Introduction and use

The taglets.org service allows users and developers to create what we call tags, and to follow comments made on those tags as you or other users post such comments.  By following a tag, you put yourself in the stream of information flowing from it.

A tag consists of a short name and description, and can be created for pretty much anything:  a person, an idea, an event, a particular city bus, a BART stop, a dollar bill serial number, etc.  A tag is essentially a representation of anything that can be referred to.  Once the tag is created, comments can be posted to it by any other taglets.org user or, via the public API, by clients who are not registered taglets.org users.  Any user who is following that tag will receive that comment via any of the delivery channels that user has configured for that tag. We call these delivery channels outlets.

There are three possible outlets a user can configure for a particular tag that he follows:  email, Twitter, and http.  For a comment on a particular tag, an email outlet delivers the comment to the follower's email address, a Twitter outlet delivers the comment to the follower's Twitter id via Twitter direct message, and an http outlet delivers the comment to the follower's own web service via http POST.  In each case, the message delivered is essentially {tag name, comment}.  Tag names and comment are limited in length so as to be conservative with bandwidth and to fit in a Twitter message.  When you create a tag, an email outlet is automatically added to it with your email address of record.  Twitter and http outlets on a tag can be manually created within your account via the taglets.org web site.  With the public API, all outlet types may be configured for a given tag.

Outlets are configured on a per-tag basis, and a tag may have at most one of each outlets configured.  Comment delivery may be turned off or paused by removing all outlets on a tag, but this does not change the status of your actually following the tag.  Zero outlets can be considered as a type of pause or mute in the delivery of comments, which can be resumed later by adding outlets back in.

Before a Twitter outlet can be activated on a tag, the Twitter user must first follow us at http://www.twitter.com/taglets and confirm ownership of their Twitter account.  Confirming ownership is a multi-step process, and consists of receiving an activation PIN sent in a direct message from Twitter user taglets to the user's Twitter id.  The user then enters this activation PIN in a form on the taglets.org site, which activates the user's Twitter id for use as an outlet.  If you stop following Twitter user taglets, delivery to your Twitter outlet will fail, as Twitter requires user taglets be followed for direct messages from taglets to be received.    Twitter outlets may also be configured in their entirety via the public API.  Please note that our method of verifying your Twitter account does not depend on our knowing your Twitter password.

You can find out about what tags exist by searching the tag space via keyword from the taglets.org web site, or via the public API.

With the exception of specifying the sending user of various system email messages (e.g., account confirmation and password reminder messages), 3rd party developers can layer their own UI on top of the service by using the public API as a programmable backend.  That is, the public facing site at http://www.taglets.org is a reference implementation for the taglets.org platform, and it itself uses the public API to manage the user experience.

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