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influencing microsyntax adoption

Page history last edited by Amy Unruh 11 years, 10 months ago


(I took the 'noodling' label at face value-- these are just some notes on things I have been thinking about).


One of the things that interests me the most about this effort is the extent to which widespread microsyntax adoption can really be encouraged/guided?  How feasible is this?


An even harder question: if one *could* guide the adoption of various conventions, then what one would really like to do is  'build what the community will want/need next' (as Apple is good at).  This is a lot harder than it looks. What does this mean with respect to microsyntax?  It would be useful to think about how different chunks of microsyntax might usefully fit together and build on each other.


Ways to (attempt to) encourage adoption:


- If a convention reaches a certain critical mass, client support can encourage it.  For ex., Tweetdeck's support for hashtags helped make hashtag use more mainstream (along with support for hashtags in search).    But, the client s/w would need to have a wide reach.


- Presumably 'driver' web apps for visualizing/organizing data, can also introduce or encourage a given convention.  E.g., if the 'geoslash' app(s) in the works become more popular and useful, that will provide a reason for people to use that convention.  Conversely, if there is no obvious payoff for using the convention, it will probably taper off after the initial burst of enthusiasm.

It may be that timing of the app launch is important.


(Note: actually I expect the distinction between twitter 'clients' and 'apps' will soon become more blurred than it is now).


- Obviously, anything that Twitter itself adds (e.g. its explicit support for @replies) will encourage use of the convention, but I think they are being very careful about what they add at this point (however, seems that I read that they had plans to add more platform-level support for locational stuff, but can't find the reference).


- what else? 


However,  emergent conventions must be very simple, clear, and easy to use (and/or there must be a really compelling driver app).

E.g., RDF (so far) has proved too complex for mainstream adoption.  Instead most of the online community has taken a different tack and used tagging, etc. to provide emergent semantics.

Some of the things I see proposed here I suspect are similarly a bit too complicated despite their utility.


Btw- it's interesting to take a peek at the twitter public timeline – to me it's seeming like there is much less frequent use of e.g. hashtags  than with the subset of mostly tech-savvy people that I am following.  As twitter grows larger and more mainstream there will be more community 'islands'.  There are pockets of users who have adopted a certain syntax (e.g. @cotweets users and the "^") but that does not necessarily mean it will spread outside that user base.


Comments (3)

Amy Unruh said

at 10:46 am on Jun 10, 2009

On a related note, the discussion on this blog post:
was quite interesting.

Stowe Boyd said

at 1:09 pm on Jun 10, 2009

I agree with a lot of your thoughts. Might be interesting to dissect the adoption of a particular bit of microsyntax, as more emerge, and try to track what was instrumental.

Amy Unruh said

at 4:40 pm on Jun 10, 2009

yes-- in fact that triggered some additional thoughts, may write them up later.

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