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Saved by JonTheNiceGuy
on June 25, 2009 at 5:52:16 am

Please add new sightings of Microsyntax, below:



Retweeting is a common or known phenomenon using RT coupled with a username to cite the source of a quote. On laconica based microblogging sites, you may see this also shown as "RP" (re-post) or "RD" (re-dent - where dent is the functional equivelent of tweet on Twitter)


"Via username" is an alternative to retweeting and indicates a modification of the original tweet, but provides credit to the source.


Stocktwits use of '$' and '$$' for stock tickers and general messages.


Cotweet CoTag '^' as a convention for identity for corporate Twittering.


Whispers, using '!' as a way to indicate messages should be directed to your 'inner circle', suggested by Chris Messina.


Laconica (a similar service to Twitter, but federated - like Jabber, and open source) has an in-built function which uses '@#' to send a notice to everyone that a user previously tagged them with. Similar to Whispers.


Laconica also has an in-built function which uses '!' to address to a group (which can be compared to a subscribe/followable hashtag) which has subscribed members (users). Any member of the group who posts an update, including !<groupname> will post to all other users on the site who use that group. Searches for that entry as a hashtag will also return posts for that group. An example: I'm using groups on !laconica. Isn't this great.


Microrevie.ws, uses ';' to delimit somethign being reviewed from the comment about it. Also proposed 1-5 '*' as a rating. For example: Fabulous Band; This band were really great *****


Dopplr uses natural syntax to recognive travel plans, requiring no specific microsyntactic punctuation, but requiring the careful use of prepositions like 'to' 'on' 'to' and so on. This comes in three forms:

  1. A trip to Helsinki on May 19 to May 23
  2. At SFO on September 9th. Leaving on September 20th
  3. I'm going to Austin on July 15 for 3 nights


Peqipedia is a wikipedia-like project where all the entries are 140 characters or less. Entries are defined in Twitter by messaging to @peqi, and the '=' sign connects the defined term (left) with a definition (right), like '@peqi Talinn=the capital of [[Estonia]].' The double brackets indicate that 'Estonia' is another entry, and a link should be created.




Paul Kinlan has started using, instead of hashtags (#topic), positive and negative topics for the post using -UnhappyTopic and +HappyTopic.




Ev Williams suggested on Twitter (5 June 2009) that tweeple in SF could direct of-local-interest posts to @SF. Not clear if this is a recommended generalized practice, or not.


Geoslash or /location, a geolocational microsyntax suggested by Stowe Boyd. For example; I'm in /London for the weekend - anyone up for a drink. Or alternatively; I'll be in the bar at /The Hilton Hotel, Paris/ for the evening. [A full proposal at Geoslash]


The BBC have been using location formats like "l:Tambulbunia, Bangladesh=22.27722,89.71905" to encode a placename and its coordinates. (this is as promoted by twitmap)


SeeClickFix has a Twitter interface to its municipal reporting tool, and relies on Google Map URLs for geolocation:


@seeclickfix there is graffiti http://bit.ly/RzTp2 http://twitpic.com/fjdkadk 


San Francisco government has created a Twitter account to allow residents to tweet the equivalent of 311 calls. No microsyntax involved. See @sf311.




Selective Twitter is a Facebook application that uses a hashtag of '#fb' to designate specific tweets for publishing to Facebook status.


Data Collection


Twitterdata, a generalized model for embedding data in Twitter with type indicated by a leading '$', proposed by Todd Fast and Jiri Kopsa


RapidSMS (and here) collects data via SMS messages. It's used by UNICEF and other groups for humanitarian and development projects. The default format for a data entry about item of type ITEM_TYPE reported from pre-defined location LOC_CODE is a message "ITEM_TYPE LOC_CODE val1 val2 val3 val4"


Other systems prototyped (reference needed) used a SMS data collection system using the format "FORM_NAME 1.val1 2.val2" with semantics for querying the data tables.


Donating money as part of RT


TipJoy "p @ev $1 because twitter is fun" is used to pay $1 to @ev. Different keywords ("p", "pay", "give", etc.) are allowed as long as the keyword username and amount are the first 3 works in the Tweet. Note also the keyword RTip . Note that Tipjoy requires the user twitting this to follow Tipjoy (to be followed back). See TipJoy microsyntax for details.


Twollars inserts the number of Twollars given as part of the RT between "RT" and "@...". For instance: "RT 2 Tw @giyom". Note that this requires the keyword Tw or Twollars to work, since Twollars.com does not require a user who gifts Twollars to be followed by Twollars.com. 


Plane Flights


Noticed @cdibona used this syntax to describe United Airlines flight 852 from NRT to SFO by using some rather handy unicode characters.


Link to tweet:

✈ UA 852 NRT ➝ SFO 


Objects Communicating (Spimes)


Kogi food truck in LA twitters its location (see http://twitter.com/kogibbq/). Seems to be an odd use of '@', perhaps as a shorthand for 'at':


VERDE: 6PM-9PM@Toyota & Alpine Headquarters - Toyota Way and Gramercy Place in Torrance; 10:30PM-1AM@Northridge - Devonshire & Reseda


DJs Posting Setlists


Found this at www.twitter.com/rhawtin, a DJ that seems to be using some app (a script for iTunes?) when he DJs.

is now playing: Alva Noto - xerrox monophaser 2


Snow report hashtag with location and severity


In February 2009, a convention emerged with the #uksnow hashtag. As snowfall began (on people not very accustomed to snow) people around UK tweeted


e.g. #uksnow CF11 10/10 http://twitpic.com/aaaaa

Postcode means the same thing as zipcode, except that the first half of a UK postcode is human-readable, e.g. CF11 means I live in a specific part of Cardiff city. The score indicated severity, with 10 meaning very heavy. The Twitpic URL was optional.


Leading to a map visualisation

http://www.benmarsh.co.uk/snow/ (currently bereft of snow!)



and inspired derivative works building on the idea of visualising hashtag data

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