I just stumbled upon an interesting proposal for a simple, open specification for embedding data in Twitter messages. The proposal was released earlier this week by Todd Fast, (@toddfast), the chief architect of Sun Microsystems' Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud offerings, and CTO and founding principal of zembly.com, (Sun's cloud application platform and browser-based, extensible, social development environment) and Jiri Kopsa, (@jirikops) a social platform developer at Sun Microsystems, who also co-founded zembly.com.
The Twitter Data proposal is described as "a simple, open, semi-structured format for embedding machine-readable, yet human-friendly, data in Twitter messages. This data can then be transmitted, received, and interpreted in real time by powerful new kinds of applications built on the Twitter platform."
The proposal seems like an ideal basis for building realtime semantic applications on top of twitter or other micro-blogging services. The authors had this to say about the semantic aspects of the proposal, "We have designed Twitter Data with an eye to layering additional semantic structures on top. We will discuss these possibilities in a later version of this proposal."
Here is an example Twitter Data message:
I love the #twitterdata proposal! $vote +1
See the proposal at http://twitterdata.org