A proposed tag for including Wikipedia links in Twitter posts

I’ve had another idea!

I saw Matthew Somerville () tweet:

Reading about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clothianidin and bees

and it occurred to me, both that a fantastically high number of Wikipedia links are tweeted, and that Wikipedia URLs are relatively long. This latter fact might have been significant, if Matthew had needed to say a few more words, or was talking about something with a longer name. He could have shortened his link, using, say, Bit.ly, but then he’d have had to repeat the stem:

Reading about Clothianidin http://bit.ly/dE6pUf and bees

which is hardly shorter, and disrupts the flow.

What if we agreed a special tag, say W# or w:, used like this:

Reading about w:Clothianidin and bees

and Twitter clients automatically swapped that for a Wikipedia link:

Reading about Clothianidin and bees


Twitter clients could allow users to set their preferred language-version of Wikipedia, and perhaps find the relevant translations of articles (which Wikipedia could better facilitate, using rel=alternate headers), authors could also specify a language, such as w:fr:brie or w:de:München

About Andy Mabbett

Enjoying my freelance career, helping organisations to understand on-line communities, open content, and related issues; often as a Wikimedian (or Wikipedian) in Residence.
This entry was posted in ideas, social media, tagging, Twitter, web standards, Wikipedia and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A proposed tag for including Wikipedia links in Twitter posts

  1. simon gray says:

    How would the client know to link to ‘Clothianidin and bees’ as opposed to ‘Clothianidin and’, ‘Clothianidin’, or ‘Clothianidin and bees mating rituals’ ?

  2. Andy Mabbett says:

    I’m grateful to Matthew for – some time ago – drawing my attention to this unofficial Wikipedia URL shortener: http://enwp.org/Clothianidin

    It doesn’t solve the above issue, but is of interest, nonetheless.

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