Thinglink code format

We haven’t had a proper discussion about the format of the thinglink code yet. The issue came up some days ago when Wesa Aapro from the University of Art and Design Helsinki was testing the code for a mobile application he is developing. He noted that a random code (thing: 9A5Y43U9) that mixes letters and numbers is extremely slow to write with a mobile phone. What options do we actually have? Let’s make a list.

a) A random code with numbers and letters, for example thing:6R45TJ9C
+ no administration
+ no speculation or code trade
+ wide number space
– difficult to remember
– difficult to write with a phone

b) Random code with sequential numbers and letters, thing:347HTU or 123ABC456
+ no administration
+ no speculation or code trade
+ easier to remember
+ easier to write with a phone

c) Random number, thing:95846759
+ no administration
+ no speculation or code trade
+ easier to remember
– can be confused with other number codes
– limited number space

d) Accumulating number, thing:100 530 60, thing:100 530 61
+ tells about the size of the database
+ no administration
– possiby some speculation
– can be confused with other number codes
– might cause problems in the registration

e) Structured, meaningful number thing:358-09-45-6 (358 for Finland, 09 for Helsinki, 45 for hobbyprincess, 9 for HB thing number 9)
+/- difficult to estimate the administration needed?
+ the code could instantly tell about the origin of the thing
+ easy to remember
+ more credible?
+ no speculation
+ easy to write with a phone
– things change, makers quit, and areas merge.

f) Free format, DIY code created by makers, thing:ULLA12
+ easy to remember
+ fun
– high risk for speculation
– what would make them thinglinks?

A couple of days ago I talked with Julien Dossier from Paris, who has consulted Reuters on building databases. Julien suggested we’d try the second option, a random code with sequential blocks of numbers and letters. That is also my personal favorite.

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