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Guide to Using Hashtags for Morris Sides

About This Document

This document summarises the ways in which hashtags can be used and encourages Morris Federation sides to provide their side’s hashtag in their profile in the Teamfinder service as well as using hashtags to help others find media resources and discussions about traditional dance.

What is a Hashtag?

A dictionary definition for ‘hashtag’ is “a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify digital content on a specific topic.

Figure 1: Google search for #haymarketrapper

Example of Hashtag Usage: Finding a Side

Figure 1 provides an example of a hashtag based on a side’s name – in this case Haymarket Rapper use the (obvious) hashtag #haymarketrapper

Google prioritises search results on a number of factors, including the ‘popularity’ of the site (e.g. does it have many links to the site?). In this case the Twitter website is listed at the top of the search results. However there are only two search results, one from 2016 and one from 2021. And in both cases the tweets simply contain a photo and a video of Haymarket Rapper, but provide no information about the side or how to contact them.

The second result is much more useful as it provides a link to Haymarket Rapper’s profile on the Morris Federation Teamfinder service.

How Hashtags Can be Used

This document summarises two main uses for hashtags: (1) finding information about a (known) side and (2) helping people find resources when searching of browsing.

1A. Find (managed) information for a side

You want people (especially potential new recruits and those looking for a morris side for their event!) to be able to easily find up-to-date information about your side, including phots and videos. So you’ll need to make use of a highly ranked website for which you can update the information and add media resources.

Figure 2: Haymarket Rapper’s Teamfinder profile, with hashtag highlighted

You’ll want this resources to be ranked higher than any out-of-date information sources (eg. an old website you can no longer update or a profile on a festival website which is not updated); social media sharing service (which may only host small number of photos and videos of your side but or contact details) or popular social networking services such as Facebook or Twitter (as you know that some people have reservations about such services and won’t use them).

The Morris Federation’s Teamfinder service provides the ideal solution as:

  • The website has a high Google ranking (higher than all member sides’ individual websites).
  • You can manage the information you provide, (Note that since spring 2021 you have been able to add richer descriptions of your side , as illustrated in Figure 2).
  • You can add photographs and videos of your side (and as the morris and traditional dance tradition is primarily a visual experience, you should really make use of this feature!)

You do not need anyone’s permission before adding a hashtag to your profile buy it is suggested that you check that your hashtag doe not conflict with other uses (e.g. the names Old Speckled Hen and Loose Women are used by a brewery and a TV series) so it may be advisable to include descriptions such as ‘morris’, ‘border, ‘sword’, etc. in your hashtag.

1B. Aggregate discussions and resources about a side

If people (including your side members) have taken photos or videos of your side they will often share these media resources on service such as Facebook, Twitter Instagram, TikTok, etc. You may find that variants of your side’s preferred hashtag are used, so finding what people have said about your side and the photos and videos they have taken may be time-consuming. However if you promote your hashtag it may become more widely adopted.

2A. Find resources for a topic

As well as finding out about your side, people may post resources about the more general topic of morris dancing, sword dancing or whatever – especially if they don’t know the name of sides they’ve seen. In addition many people will also search for a more general description such as #morrisdancing, #rappersword, #bordermorris, etc. or an event-related hashtag such as #sidmouthfolkfestival, #bridportfolkfestival, etc.

Note suitable hashtags for rapper sword highlight limitations of hashtags as #rappersword appears to be popular for images about rappers words (rapper as in ‘a person who performs rap music’ – although as Google can get to know your preferred search results (which some find a privacy concern) you may find that images of your favourite flexible steel sword dance are shown for you!

When posting resources about your side it is therefore suggested that you include a suitable descriptive hashtag as well as your side’s hashtag.

2B. Serendipitous discovery or use for emphasis, as a joke, etc

Figure 3: How hashtags can be used ina TikTok video

In addition to using hashtags for your side’s name and descriptions of what you’re doing and where you’re doing it, hashtags can also be used in other ways and may provide scope for creativity.

As an example, a prize-winning rapper sword dance performed at the DERT competition could be described as:

The #oldblacksallykingsportmen #spectacular #prizewinning #rapperswordance at #dert

But dropped swords at the same event could be described in an ironical fashion:

The #oldblacksallykingsportmen #spectacular #rapper dance featured the largest number of #dropped swords #ever

For services such as #TikTok use of hashtags is particularly prevalent. For example the TikTok video by @Tommy.Bassett includes the following hashtags (note the ability to follow links to related TikTok videos is available by clicking on the links below:

#morrisdancing #abbotsbromley #creepy #thaxted #spooky #violin

Here #violin provides additional factual description of a dance performed to a solo violin and #creepy and #spooky depicts the atmosphere.


If you use Google to search for #northgaterapper, #haymarketrapper, #wyldmorris, #rivingtonmorris, #misfitmolly, #ebormorris, #BlackhorseandStandardNWMorris, #shrewsmorris or #newcastlekingsmen you should find the side’s Teamfinder profile, normally at the top of the search results. This suggests that as part of your side’s recruitment and marketing activities updating your Teamfinder profile so that it contains a hashtag for your side should be a priority, alongside updating your description and adding photographs and videos.

You should also observe popular hashtags which are sued to describe your dance traditions and events as well as upcoming opportunities to raise the online visibility of your side and the world of morris and traditional dance.

Now should we use #mayday, #dawnonmayday or some other variant? And what about the #jmodayofdance?

We welcome feedback on this document. In addition we would like to hear from morris, sword and other traditional dance sides who use IT and would be willing to share their experiences. Would you like to contribute a case study?

Status of this Document

Document published: 23 Aug 2022

Licence for this Document

This document is available with a Creative Commons Sharealike (CC-BY) licence. In brief, this means you can copy and make changes to this document provided you give acknowledgements to the author/publisher. A suggested wording for acknowledgements is:

This document is based on the "Guide to Using Hashtags for Morris Sides" document by Brian Kelly, Comms and IT volunteer with the Morris Federation.

#MorrisFedITResources #MFITResources

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