Sunday, January 6, 2008

Warring Review Strategies, Part One - Can't We All Just Get Along?

A little while ago, I tweeted thusly:

can't wait until i review something. want to use twitcrit account and hashstar hashtag in same tweet.

Lemme 'splain, starting with Jeff Jarvis.

The idea is that Twitter users can share instant reviews of what they’re watching — TV shows, movies, concerts, anything — by twittering (is the verb form tweeting?) to @twitcrit.

After discussing some of the technical challenges, Jarvis continues:

The goal is simple: We twit/tweet/whatever our nanoreviews using Twitter and then aggregate them so we can compare notes. I’d like to be able to follow everyone’s critical tweets on Twitter and archive them on a web page (blog, tumblog, whatever).

Meanwhile, Stowe Boyd (students: Stowe Boyd is to hashtags as Dreadnaught is to Jonathan Lee Riches) has another idea:

Perhaps the answer is to take the RSS feed from a beacon tag (a predefined tag that we all agree to use in a certain way - Greg Narain) and use that as a grouping for all reviews. I am proposing #* for all reviews. Note that this takes only two characters, which is critical.

So if I am reviewing a movie I would say "#Beowulf is no good unless you see the Imax version. #* #movies" and it gets tracked three ways, by the name tag, by the movies tag, and by the metatag #* for all reviews.

Boyd has already tested out his "hashstar" idea. As of 6:18pm, there are exactly three "hashstar" items showing up on the "hashstar" page at One of them is Boyd's initial test, the second is a link to Boyd's article, and the third is my 6:16 am review of the hashstar idea itself:

#* review of the #stowe+boyd hashstar idea itself. it wasn't intuitive to me until i saw it spelled out as "hashstar." i think it could work

Meanwhile, while Jeff Jarvis has set up @twitcrit, Stowe Boyd has set up @hashstar:

I juryrigged something that may be what Jarvis wants. I took the feed from the #* tag at, and used to push that into a new Twitter account I set up, called hashstar (for #*). In principle, it should work as planned. All reviews in Twitter tagged with #* will wind up reposted at hashstar.

Again, there are technical challenges bla bla bla, but if everything is working as planned, then a tweet of mine such as

@twitcrit #* rain is really really wet!

should end up echoing at both twitcrit and hashstar, ensuring that I am compatible with both churches of twitter criticism.

I'll try to find something to review (no, not an easy target like this post) and try it out to see what happens.


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