Link: New microsyntax for Twitter: three pointers and the slasher

New microsyntax for Twitter: three pointers and the slasher

Like text messages, the constraints inherent in the tweet medium inspire creativity. Chris Messina, who documented the hashtag syntax, comes up with a new character-saving idea: the slasher or slashtags. A slash followed by a compact vocabulary to help metadata. The first three “words” in this vocabulary are via, cc and by.

First, I’ve decided to migrate from encapsulating my metadata in parentheses to using a slash delimiter (”/”), which, for shits and giggles, we’ll call “the slasher”. This saves you ONE character, but hey, those singletons add up!

Now, the pointers. “Pointers” are short words with different intentions. A group of pointers should typically be prefixed by ONE slasher character. You can daisy-chain multiple pointer phrases together, padded on both sides with one whitespace character. There should be NO space following the slasher. Hashtags should be appended to the very end of a tweet, except when they are part of the content of the message itself and indicate some proper name or abbreviation. Normal words that would be part of the content of a tweet anyway SHOULD NOT be hashed.

Read on for a description of the initial vocab.

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