Last month Chris Carfi posted A Question of Intent, in which — in addition to much else — he vetted “?” as a hashtag signaling intent to buy. Or intent, period. Hey, we could make it mean whatever we like.
In any case, Twitter seemed like a good #intent router. Or, microblogging in general. I tried it once, as Chris notes in his post. Nothing happened. But one tweet does not a movement make.
Dave had a post yesterday, Hashtags and dollar signs, that visits the topic of hashtags in general, and how opportunity has been lost around the “$” hashtag that Howard Lindzon and Stocktwits had been using, and Howard vetted for Twitter a while back. (In a tweet I actually saw at the time and now can’t find, because … never mind. Search is another dying horse I’d rather not beat.) Howard didn’t like Twitter “hijacking” the hashtag, for reasons that he gives at that link.
Still, I like the “?” hashtag for intent. In fact, I’d love to see it hijacked. I also like “⊂” for the first person (I, me, my, mine) side of a relationship, and “⊃” for the second person side (you, yours). Or to represent the buyer and the seller. Whatever. Hijack those too and have fun with them. Develop something.
We’ve been calling them “r-buttons”. But that’s up for grabs as well.
What matters is that we need simple vernacular symbols, widely used, that mean something. And we can’t just leave it up to the Twitters of the world to create and popularize them.