Why Retweet works the way it does

Not sure this makes retweeting simpler or more complicated…



  1. Interesting – though I should admit, Messina’s syntax might make things even *more* complicated. Wasn’t Twitter supposed to be simple?

  2. Well, it all depends on how it’s used, really. If you’re spending more time trying to parse out the “metadata”, then yeah, it’s probably not that helpful. The point of my syntax is to put the “meat up front, the meta in the back”. Or, like this: [meat] / [meta]. That way you should be able to read the content of the tweet more quickly, and then, if it’s interesting, check out the meta.I mean, no one has to use this syntax, but if they do, it might make it easier to consume a lot more data. We’ll have to see, I guess!

  3. I agree that this syntax, if used more, is a good solution to the changes enacted by Twitter. I just worry about competing standards and practices creating even more confusion. Chris, I know you worry about that too, given you work on OpenID and authentication.

  4. Well, I do worry about such things, but if you look out along a long enough time horizon, typically the simple, elegant, memorable, and easy things work out — especially when it comes to crafting language.Slashtags and this syntax aren’t monolithic — indeed, there can be many different syntaxes (as there are programming languages, or spoken languages) and each is more expressive is its own way. The syntax that I proposed is based on what I’m already doing — and what I’ve seen other people saying in their tweets. If they use these conventions, that means it’s easier for someone familiar with the convention to get to the meaning of a tweet faster. For everyone else, well, hopefully it doesn’t look too much like gibberish — and once they figure it out, it’s easy for them to emulate it!

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