Welcome to the demonstration site for the Octothorpes protocol. Here you can see standard octothorpes and backlinks in action, plus some suggestions for shorthand methods of making them.

This page has been octothorped with these terms

Clicking on them will reveal pages on this and other domains that have been ♯'d with the same terms. Results are grouped by server.


What are Octothorpes

Octothorpes are hashtags and backlinks that can be used anywhere on the web, linking urls and resources across a network of domains.

Octothorpes frees the fun and utility of hashtags from the confines of commercial platforms and individual domains.

Octothorpe servers expand on web rings and blog rolls, acting as feeds and search engines that small communities can easily own and manage.


This site shows what you can do with the Octothorpes protocol right now.

  • Pages on this site are #’d with terms shared with pages on other sites
  • Pages on this site are backlinked to pages on and off this site
  • This site’s native tagging system turns tags into octothorpes automatically
  • It can also parse some simple shorthand so you can # or backlink pages manually

How it works

  • A domain registered with an Octothorpes server can create octothorpes and backlinks.
  • “Octothorping” a page with a term creates a relationship between that URL and that term, linking all other pages related to that term – just like posts with the same hashtags are linked on closed platforms.
  • Backlinks work directly between URLs across domains.
  • Clients and servers can set granular content moderation rules according to community or individual preference, and the graph data is exposed via a REST API and RSS feed. Backlinks are similar but require an extra endorsement step from the target page. See the backlinks page for more.

What does “octothorpe” actually mean?

It’s one of the many synonyms for the number sign with dubious origins.