Disclosure Codes

A compact method of disclosing what's in a tweet, blog post, etc.

Examples | Disclosure Code Generator
List of Disclosure Codes (in display order):
! important (more important than the average message sent by this person via this medium)
" a quotation (eg. "this tweet is a famous quotation")
$ paid product
% a continuity product -- for example, a membership that's billed repeatedly each month (% looks similar to a musical symbol for repeating a measure)
& part of a multi-part message (the disclosure code for the last part will contain a period) -- see note at the bottom of the page
+ recommended
- not recommended (eg. an article recommending against a product or practice)
. the last part of a multi-part message
/ discount (the price is "divided")
< a very inexpensive product (< is the "less than" symbol)
> a high-ticket (expensive) product (> is the "greater than" symbol)
? survey or other item requesting feedback
^ bonus or other incentive offer (ie. "a carrot carat" :-)
A affiliate link (either in the message or the page it links to)
E entertainment (for humor, use H)
F free item
H humor
I useful stand-alone information (eg. a link to an article that contains information that can be applied without buying anything, even if the article also recommends a product)
N news
P personal
S sponsored content (you or your employer was compensated for producing it)
X explicit (foul language, images, etc.)

When I still worked for "the man", I invented a little trick to help my coworkers and I save time with short email messages: whenever we sent an email with no body (ie. the entire message was in the subject), we'd start the subject with a "bullet" character (•).

When you received such a message, you knew you could delete without opening it to make sure it didn't contain anything else.

Disclosure Codes are used to communicate information that readers can use to make decisions. For example, a reader seeing the disclosure code for a high-ticket product may not be interested in clicking through to read if they have no money. Or a system that re-publishes tweets may want to ignore tweets containing affiliate links.

Disclosure Codes are designed to be as compact as possible. This is particularly useful for systems like Twitter where space is at a premium. It is not necessary to include every code that might be relevant -- just the ones you want to communicate.

All Disclosure Codes begin with a left curly brace "{". After that, they may contain as many other codes as needed.

The codes must appear in ASCII order, except that all symbols must appear before any characters, and the codes are not case sensitive. Upper case is preferred. (The codes are listed to the right in the order in which they must appear.)

A Disclosure Code may optionally end with a right curly brace "}". In a short message like a Tweet or a blog post subject line, if anything appears after the Disclosure Code, it should end with a right curly brace.

Examples

{$+^A

This is an affiliate recommendation for a paid product. The affiliate is giving a bonus to people who buy through their affiliate link.

{$-A}

This is a recommendation against buying some product (for example, a product that just came out that everyone's raving about, but the reviewer thinks is over-hyped). The link to the product is an affiliate link, just in case the reader disagrees with the recommendation against buying :-). This code ends with the optional closing curly brace.

{-I

This code might be used when linking to an article teaching why people shouldn't use a particular technique -- for example, why buying email addresses to send marketing messages to can be dangerous.

{$+>AFI

This code might be used in a Twitter tweet linking to a blog post:

Disclosure Code Generator

Code
Generate link to explanation
Select all applicable codes:
Paid product Request for feedback
Free item Important
Discount Quote
Very Inexpensive Entertainment (other than humor)
Very Expensive Humor
Continuity product Useful Information
Sponsored Content News
Affiliate link Multi-part message (not end)
Recommended End of multi-part message
Not Recommended Personal
Bonus offer Explicit
 

* Note about the "&" and "." codes: Sending multi-part messages in space-limited media like Twitter is often considered bad form. If you can't squeeze your message into the space available for a single message, it may be better to use a different method to send it.


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