Twitter, Hashtags and the 1 Letter Taxonomy

Jeff Jarvis started it, by wanting to use Twitter to post reviews of movies, books etc. Stowe Boys, rightly, pointed out that Hastags could be used to add metadata to individual messages, which Jeff acknowledged in an update to the original post.

Stowe seemed to have liked my comment about extending his original suggestion of using #* to mark all reviews.

My proposal was to have a one letter taxonomy under Hashtags, just like #* – one letter because we have already consumed 2 chars(3 if you include a space seperator), leaving only 137chars for content. And these would be the top level tags that one could apply. Further hashtags could, I suppose, be added as the author sees fit. My initial list follows-



#* All reviews
#$ Finance related content
#? A question
#! Alerts
#+ Reminds of redcross, hence any humanitarian stuff
#^ Any geographic stuff(or fashion?)
#& Relationships
#, Continued from previous twitter message
#= Adult!
#’ Weather

Obviously, this is just a draft list. Would love to hear your thoughts, just drop comments or mail me at cr dot mahesh at gmail dot com.

As next steps we can create Yahoo Pipe based feeds to filter based on the type of hashtag one chooses to listen to. Or even PopFly. Could be a good time to play with both of these toolkits.

And what do you think of nanoformats? Microformats for Twitter! And the benefits listed for this would be applicable to our one letter taxonomy too.

For those getting to the party a little late- Twitter is a short message service, with a maximum length of 140 characters, that has a variety of means to push content to the web cloud. You would not be alone in thinking the content length restriction is a crippling limitation. But the uptake within the blogosphere indicates something big, albeit 140 chars at a time, could be brewing here. Be it covering disasters, conferences, reviews or just gossip its all done here. For instance I covered a training program on coaching skills on my twitter yesterday. There is a little more info about Twitter here in my earlier post.

I liken Twitter to a Haiku – the short form individual communication, as compared to the long form of blogs. And like Haiku, brevity of length does not always imply inability to bear meaning or beauty.

[update: Added hashtag for weather messages]


  1. […] you? The Process that follows the campaign trail. by Desarae Veit * Hashtags by Stephen Downes * Twitter, Hashtag and 1 letter Taxonomy by Mahesh CR * Social MEdia and Corporations By Desarae Veit * Social Media Connects to Small […]

  2. chris field says:

    Musing how twitter drives librarians insane. So little organization & archival, w nascent taxonomies.

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