Re: Twitter URLs: Are Microformats The Answer To A Real Problem?

Stowe Boyd writes about a possible approach to address different user profiles on different clients. After exposing a possible microformats based approach he talks about a microsyntax solution to the problem:

A microsyntax approach would be something visible in the stream, like including a prefix in front of an @mention or retweet to denote original or desired client:

dabr@pigsonthewing Nice profile!

Here, the implication is that I am referring to Andy’s profile on the Dabr client.

I disagree with the proposed syntax format and propose a new one: @user@client. Here’s my rationale behind it:

  1. It doesn’t break any functionality (just like the proposed syntax): user will still be able to see this tweet as a mention;
  2. It adds new functionality: if client is also a twitter user it will also be able to see this tweet as a mention and act upon it, if desired;
  3. It’s more meaningful than the proposed syntax: you can read it as “user at client”. In the original syntax, saying “client at user” just seems awkward.

Afterthought question: can this microsyntax be expanded to @user@application so that we can finally address any user on any Web application easily. I’m thinking about that.

Read the original post: Twitter URLs: Are Microformats The Answer To A Real Problem? on /Message.