A couple of days ago Stowe Boyd proposed a new sort of microstructure for Twitter locations. He uses a distinctive character to set off the location: Just landed at /JFK. Now Ralf Rottmann argues against this proposal by saying more special characters are not readable, too much overhead and are only workarounds for short comings of Twitter.

I agree with some of Ralf's arguments. My biggest concern is that Twitter messages should stay readable for everyone. Especially the newcomers. On the other hand I understand Stowe's need for getting a structure into Twitter messages because I needed something similar for my iPhone app.

In my app I am using a different kind of approach which you could call "custom readable microstructure":

Dishes is an iPhone app that let's you share you favorite meals and drinks via Twitter. In order to do this it defines it's own format. For example, if you have just been out for lunch and had a great burrito, Dishes would tweet the following message [*]:

Just had 'Burrito' at 'Baja Fresh' for 5.00$ rating:5/5 #lunch #mexican #dishesapp

Now Dishes understands this message and can parse the meta-information. Although this message is not proper English and could be even more readable, I think it balances the readability and the need for a custom structure.

[*]: You can create Dishes messages without the iPhone at: http://dishesapp.com/create/