Now I personally am not a Twitter user. I do have a Twitter account, but I only used it for a short while before growing bored with it. As such, I am no way well-informed on the subject of hashtags. I do still know how they are used, though.
The study on how hashtags propagate is definitely interesting. However, I was left with more questions than answers. I felt the study was very limited. From what I gathered, they only picked three hashtags to evaluate, all of which were popular hashtags. These hashtags followed the idea that the rich get richer. Yet, wouldn’t the fact that the hashtags were already growing in popularity affect the results? Even if these hashtags were randomly picked without prior knowledge of the popularity, three hashtags hardly represents the behavior of all hashtags. Is it possible hashtags could fluctuate more? Could there be ones that reach a certain popularity and then stay constant or even decrease? Could hashtags remain unpopular for awhile and suddenly gain some popularity? Could other hashtags repeatedly increase and decrease in popularity over a course of time?
I could go on and on with questions. I felt the research was very limited and more research could be done. It did peak my interest, and the conclusion of the studies were logically sound in addition to being backed up with the research. I just think there could be more research done with a broader range of hashtags.
At the same time, how relevant is this research? Of course there are ways the results could be utilized, such as spreading information quickly in emergencies, but is the technology constant enough to be worth studying? Will the results of these studies be obsolete in a decade? Perhaps that can’t be answered, and the results might prove useful for future technologies. Personally, sheer curiosity would be enough for me to carry out research in this direction. The thing is would it be an efficient use of time and money?