THE BLOG
10/01/2012 06:52 pm ET Updated Dec 01, 2012

WATCH: 60 Seconds of Social Media

Is 2012 the Year of the Bashtag? More than ever before, we're seeing Twitter hashtags gone wild.

McDonald's #McDStories PR debacle started the year off with a bang, quickly followed by Blackberry-maker RIM's own hashtag horror story. Earlier this month, Newsweek magazine joined the club, with a hashtag they undoubtedly thought would get some attention, #MuslimRage. It worked! Probably not in the way they intended, though.

Who are the latest targets of hashtag hijacking? Politicians. In early September, the Republican National Committee purchased (for a reported $120,000 per day) the hashtag #areyoubetteroff on behalf of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, likely hoping to see a stream of users complain that their lives had gone downhill since the 2008 election of President Obama. Unfortunately for Romney, much of the Twitterverse replied that yes, in fact, they were better off than four years ago.

The President's campaign had its own bit of hashtag hilarity recently. It asked users to write on their hands why they want President Obama re-elected, and post the pictures to Instagram with the hashtag #ForAll. Not even Rick Perry could resist taking a poke.

We'll catch you up on brands that lost control of their hashtags in this week's edition of Freshwire's "60 Seconds of Social Media."

And we just wrapped up a series of daily panels for Social Media Week Los Angeles. If you couldn't make it, you've got to check out the video from Friday's fascinating session with tech futurist Nova Spivack from social discovery engine Bottlenose, and Chris Dominguez, CEO of polling technology powerhouse Sodahead.com. They discussed data, social media, the state of the Internet, and where it's all headed. You can watch the entire session online here.

A few weeks ago we talked about e-books and tablets and a cool upcoming project: Mick and Keith: Never Stop, My Conversations with the Rolling Stones, by Rona Elliot. The enhanced e-book is available now.

Missed last week's episode on mobile advertising? Check it out here.