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A quotation is a type of post that is primarily a subset of the contents of another post, and often has a citation of that other post.



Primary focus

You should post a quotation post when a quotation is the primary focus of your post, the primary content you want to convey, and everything else (URL, author, summary, tags, photo of quote) intended as optional secondary contextual information about the quote.

If any of those (URL, author, summary, tags, photo of quote) feels or seems more like the primary focus or "point" that your post is trying to make / capture / express, then read "Instead use" to see what post type you should use instead.

Portion not whole

Use a quotation when you are only quoting part of someone else's post, not the whole thing (see #repost below for quoting all of someone else's post).

The point of a quotation is to call out a specific subset, or emphasize one point or paragraph from someone else's post. Such explicit subsetting or extraction is the actual creative act of a quotation post.

E.g.: http://aaronparecki.com/notes/2014/08/27/1/

Emphasis exception

If you are quoting a post in its entirety and taking the time to emphasize specific words or phrases in the quote, e.g. with italics or bolding and a trailing "emphasis added" or "strong emphasis added" phrase explicitly noting that, then once again a quotation post makes more sense.

Secondary brief commentary

If you quote something and take the time to comment (or tag), you're likely writing a #reply, however, if your commentary is brief, or just a summary of the quote (or context thereof), and omitting it would still convey some/much of your intent, you should consider a quotation post.

E.g.: http://aaronparecki.com/notes/2014/06/01/2/indieweb

  • "on posting notes from his own website" is a summary and omitting it doesn't change the intent of the quotation it's about.

Commentary on a quote can consist of a single word, or even hashtag. If that single word or hashtags serves primarily to summarize and/or distill the essence of the quote, or even just what is being implied by calling out that particular text, even if it's not (necessarily) the original author's intent, then post a quotation.

E.g.: https://aaronparecki.com/notes/2014/11/14/1/facepalm

  • omitting the hashtag commentary would still convey the intent, which is to focus on that precise statement, and (especially on its own out of context) how ridiculous it reads.

See #reply below for when you should use a reply post instead when the commentary is your primary intent.

Quote entirety with commentary

If you are quoting something in its entirety and adding brief secondary commentary as noted above, and that thing has a POSSE tweet equivalent, you can consider POSSEing your quotation post to Twitter as a "Quote Tweet".

As of 2017-01-26, Bridgy Publish supports publishing quote tweets (original feature request)

Anyone doing this? POSSEing a quotation as a quote tweet?

Instead use

There are many posts that either use a quotation or look like quotation but are actually more than or different from a quotation where another post type would better communicate that author intention.


If you have commentary (including tags) on a quotation, ask yourself:

  • Is the commentary merely summarizing what's in the quotation?
  • Does the quotation convey the same or similar intent without the commentary?

If no to either question then your post should be a reply instead of a quotation.

If you quote something and take the time to comment (or tag), you're likely writing a reply, especially if:

  • Your commentary is more than a few words - even just one complete sentence is likely expressing enough primary intent that your post should be a reply.
  • Omitting your commentary would change the implied intent of your post. If omitting your commentary would convey a different intent, i.e. supporting the quote instead of questioning/opposing it.

Then your commentary is more important, more primary, and thus you should use a reply post.

E.g.: https://aaronparecki.com/notes/2014/05/19/3/negroni

  • The commentary "No, not what you think" is clearly expressing disagreement. That disagreement would not be obvious if only the quoted text was shown. Thus this is a reply more than a quotation.

Especially when your comment is your primary contribution, you are writing a reply, and the quotation is just acting as a reply-context for your commentary.

If your commentary is indeed specific to the quoted text, then you are posting a marginalia reply, and should be sure you link your in-reply-to to a fragmention of the quoted text.

Your reply should still display the quotation, but as part of its reply-context.


A quotation which uses (a portion of) the name/title of another post (rather than (a portion of) its content) should be a bookmark instead.

If a quotation is there more as a reminder or summary of what you're linking to (i.e. why did you link to it), then use a bookmark instead.

E.g.: http://aaronparecki.com/bookmarks/2012/04/04/1/

  • The quotation, while interesting, does not appear to express a specific point.
  • However it does mention specific names which could be a reminder of why the link was bookmarked.

On the other hand if specific name(s) in the quote were person-tagged then, similar to the Emphasis exception, person-tagging a quote is a way of adding emphasis to a quote, thus making it more of a primary intent of the post, thus implying a quotation post may be appropriate for that case.


A quotation of the entirety (rather than a subset) of another post should be a repost instead.

If you really mean to quote the entirety of what someone is saying in a post, then your intent is reposting, not quoting, thus you should use a repost.

There is a specific exception to this "use a repost instead" guidance, and that is when adding explicit and visible emphasis to portions of the entirety of someone else's post. In that case see the Emphasis exception noted above.


A quotation used to restate or describe part of the text of a photo is likely intended more as a caption for that photo rather than the photo meant to illustrate the quote.

E.g.: http://aaronparecki.com/notes/2014/05/15/2/headline-news

When a quotation is clearly secondary to a photo in a post, even if the quotation is only part of the text of the post, and deliberately chosen, it's still secondary to the photo, and thus the post should be a photo post.

How to markup

A quotation can be minimally marked up as a note, with the entry content (e-content) containing:

  • a <blockquote> that wraps the quoted text itself (including explicit quotes "" “”)
  • a <cite class="u-quotation-of h-cite"> that wraps a citation of the source of the quotation, with at a minimum:
    • a nested hyperlink (<a href>) linking to the source, ideally using a fragmention directly to (at least the start of) the quotation.
    • link text of the name of the article/book/source

IndieWeb Examples

Aaron Parecki

Aaron Parecki posts bookmarks on http://aaronparecki.com/bookmarks using p3k since 2014-09-07 (and using WordPress from 2006-12-10 to 2014-09-06), some of which include a quotation. Some of those appear to be primarily about the quotation, with the bookmark URL and title only there as secondary information about the quotation, e.g.:

Both of those use <blockquote> to markup the quotation (as recommended above), and p-bookmark-of h-cite to markup the link to the source of the quotation. Thus the intent of those posts being quotations must be implied by the context/content, and cannot be determined automatically.

However this bookmark post appears to have a quotation that is not representative nor a specific point, but rather a reminder of why the bookmark was made, thus more of an actual bookmark post:

Some quotations are posted as plaintext notes rather than as a bookmark.

gRegor Morrill

gRegor Morrill has posted quotations from books:

Ryan Barrett

Ryan Barrett has occasionally posted quotations, e.g. this quote tweet:



Bridgy Publish supports POSSEing quotations to Twitter as quote tweets.

[in your post’s h-entry,] include a "u-quotation-of h-cite" with a u-url property that points to a tweet permalink

See Bridgy Publish: How do I post a quote tweet? documentation for more details.


Brainstorming about various how-tos, design, implementation etc. about quotation / quote posts.


See: Falcon#quote_posts

Silo Examples


  • Tumblr supports an explicit quotation post kind, and presents quotation posts differently from other posts. (needs screenshots using default Tumblr skin)


  • Twitter allows users to quote another tweet and embed it in a status update. This is similar to a retweet, except that it allows the user to add additional content such as a caption or commentary.

quoted tweet example.png

See Also

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