Thursday, April 24, 2008

Twitter Micro Markup


Just like the semantic web I think Twitter would benefit tremendously from introducing a micro markup language that monitoring tools could use to pick up data more accurately. It's a fairly hard problem to parse blogs and tag them with semantic and qualitative data. Now think about shrinking that text down to 140 characters and you really don't have a hell of a lot to work with. If we introduce an abbreviated name-value system inside our tweets we can convey a ton of rich information that will be easier to get the message across to the companies and services that anger and overjoy us, events we're attending, observations we make, etc. It's time to take the next step with Twitter.



I think it would be simplest to put an abbreviated 2 letter type code at the start of the message with a sentiment symbol next (+ = good, - = bad, / = neutral), and the subject that you will be talking about. For instance I just got back from a trip to Minneapolis. My flight was delayed again (probably my fourth flight in a row on United that was delayed).

I twittered the following: "RV-UAL another trip, another flight delay on United". In the first 6 characters I know that this is a review of United Airlines and it is negative. Simple, brief, easy for both humans and machines to parse and interpret.

The codes I'm thinking of are:
OB = observation
EV = Event
RV = Review

If it's an event, perhaps the standard could be to create the event in facebook and snurl it for the event subject. what are some others? Let me know what you think!

5 comments:

Bresslau said...

Isn't one of the strengths of Twitter it's simplicity of use? Wouldn't we be complicating things? What would be the incentive for users to use and pay attention to markup?
Cheers,
Fernando

j0hnny98 said...

I think it would be useful to be able to apply filters to all the twitters I get. It would allow me to view certain friends observations, or store all reviews for future reference. Allows you some control on the stream of consciousness.

Tim Wolters said...

bresslau, this doesn't really change the simplicity and could even simplify it more if you just want to express your opinion on something on the spot with very few keystrokes (thumb moves). If adopted twitter clients could also add shortcuts to make it even easier.

Ajura said...

It's incredible how Twitter changes the semantics of our idiom, now everybody uses emoticons and viagra online

Gwendolyn said...

The author is absolutely right, and there is no question.

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