TidyTuesday tweets, you can use the awesome Shiny app created by @nealgrantham. It can be found at tidytuesday.rocks, and you can filter tweets by data set or by user.

6.3 Event hashtags

One of the best aspects of Twitter is following news about events and conferences. One of the most popular for R users is RStudioConf. The hashtag #rstudioconf becomes really active leading up to and during the event. If you’re not attending the conference, following this hashtag gives you an idea of what’s going on during the conference. Tweets often contain take-home messages of talks, screenshots, or links to slides. People attending the conference often use Twitter to meet up for coffee, or to get info on sessions that are cancelled.

Other event hashtags:

  • #useR + year, eg. #useR2020
  • #eRum + year, eg. #eRum2020
  • #SatRday + city, eg. #SatRdayAMS for Amsterdam