Half Baked Idea: Wiki Markup For Text Messages

I saw the beta of Fanchatter at the latest MinneDemo un-conference... it looked good, it was a nice way to fuse text messages, micro-blogging, and sports fans. Kind of like Twitter, but sports-focussed, plus several extra bells and whistles.

While watching it, I had a bit of an idea: why does nobody use Wiki markup for text messages?

This wouldn't be needed for IM-ing your buddies on a phone... but as more and more people use text messages to communicate with web sites, the need for quick-and-easy markup becomes more important. I'd sure like to be able to convert that pure text into pretty HTLM, not to mention have quick links between my Twitter feed and a wiki somewhere...

Of course, you can't use traditional wiki markup on your phone... square brackets and underscores are a pain... How many times do you have to click the to get a [ symbol? Do all phones even have square brackets? No... it would be better to use numbers:

  • Bold: 0foobar0 or *foobar*
  • Italics: 1foobar1
  • Underline: 2foobar2
  • Hyperlinks: #bexhuff.com# or #https bexhuff.com#
  • Hyperlinks with custom title: #bexhuff.com Bex Huff#
  • Wiki links: camel-caps (ie, FooBar), or double pound sign (ie, ##foobar##)
  • Unordered lists: begin each line with a star (ie, *foobar)
  • Ordered lists: begin each line with a pound (ie, #foobar)

That's probably all most people would need... you can optionally use 3, 4, and 5 for blockquotes, code, or citations. The wiki links would go to either a global wiki page on Twitter, or a "tribal" wiki page for your chosen tribe. You can even allow micro-blogging turbo users to 2-digit numbers for custom markup... like 10foobar10 for a float:right text block.

If micro blogging ever hits it big, people will love this crap. Feel free to steal my idea, I'll never implement it... in part because I frigging hate cell phones.

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