March 13, 2012
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Symbolic Curation

Curator’s Code proposes that we popularize two new link glyphs: ᔥ to denote “via” and ↬ to denote “hat tip” or acknowledgment

Marco Arment replies in "I am not a curator," arguing that the distinction is not clear and that aggregators do not really want to clarify the distinction anyway — and don’t really want you to follow these links in any case.

This is an old, old question in hypertext research. In fact, the controversy conflates a bunch of old questions that might better be addressed separately:

I don’t share Arment’s confusion over the two glyphs. Use ᔥ when you’re just repeating a link you saw elsewhere, and use ↬ when you’re commenting on, extending, or disagreeing with a link.

In practice, Arment is probably right: two obscure new glyphs are probably too many for people to learn. At the same time, we need more glyphs because simply “reblogging” in tumblr fashion is soon going to seem old-fashioned and terribly 2012.

It's nice that Tinderbox macros can make it easy to embed these oddball characters in your text without an excursion to Character Viewer. Or, use TextExpander with Tinderbox to give easy mnemonics to each character.