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Introducing #hashtags

In our efforts to improve our service and further develop the recently introduced “Reasons behind the site reputation” functionality, we added a new feature to the comments. From today on, you may use #hashtags in your comments.

What are the benefits of hashtags? 

  • More detailed reason for the site reputation: Using hashtags allows you to conveniently describe the specific reason for a rating. For instance, if you are rating a site which you believe falls under the “scam” category, in your comment you can use a hashtag to describe the type of scam, such as #smsscam, #ponzi, #workathomescam, #counterfeit. We would suggest raters to carefully select hashtags that are as descriptive as possible, are used elsewhere too (e.g. in Wikipedia) and are used by other WOT users. To facilitate this we have introduced a basic auto-complete feature for using hashtags in the comment field. In the first release auto-complete is only available if you write the comment via WOT Scorecard. In the following releases we will also support auto-complete in WOT browser add-on. Using multiple hashtags in the same comment is perfectly ok if it makes sense, e.g. #workathomescam #getrichquickscam together.
  • Search functionality: By clicking a hashtag in a comment field in the Scorecard you are taken to the new “Search for hashtags” feature. With Search page you can easily find other users’ comments that have used a specific hashtag. Search is also a useful tool to check what hashtags other are raters using. Or if you are focusing your rating efforts to e.g. finding and rating certain types of scams, Search helps you to find out about other rater activity, comments and websites related to the same type of scam. 
  • Explanations for hashtags: Whenever a particular hashtag becomes popular enough and it’s being used in a consistent way, the WOT team can link it to an explanatory page (e.g. to Wikipedia). For example #workathomescam could be linked to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work-at-home_scheme. Initially link to the explanation for a hashtag will be visible in the top right corner of the new Search page, however later it can be used in many other ways too to provide quickly and conveniently additional information about the website to WOT users. Providing an in-depth explanation helps visitors to understand why WOT is presenting a warning and typically increases the probability that they will take the warning seriously (whereas many users choose to disregard warnings if no easy-to-understand explanation or evidence is given for the site’s bad reputation).

We hope to see our raters start using the hashtags and coordinate their efforts so that a number of consistently used hashtags would emerge. Based on the usage and learnings from the use, the WOT team is looking to expand the hashtag related features in the future releases of WOT service.

Happy hashtagging,

The WOT Team

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