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Microformateers is a Twitter account providing quick answers to people's questions about microformats. Twitter is full of people with short queries about syntax, or remarking upon things they've read about microformats. Microformats.org already runs the @microformats account for pushing news and announcements, but the microformateers effort is about responding.

What is this?

Microformateers is a single Twitter account, shared between a number of individual contributors. They monitor Twitter searches for mentions of microformats and related terms, and respond directly and publicly to people's lazy-web questions, ideally within 140 characters. Where longer code examples are required, code snippets areposted to gist.

Who are the microformateers?

Because of the mechanics of Twitter (a single account, shared with a single password) it is not possible for the Microformateers account to be open to all. The following agents are currently ‘on duty’:

Frances Berriman (^FB)


Tantek Çelik (^T)


Matthias Pfefferle (^MP)


Response Process

  • Microformateers is a single Twitter identity shared between an appropriate number of trusted individuals
  • When you have a free moment or the mood takes you, monitor searches for microformats terms (there's one saved in the account already)
  • When you find a question to be answered, respond using the @microformateers account
  • If you need to provide code, stick it on gist.github.com (or similar pastebin service) and link to it. Gist is good though, as it ties into the Github community as well.
  • When you answer someone's question, add the tweet to the @microformateers’ favorites, that we avoid inundating questioners with duplicate answers. (Most quality Twitter clients, as well as the Twitter website itself, indicate which tweets you have ‘faved’ inline.)
  • Unless absolutely impossible, save 3 characters to sign the tweet with a ^XX, using your initials, so people can reference you personally as well. (e.g. ^BW, ^T, ^JK, ^FB… something identifiable.) People can refer to this wiki page to look-up the individual. ^AB is an existing convention on Twitter for this purpose, used by software such as Co-Tweet.
  • Only use the @microformateers for answering questions. Don't use it to post or re-tweet general microformats information; that purpose is already served by @microformats.


Please document the searches you use to track microformats topics. For searches that exclude individual Twitter accounts, do not include any personal user blacklists.

  • @microformats OR @microformateers OR microformat OR microformats OR uformats OR mformats OR µformats OR µf
  • hCard OR hCalendar OR hAtom OR hAudio OR hReview OR hResume OR hListing OR hRecipe -@hreview -#hreview — covers major microformats, excludes the "@hreview" bot and hashtag (a service for creating reviews of items over Twitter.)
  • microdata — keep an eye on the closely related microdata work from HTML5.

Bots to Exclude

Depending on the tool you use to track Twitter topics, you may need to add exclusions to the above searches to filter out spam; there are some automated bots on Twitter that produce odd spam. Remember that the Twitter Search API doesn't account for the blocklist of the @microformateers account.

Use this list for obscure, automated bots only, or users who are using microformat terms for non-web topics and generating collisions. Do not use this list for Twitter users that you personally disagree with or find irritating; excluding people from searches is a personal matter for individual agents, never group policy.

  • @library2 - “Library 2.0 Idea Generator -- a new idea every 1,800 seconds”. A bot which generates Web 2.0 satire from a dictionary of keywords, one of which is "microformats".

Interested List

If you're interested in becoming an agent for the microformateers, please add your name to the list below. There are a couple of constraints on this system: First is trust and security, simply because Twitter's account model requires sharing the same master password for the @microformateers account between all participants; we have to be conservative with proliferation. The second issue is meeting volume of demand. At present, we think that 4/5 agents is about the right number to be involved given the volume of questions and content that come through Twitter. But, as agents come and go, or as question demand increases we'll refer to this list. Thanks. (Technical solutions to make sharing Twitter accounts safer and accountable are also up for future consideration.) —BenWard 21:31, 26 September 2009 (UTC)