When I was looking around other peoples indieweb implementations and specifications, one the simplest and at the same time most confusing things I came across was this notion of a short textual note/status/update/tweet. (I think including ‘tweet’ on that list is justified as twitter did so much to influence this content type).
There is little documentation on the differences between these various types — indeed, it took me some time to even figure out that they were different. The most important thing to consider is the distinction between ‘content’ and ‘activity’. Namely:
- Content = ‘works’ (photos, blog posts, audio recordings etc) created by an author and published somewhere
- Activity = notifications that a person (author or otherwise) has done something (designated by a verb e.g. ‘share’, ‘post’), often relating to a piece of content
Taking this into account, I consider these pseudo-similar content types to actually be a mixture of content, activity and syndication. Namely:
A note is a content type. It should be used to designate a piece of (probably plain text, possibly with some formatting) content
that’s purpose is similar to an ‘article’/blog post but lacks structure. Notes should be considered equal in status and meaning to blog posts .
A status is a content type that represents a
less meaningful piece of plain text data etc (snipped) .
Historically a ‘status’ is used in UIs as a subtitle below a user’s name, used to indicate their current activity or mood.
update Is a verb that should be used to describe an activity such as changing personal details e.g. ‘Barnaby Walters updated his contact details’. I don’t think it should be used to express a change to an article but I can’t justify it solidly so it may be bes used for that too.
A tweet is a type of syndication representing a piece of 140 character plain text content distributed by Twitter. A tweet may express an activity or a post, and (on indiewebsites) usually includes a link back to the original content.
Tantek Çelik’s stream contains excellent examples of the ‘note’ content type being equal in status to the ‘article’ content type.
On my own stream, the recent (as of initial publish) Excellent Customer Service content is an example of a
rather dolled up ‘note’ — it has little structure and is significantly shorter than an ‘article’ (such as this behemoth) but is equal in status
statuses are easy to come by — I estimate 95% of non-spam tweets satisfy the note spec. Here’s one of mine. Here are some more, ‘cause they’re fun to write:
Just got an ice cream. WOOOO ICE CREAM
Finished scraping ebony and now my snot is black. Great.
You get the idea.
Currently here on WaterPigs.co.uk I am differentiating between updates and notes, but not statuses. This is something I’ll be remedying soon.