People have mixed feelings about hashtags. Where some say they're irrelevant and so overused they mean nothing at all, others swear by them for expressing a feeling in less than 140 characters. Plus, no one can deny the hashtag's efficiency as a cataloguing tool. But, regardless of how you feel about the Twitter-speak symbol, it's about to become part of one of the most important conversations of the year. Time and Twitter have teamed up to pick the magazine's person of the year for 2013 — and they're taking your suggestions through the social media outlet.
The partnership will rely on Poptip to gather tweets from anyone who's suggested a POY candidate using the hashtag #TIMEPOY. Not only will Twitter users be able to suggest candidates through the social media site, but Time will also share Vine videos of the contenders on time.com. Don't get too excited, though: This system is merely for suggestions. Time editors will still independently choose the winner, and managing editor Nancy Gibbs will announce the POY on the Today show on December 11.
You have until 11:59 p.m. ET on December 4 to submit your suggestion via Twitter. In the meantime, feel free to shout out how you feel about this whole thing in the comments below. Is this a sign of times to come, where social media now dictates the larger conversations in our society? Or, is this just an experiment in trending? (Mashable)