No one should be surprised that Twitter has decided to colonize the microsyntactic space that stock tickers ($AAPL) have been playing on Twitter. Howard Lindzon may be expressing displeasure since it steps on the toes of Stocktwits, but it shouldn’t be surprising.
Twitter has at long last tried to make some money out of hashtags, which they basically ignored for years. And they reworked retweets to simplify their internal architectural problems. And of course, long before that, they decided that the @mention was a good thing, and pulled in down into the infrastructure.
Every exploitable bit of microsyntax we, the users, dream up they will take and run with. More power to them.
Here’s a few from the microsyntax archive that I’d like them to start using:
Place tags —
@stoweboyd: I just landed in /Montreal/ and I am looking forward to some smoked meat
@stoweboyd: Standing outside /St Paul Hotel, Montreal/ waiting for friends headed to dinner
@stoweboyd: In October, I’m speaking in /Amsterdam/ and /Brighton UK/
— intended to structure the discussion about locale, especially helpful in the last example because GPS or other location sensing doesn’t help.
If Twitter’s becoming a media company, they could route appropriate tweets or other ads/offerings my way in all three of the cases above.
Or ‘twhich’ tags, or twiches, where people can ask questions, or poll people, as @f does here with his friends @a @b and @c:
Hey @a @b @c chinese food at 7? yes no maybe
to which the recipients could respond
@a: Hey @f @b @c chinese food at 7? yes[x]
@b: Hey @f chinese food at 7? maybe[perhaps 8pm?]
Or a twhich could be more time oriented or choice oriented
@a: Chinese food tonight? @b @c 7pm 8pm joes wongs
with these kind of answers:
@b: Chinese food tonight? 8pm[x] joes[1st] wongs[2nd]
@c: I’ll eat anywhere: Chinese food tonight? 7pm[x] 8pm[x]
Or more open-ended questions thrown out to your followers:
@stoweboyd: How do you like the idea of twhiches? cool dumb I’d never do it
And all sorts of support could be provided by appropriately aggregating the thread of the discussion with a summary, like how many responded, are coming, alternative suggestions, etc.
Obviously, there are media and recommendation options available in twhiches and place tags. So we should just expect that if services started to support them — the way that Stocktwits supports cashtags — then sooner or later twitter will come rolling in too.
And I have a few other bit of microsyntax they could make money from… like geomessages:
@stoweboyd: Dear @/Amsterdam/ I’m speaking there in Oct at @rtecheurope and looking forward to it!
Perhaps to send a message to all my current followers that are based in Amsterdam, or a sponsored message to non-followers in Amsterdam? (In the latter case, I would have to have a credit card on file, they’d have to send me a direct message with the price, etc.)
So, if the folks at Twitter want to use these ideas, fine. I willing to talk, too.
Update: 4:12pm — Jamie Holzhuter offers this:
@holzhuter: @stoweboyd /location/ microsyntax? yes[x] (yes, please)