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Ratings Syntax

Page history last edited by Ben Clemens 15 years ago


Ben Clemens


In 140 characters:

Make it easier to parse rating information in tweets by enclosing in parentheses & using either a * (****) or number scheme (4/5).



The premise of Rating syntax is that users want to be able to tweet ratings for the benefit of others. This happens all the time in informal ways, but if appliances are to parse this from the Twitter (or other) real time stream, it is significantly and less error-prone if a more formal syntax is used.


Details and Use Cases:

In tweets, ratings about a product or business fits the short nature of the medium. The use of stars is already a fairly natural part of writing out that information, and the convention of ratings for restaurants and wines includes x/x ("5 out of 7"). In combination with a URL, could be parsed to add rating metadata to another object. Ratings could be used to:

Rate experiences with a restaurant on a site like yelp just by tweeting the yelp url and a rating

Rate the movie you just saw in a format that can be aggregated to show a real-time collective judgement on the film


This syntax would formalize that usage, and require it for parsing a rating as microsyntax. Specifically, rating information would require two parts:

  1. Parentheses or brackets to differentiate from other usage
  2. Use of either an asterisk * character or a number, slash, number 3/5.





  • Leave the body, take the cannolis from French Laundry (****)
  • Saw "UP", I give it (****) but my daughter gives it (*********)!
  • I liked the place (4/5) but the food was terrible (5/5).

Comments (3)

Stowe Boyd said

at 12:49 pm on Jul 20, 2009

I think '$' has been pretty well established as associated with stock tickers, a la '$AAPL'.

However, there is widespread use of stars to review movies, restaurants, and so on. The question is what base is used? If I give a place four stars does it mean four out five or four out of ten?

Fractions might be better, and they are more general, like 4/5 or 7/10. These allow normalization across many different reviews with different denominators.

In the domain of wine, a scale of 100 is widely used, as in 'Parker gave this 95/100'

Stowe Boyd said

at 12:50 pm on Jul 20, 2009

PS I plan to write these ideas up.

Ben Clemens said

at 1:32 pm on Jul 20, 2009

makes sense, updated...

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