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Archives: June 2010

POLL: Which Kind Of Retweet Do You Do?

When Twitter’s internal retweet system (code-named Project Retweet) launched late last year I was one of a number of people who was resistant to the development. I’d grown accustomed to the original retweet (RT @ or via) and being unable to edit messages to add your own flavour was a major drawback of the new mechanism.

Things change. Over time I found myself using the new system, first on a very occasional basis but later with increased frequency. I’ve also noticed that other users appear to be retweeting my stuff more and more using the new-style RT – veterans and newcomers alike.

Sometimes, a tweet is so good that all you need to do is hold it up for other people to see. Twitter’s retweet button works perfectly here.

For certain occasions I still prefer the original RT, or more commonly via, which had always been my share method of choice. I don’t think I’ll ever go completely over to the dark side until Twitter gives us at least some edit options, even if it’s just for the free characters in the tweet.

But what about you? Are you sticking hard-and-fast to the old school retweet, or did you move straight over to Twitter’s method? Perhaps, like me, you do a bit of both? Or maybe you don’t retweet at all.

Whatever your answer, please vote in the poll below, and hit the comments to share your thoughts with me.

[poll id="15"]

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The World Cup (And Japan) Sets New Twitter Record Of 3,283 Tweets Per Second

A week ago I reported how game seven of NBA Finals had set a new tweet per second (TPS) record on Twitter of 3,085.

This beat the previous high which was Japan scoring against Cameroon in the World Cup on June 14. I proposed that, flat and largely uninteresting as the World Cup was at that stage of the competition, that it might not be until we were out of the group stages that the World Cup resumed the top spot.

I was almost right. Yesterday, the final whistle of Japan’s 3-1 victory over Denmark set a new benchmark of 3,283 TPS.

All of this tells us a couple of things. One, that the World Cup is big in Japan. And two: so is Twitter.

(Source: Twitter blog.)

HootSuite Keeps Getting Better And Better

Tons of new features in the latest build of HootSuite, which was released earlier today, including:

  • A completely redesigned interface (which I have to say looks fantastic and gives you a lot more screen space to work with)
  • A choice of three new themes (I’ve gone for Blue Steel)
  • Google Analytics integration
  • GeoSearch
  • Drag & Drop Upload – in Chrome, Firefox and Safari, simply drag a file from the desktop to the message box and it automatically uploads and provides a shortened link
  • Enhanced Facebook integration
  • Twitter-style retweets (ON by default – I switched it off, but it’s nice to have the option, although I’d prefer it if this was offered each time you clicked the RT button)
  • Language support
  • HTML5 ensures your social streams display even faster

It all looks brilliant, and I’ve only just started playing around with the features. I particularly like the improvements they’ve made to the profile pop-ups, and everything feels really slick and modern.

What’s still missing is Bit.ly support. Maybe next time HootSuite, eh?

UPDATE: A few people have asked me how you get back the old-style retweets. Click on the Owl icon at the top-left of HootSuite, and select Settings > Preferences and uncheck the ‘use Twitter web retweets’ box.

Twitter For iPhone Updated With Multitasking, Oauth And iPhone 4 Retina Display Support

Good times.

Download the  update directly on your iPhone or via iTunes.

(Hat tip: Mashable.)

Repeat After Me: High Error Rate On Twitter.com

This phrase, or a variation thereof, has come up multiple times (almost on a daily basis) on the official Twitter Status blog since June 8. And with good reason, because for a fortnight now we’ve seen a ton of unwelcome appearances from this guy:

Twitter addressed this somewhat on June 15, essentially laying the blame on the server-killing combo of the World Cup and the NBA Finals.

Last Friday, we detailed on our Engineering blog that this is going to be a rocky few weeks. We’re working through tweaks to our system in order to provide greater stability at a time when we’re facing record traffic. We have long-term solutions that we are working towards, but in the meantime, we are making real-time adjustments so that we can grow our capacity and avoid outages during the World Cup.

As we go through this process, we have uncovered unexpected deeper issues and have even caused inadvertent downtime as a result of our attempts to make changes. Ultimately, the changes that we are making now will make Twitter much more reliable in the future. However, we certainly are not happy about the disruptions that we have faced and even caused this week and understand how they negatively impact our users.

(The start of Wimbledon yesterday and the final round of the US Open this past weekend didn’t do much to help either.)

Fair enough. But while the World Cup has definitely turned Twitter from a moderate (if consistent) simmer to an occasional full-on boil, it’s not constant. World Cup games are fairly intermittent, and the outages don’t always occur during or immediately after the games.

And what about all those people who aren’t on Twitter during the World Cup matches? The World Cup is huge, sure, but I would imagine it’s only a fraction of people who continue to tweet whilst watching their country play (I know I don’t), or during the bigger games. I would expect that the majority of football fans log off and sit in front of their TV, entirely Twitter-free.

