permashortcitation

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A permashortcitation (or permashortid), abbreviated as PSC is a short non-hyperlinked citation to a post permalink, in contrast to a permashortlink which does hyperlink to a post. Permashortcitations are often used in POSSE copies of posts where the entire content of the post fits in the copy.

Permashort citations are the parenthesized ccTLD and path you might see at the end of tweets or Facebook posts, like:

  • (ttk.me t4Sw1)
  • (werd.io s/6kDiG)
  • ...

Contents

Why

Summary reasons: The whole point of POSSE is that you still care about your friends on Twitter (or other silos) reading you, so you should care about their UX also. Avoiding linking to what appears to be "duplicate" content helps this, while still enabling original-post-discovery for better indieweb interactions (replies).

For original post discovery

Using permashortcitations allows discovery of your original post, both:

  • Automatically: using the original-post-discovery algorithm.
  • Manually: using search engines or simply removing the parentheses and replacing the space with a slash.

Why instead of permashortlinks

Why use permashortcitations, in particular why (and when to) use them instead of permashortlinks.

You should NOT include a post permashortlink at the end of POSSE copies of notes that include the entire note.

E.g. there's an unspoken convention on Twitter that a link in a tweet (especially at the end of a tweet) should provide more information. Having an active permashortlink at the end of your tweet when all you provide on your own site is the *exact* same content is bad UX for your friends that follow you on Twitter.

When permashortlinks are used on copies of posts where the copy has all the content, there are complaints (both in person (Tantek has received) and on Twitter):

And questions raised over time in response to apparent linking to "duplicate" or "the same" content.

The whole point of POSSE is that you still care about your friends who still read from silos (e.g. Twitter), so you should care about the UX for your friends, whether or not you care about the silo itself.

Only provide permashortlinks as part of your POSSE copies when they link to an the original post with more content than in the copy.

Otherwise use permashortcitations so that your original posts are still automatically discoverable using the original-post-discovery algorithm.

How

How do permashortcitations "work"? I.e. why are they not auto-linked on Twitter?

The key is:

  • Twitter DOES NOT autolink plain references to ccTLDs without schemes or paths.

You need a short-domain to construct working non-distracting permashortcitations.

Implementations

IndieWeb Examples

Tantek

Tantek Çelik uses Falcon to POSSE from tantek.com with permashortcitations since 2011-03-19 and current permashortcitation format since 2011-10-30. (some background)

Ben Werdmuller

Ben Werdmüller used idno on werd.io to publish permashortcitations on POSSEd notes and most replies (but not photos) from 2013-11-08 to 2013-11-14, using current permashortcitation format for some updates on 2013-11-08. (explanatory post)

  • 2013-11-08 used permashortcitations for some notes, switched to permashortlinks by end of day.
  • 2013-11-14 stopped using permashortlinks on Twitter POSSEd posts (last with, next without).
  • 2013-11-15 permashortlinks on some Twitter POSSEd posts[1]
  • 2013-11-16-current (as of 2013-11-19) no more permashortlinks on Twitter POSSEd posts.

Services

Bridgy

Bridgy supports permashortcitations for original post discovery.


Criticism

There have been some replies (e.g. on Twitter) asking what the parenthesized text is meant to be, or asking why those links appear "broken".

Citations (more needed):

When doing original post discovery, Bridgy originally encountered too many false positives "too many false positives" when looking for PSCs anywhere within the text. Now only looks for citations at the end of text (which can be problematic for tweets that include media w/ automatic media URL)

More thoughts on use of

The more we find conventions like these, both on our own sites, and on POSSEd content, the more we give people who live on silos clues about the indieweb, its existence, and maybe inspire curiosity at least. - tantek in IRC 2013-11-08.


People can just paste the whole short citation into a browser search box (or universal input/address bar) and at least in Google, it will likely find the original post via text search (as long as you're publishing your permashort citation in clear text as part of your original post as well).

Google used to (2011-2012?) find original posts via permashortcitation searches immediately upon publication due to Google indexing PuSH notifications, but it appears (2013-11-08) that they no longer surface PuSH results as high or quickly.


Another thing to consider re: autolinking, now that our own indieweb sites are getting to be more functional than twitter.com, I might want to actually encourage visitors on twitter to click through to my site because they'll get a richer experience. - aaronpk in IRC 2013-11-08.

It needs to be a *considerably* richer experience for the user to not get annoyed. So far the only case of that we have is "additional content in the post". I haven't seen anyone's indieweb note permalinks provide a "considerably richer" experience than Twitter (e.g. my prev/next nav arrows are richer, but not *considerably* than Twitter). It's more important for the indieweb experience to *not* annoy our friends, than it is to "market the hell out of it with more links". We need to continuously make a good impression on non-indieweb readers (silo readers) so they learn to admire, respect, and actually *want* to do that for themselves. - tantek in IRC 2013-11-08.


just fyi, PSCs never got much adoption, and it's not clear that they will ... i wouldn't encourage using them, but that's just my opinion - snarfed on IRC 2014-03-21 "never got much adoption".

as our "original posts" becomes more and more useful than any silo POSSE copy, it will make more and more sense to just use permashortlinks in POSSE copies - since users clicking on those will see more information (e.g. more indieweb/cross-site comments / likes) - tantek on IRC 2014-03-21 permashortlinks "will make more and more sense"


I definitely get people complaining about links to posts that don't contain anything extra. But I think if I broke the links, I'd get an equal amount of people complaining my links weren't right (documented on wiki). *but* when pulling enough replies through from different sites, the original copy of the post *is* enhanced. ie. you can click from twitter and see replies from indieweb, facebook, whatever. which I think is enough extra value. - Amy Guy on IRC 2015-06-13.

Origins

How the current permashortcitation format evolved:

  • 2011-03-19 permashortcitations with parentheses without http introduced[2], e.g. (ttk.me/t4As3), in response to "link to duplicate content" complaints.
  • 2011-10-11 Twitter starts t.co wrapping even URLs without http - previous permashortcitation technique was to use parenthesized full URL site and path just without http://, e.g.: (ttk.me/t4EJ8), to avoid distracting users with an explicit hyperlink[3]
  • 2011-10-29 decision to iterate on permashortcitations with full site+path.[4]
  • 2011-10-30 modern permashortcitation style introduced[5] and tested[6]
    Chicago Manual of Style in-text parenthesizes source [space] date. Let's try ccTLD [space] t-NewBase60-epoch-days → (ttk.me t4Ec1)
    and settled[7]
    It's settled: @falcon perma-short-link in-text cite design: (ccTLD [space] t-NewBase60-epoch-days-nth-post). #indieweb

Posts about

Posts about permashortcitations (newest first)

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