Who Says: Narrative Authority In a Fragmented World

Jay Rosen tweeted this seminal post by Megan Garber, articulating what the web and digital media are doing to authority memes and journalism's role in this bizarre new world.

Since the need to manage the tangled and competing taxonomic hierarchies of such a Narrative Big Brother has been my professional fascination for years, I couldn't help but notice.  

I think it's required reading for every journalist, citizen, media theorist, media guru, social media consultant, politician, educator, and student. Ok, ok….make that everyone that can fucking read.

Transparency needs to be about fostering conversation rather than ending it.

Megan Garber

Read: Who Says : CJR.

I have created or promoted several tags and codes that are in everyday use on Twitter. And I use many of them, often. Logically enough, one result of that is that I often get asked what some code or tag means. So I've listed the common ones below to save me some time and keystrokes in the future.

If I've left out anything that youv'e seen me use often, please let me know.  I'm not going to make this a glossary of all codes in use. Only the ones which I personally use. I will list some general tag glossaries at the bottom of this post.

Signal Codes

VIA  – Has been used like RT in some older Twitter clients, but I personally dislike it. It's very ambiguous to start with, and the different takes on its meaning make it worse. I prefer it to mean (as do many) that "I came upon this resource via (by way of): @name."  While  @name can often be an individual when appropriate, it is most often a publication name, be it newspaper, blog, TV show, or some other venue. Via should refer to the primary publication conveying the content, and not necessarily the content's author (although they can be one and the same.). 

Example: "This title here" by @pinhead666 was via @oprahshow." 

HT  (or h/t, or simply ^@name)  Stands for "Hat Tip," an acknowledgement to the person who brought the item to my attention. While HT is the most common variant, I've now switched to the programmer's "hat" (^) symbol. It saves two characters (including the space after HT), and that is not an insignificant savings in Twitterville's 140 character space.

Example: "This title here" by @pinhead666 was via @oprahshow. ^@dingleberry

FTW"For The Win."

Codes Created By Me

I've also conceived or embraced a few codes that everyone would use, were I ever King.  Some of my followers and friends use them now. These can be typed upper or lower case, but the preferred case is indicated.

MT — Modified Tweet/Transmission. The tweet was substantially changed to mock or clarify.

CC — Carbon Copy routing to list of people.  Do not retweet (or the recipients get tweet-bombed).

by — precedes person or organization that authored the work being tweeted. Best when referring to single, not multiple creators. See next.

cr— Creator code. Essentially a more multipurpose version of "BY @someone" when more than one author or producer created the work.  Based on Dublin Core meta data standards. Signifies that @name mentioned before the CR code had some kind of creative authorship or moderating role in relation to the Tweet or resource.  The precise role is beyond the scope of the code, and a level of detail that cannot be conveyed in a tweet. This code at least affirms there is such a role relationship to be further discovered. 

Code Glossaries


#p2 — The "clear channel" umbrella tag for Progressives (you may know them as "Liberals") to connect up and share resources and information across Twitter and other social networks. Read its history and mission here: About the #p2 Tag For Progressives.

#tcot  — Top Conservatives on Twitter.  In reality, it's mostly unhinged teaparty whack jobs, but it's entertaining for some when there's nothing on TV. I usually include this tag in a tweet when I believe the content is of interest to the conservatives wrecking America, or is simply so deliciously mocking that they shouldn't be left out of the mirth.

#tlotTop Libertarians on Twitter. People who wanted to maintain some distance from the whackjobs in #tcot (see previous), but ended up with their own homegrown variation of the tag. After all, as Drew Carey said, "A libertarian is just a conservative who still gets high."

#ocra — Organized Christian Resistance Alliance. A fringe conservative group who should be watched closely before they bite the heads off too many squirrels.

#WTL – Wingnut Threat Level.  A color-coded system for indicating the current alert status of the biggest threat to democracy since Rush Limbaugh. I created this tag because someone had to.

Hash Tags Created By Me

#ff — Alias for "#FollowFriday," but also being repurposed to mean: "Friends to follow."   It basically means, "I am recommending these [ @names in this tweet ] to my followers.

I did not create #followFriday. I did spend years almost bodily forcing people to shorten it to the much more sensible and economic form now known as "#FF."  Read more about that history, and my redefinition of it here.

#Hatriot — Means "this tweet concerns a Foxbagger, Limbaugh/Beck listener,  or some other strain of right wingnut.  Those who know me, know I've been using this term since 1996, on various services. I neglected to add it to Urban Dictionary (only started doing that with my terms recently), and only recently did someone else finally get around to doing that. And that's fine. I just love the term. Credit is for those kids on the FreeCreditReport.com ads.

Hashtag Directories

  • Hashtags.org — A dictionary of tags (which are best picked up by just watching and asking).

Words and Terms Coined by Me

My Urban Dictionary Contributions

Twictionary.com  —which I administrate, had all sorts of Twerms I've created, defined, or just use a lot.