Monday, February 18, 2013

Hashtags for Bots

If you haven't yet heard about the "Internet of Things" (IoT), then I'm here to inform you that it will be epic. But, that isn't the reason for this post.

What I'd like to discuss is how the "Internet of Things" will shape social media.

In 2007, Chris Messina proposed the hashtag for topics on Twitter as used previously on IRC boards. Which has seen broad adoption by Twitter users (as well as those on Instagram, Google+, etc).

The two predominate prefix tags used in micro-blogging:

1.) AT tags for users -- @MichealScott
2.) HASH tags for topics -- #InternetOfThings

Today, I'm here to pledge a brand new way of thinking about social media; one based around internet-enabled devices. Lately, the internet has been moving off IPv4 web addresses and into IPv6 web addresses. Why? Because IPv6 can provide a lot more web addresses for everyday objects. Everything is going online. Your stove, refrigerator, lamps, speakers, fans -- everything.

Here are my proposals:
The @ tag is for users. The @@ tag is for devices (or objects).
The # tag is for topics. The ## tag is for bot generated topics (if practical).

Some example uses:
@@iPhone, @@WeMo, @@Hue, @@ArduinoUno, @@ Refrigerator

I think the double prefix is appropriate because as devices advance they could become more like users. A single tag could be used for humans, and a double tag could be used for machines. Then if needed some devices could adopt the single use case - as they became more android.


Tim Montague