Asserting equivalence between tags

Stowe Boyd's come up with a interesting and simple solution to the problem of multiple tags for events and things.

Today, on Twitter, I introduced a simple mechanism for asserting equivalence between tags — making them explicitly synonyms — using the equal sign '='. For example:

#web2expo = #w2e

This has the immediate impact of informing people following one tag that there is another they might want to follow too. And it shows up in searchs for any of the tags. Here's the first post in which I used tag equivalence:

[from http://twitter.com/stoweboyd/status/1649219359]

#aporkalypse = #snoutbreak = #hamdemic = #h1n1 = #swineflu = #parmageddon = #epigdemic = #pigpox

Obviously, tools that track or do anything interesting with tags could benefit from taking advantage of these synonyms. And those involved with creating 'beacons' — predefined tags, often associated with conferences or events — would be smart to start publishing the synonyms, too.

This is just another interesting example of microstructure cropping up in the Twittosphere, to help us make sense of the torrent of information flowing through the microstream.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.