Sure, in the scheme of things, this is an acceptable period of instability. It’s unprecedented stuff. And Twitter is addressing some of these issues by intentionally taking the site down in the less-busy periods to perform essential maintenance. Which is clearly massively important, as the platform evidently has a problem supporting tweets during the peaks of major sporting events – especially when they come en masse.

That said, we’ve been here before, of course. The death of Michael Jackson hit the internet hard, and Twitter was no exception. While the tweet-per-second rate has set new highs during the World Cup, I find it hard to believe that it’s anywhere near the level of traffic and attention that the network received when Jackson passed – certainly like-for-like. The growth in users should have been cancelled out by the growth in staff and available funds.

Believe it or not, but Michael Jackson died exactly one year ago this coming Saturday – you’d have hoped that Twitter would have learned something about visitor management by now. After all, I haven’t seen Google or Facebook going down during the World Cup. Have you?

(Image credit: Diamondie.)

Lakers' NBA Finals Victory Triggers Record 3,085 Tweets Per Second (Beating The World Cup)

So reports the official Twitter blog.

It’s interesting because it’s beaten out the most tweet-intensive World Cup moment thus far, which was Japan scoring against Cameroon on June 14.

Sure, it was game seven of the NBA Finals, but it will be interesting to see if and when it’s eclipsed by the any match or goal in the World Cup. Given how flat it’s been thus far, my guess is we probably won’t see a new mark set until we’re out of the group stages.

50 Twitter Power Tips From Chris Brogan

Worth a moment of your time.

There’s some great stuff here. In fact, the only one I really disagree with is #2 – “follow anyone who follows you”.

In my opinion, you shouldn’t automatically follow anyone who follows you. In fact, that’s the worst thing you can do, and it’s a bad habit to start. Be selective. Twitter becomes an unmanageable mess when you follow thousands of people, and all that will happen is you’ll start to exclude (ultimately) the bulk of your network above a select (and elite) group of others.

(To his credit, Brogan doesn’t do this – but he admits himself he doesn’t read every tweet, which is fair enough but that can be improved. If you find yourself breaking everybody down into lots of lists, it’s time for a re-think on your follow number.)

And because of the ripple effect on Twitter – everybody is connected to everybody else through network mesh – and the upcoming Twitter Business Toolkit for brands, it’s also completely unnecessary.

(Also, tip #22 is perhaps a little bit cheeky, given that Chris bangs out 52 tweets per day – he must spend hours in search! ;) )

Brogan knows his stuff and perhaps above anybody else has proven Twitter to be an incredible resource for building a community, generating leads and driving business. You can learn a lot from his advice, and these tips are a great starting point.

Twitter Places – Tag Your Tweets With Your Location

Lots of people get a real kick out of checking in at places and reporting their current location. I’m have to say that I’m not one of them. However, if this is your kind of thing, you’ll soon be able to do this easily on Twitter with a new featured called Twitter Places.

We’re excited to announce Twitter Places on twitter.com and mobile.twitter.com. Starting today, you can tag Tweets with specific places, including all World Cup stadiums in South Africa, and create new Twitter Places. You can also click a Twitter Place within a Tweet to see recent Tweets from a particular location. Try it out during the next match–you will be able to see Tweets coming from the stadium.

Other features include:

  • Foursquare and Gowalla integration
  • API functionality that lets developers integrate Twitter Places into their applications
  • Support for more browsers (including IE)

You’ve been able to do something similar to this on various mobile apps for a while now, but Twitter has made it all official and built-in. Enjoy.

(Source: Twitter blog.)

The Animated Twitter Fail Whale (In Pure CSS)

This is pretty cool, and nicely illustrates the power of CSS3.

(The above is a simple screen capture. Click on the image to see the CSS in action. May not work properly if your browser is archaic doesn’t support Webkit.)

Twitter: First Sponsored Tweets, Now Sponsored Trends (Then Sponsored Followers, Lists & Retweets)

Sponsored trending topics may soon be making an appearance, according to All Things Digital’s Peter Kafka (@pkafka).

The basic gist seems to be this: Advertisers will be able to insert their own term into the list of trends that Twitter displays on users’ home pages and on its login page. Clicking on that term would call up a Twitter search results page, which would feature that advertisers’ “Promoted Tweet” at the top of the results.

Advertisers who have heard Twitter talk about the product say the service imagines charging “tens of thousands of dollars” a day for exclusive placement rights.

I have to say this sounds like a really bad idea. I hate the thought of companies being able to buy their way into what is supposed to be a user-generated, trending topics list. I mean, sure, capitalism and all that, and I’m all for Twitter earning a buck, but where will it end?

(Source: All Things D.)

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