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Posts Tagged ‘project retweet’

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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Having Trouble Finding Cool People To Follow? Find Out Who Your Retweeters Recommend

I’m going to make an assumption here, and that is that you’ve taken the time to ensure your Twitter network is optimised, that you regularly engage with it, and because of this the people within that network are folks that you trust.

If not, I suggest you start over.

I’m not a huge fan of Twitter’s internal retweet mechanism, and probably ninety per cent of the time I still do my retweets the good, old-fashioned way, but the feature is slowly beginning to grow on me. In particular, I like to spend a few minutes each day in the retweets by others folder, as this is a fantastic way to find new people to follow.

I just browse through the list of retweets by members of my network, and where something strikes me as funny, interesting, informative or just plain weird, I’ll check that person out. If it’s a good example of the kinds of things they regularly tweet about, I’ll follow them.

The psychological effect of seeing lots of avatars (as opposed to one) below a given retweet certainly aids in the ‘check out’ process, but we’re only human. And I’m not sure that’s any less indicative of quality.

Moreover, this can also assist in downsizing your network, too, as from time to time you will find somebody you thought you liked retweeting lots of stuff that you definitely do not. Swings and roundabouts.

There’s purpose here, and it’s worth making it a part of your Twitter day. It’s not all gold, of course, and on some occasions you won’t find anybody to follow. On others, it might simply be that you discover one or two inspiring statements which you feel compelled to share with your network. And that too has a lot of value.

Yes, Retweets Have Vanished Again

Twitter’s becoming a bit like that dream you have where you’re walking down a crowded street, and then suddenly realise you have no clothes on.

The internal retweet function has been switched off again – and with it, all those precious retweets. No announcements, nothing on the status blog as of yet, and the main blog is far too busy patting itself on the back for introducing German language support.

Yes, Retweets Have Vanished Again

Lucky, I guess, that like tens of thousands of other users, I never stopped using the organic, old-fashioned, and considerably more reliable RT @ manual retweet.

Ho hum.

10 Cool Things YOU Can Do Today To Improve Twitter For Tomorrow

It’s early Monday morning. You’re tired after a weekend that was long on thrills but short on recovery. You log on to Twitter, but you just don’t have the energy. What to do, what to do?

Fear not: here are ten things you can do on Twitter today – or any day – that will massively improve your experience on the network.

  1. Help your friends understand how to use Twitter. Email them the link to my Twitter 101 tutorials, or if they’re already on Twitter, hook them up with tips to help newcomers hit the ground running.
  2. Learn how to defend yourself from spammers, trolls and automated direct messages.
  3. Understand why everybody needs a follow policy – eliminate those phony followers.
  4. Want to get more retweets? Memorise your retweet number (and sharpen your pencil)!
  5. Take a minute to fill in the description box on your Twitter lists – it really does make the feature significantly richer and lists with descriptions are going to attract more followers. (And yes – I mean all of your lists!)
  6. Fight Club celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this week – find out what Tyler Durden can teach you about Twitter
  7. Start a conversation with a total stranger – that’s what puts the social in ‘social media’.
  8. Play around with the new retweet mechanism – while it’s not currently as good as the organic and original RT@ function, it’s here to stay, and will come with improvements in the future (including edits).
  9. Take a Twitter poll! For example, how do you rate Twitter’s technical support? Would you pay $1 a month to access Twitter? How many celebrities to do you follow? What reasons do you need to block somebody? What kind of avatar do you like to see?
  10. Having problems? Learn how you can submit a help ticket to Twitter.

BONUS: please, please, please – don’t be a metweeter.

What are you waiting for? Get stuck in!

Is Twitter’s Controversial Project Retweet About To Make Its Debut?

If you take a close look at your timeline on today you’ll notice that there’s been a slight cosmetic change to each tweet that likely means that Twitter’s internal retweet functionality is soon to appear on the network.

Is Twitter's Controversial Project Retweet About To Make Its Debut?

See the space being made available to the left of ‘Reply’? That’s probably where the retweet button is going to appear, or perhaps reply will shift left, with retweet on the right.

Why is it controversial? Because it’s very different to the retweet that you and I have come to love. The implementation, codenamed Project Retweet by Biz Stone in his blog post about the new feature last August, completely changes the way that retweets are handled. Rather than simply re-coding Twitter to analyse the RTs, vias and so on that most people understand and use, Twitter determined it made more sense to present the retweet whole – that is, when you retweet somebody (using the internal button), their entire tweet will appear in the stream of the people who follow you (as well as their username, avatar etc), and you’ll be credited below.

Here’s a sketch Biz put together to illustrate the idea:

Is Twitter's Controversial Project Retweet About To Make Its Debut?

While I can see some of the logic, I personally think this is going to be very confusing for many people who use Twitter. Lots of folk are going to see people they don’t follow and avatars they don’t recognise appearing in their timelines, and not like it. If you’re following a few hundred people now and a number of them are big retweeters, suddenly it might seem like you’re following twice that amount.

Perhaps more importantly, because these Twitter-powered retweets are not in any way editable you will not be able to style them to your liking. As said, they come 100 per cent as is. This means you cannot add your own comments, something that lots of folk love to do (myself included). Which means that many people will likely continue to use the manual retweet system as before, just to have a little flexibility. I, for example, almost exclusively use via, because I like the content to come first. (There’s been some talk from Twitter that future versions of this system may allow the user to configure the retweet in some way, but that won’t be an option on launch.)

There is some good news. In-built retweets will come with metadata, which should give us lots of lovely numbers to play with (most retweeted users, most retweeted tweets etc). You can turn retweets off on a per-user basis, which at least gives you some control over the impact on your timeline. (I can see this being very popular.) And seeing new faces in your timeline may introduce you to new people to follow – or perhaps avoid.

(I’m not sure what the mechanism will do with retweets of people you have blocked – I assume they won’t show up in your timeline, whereas using the manual RT function we have now they do.)

And while in six months or a year the obvious pros of an internal retweet mechanism will likely mean all these niggles are a thing of the past, when the system goes live it’s going to be very messy, and very confusing. Particularly if it’s staggered into the network like Twitter’s lists feature. Expect #fixretweets or something very similar to be trending shortly after Project Retweet launches.

Want To Get Re-Tweeted? Memorise Your Number (Reloaded)

Back in March I wrote an article that explained how you needed to ensure that you left a certain amount of characters at the end of your tweets if you wanted to seriously improve your chances of being retweeted.

This is the mathematics:

Your Number = length of username + five characters

To give yourself the best possible chance of a retweet, you need to make sure you leave this many characters free.

In the article I noted that my own number was 12. When sharing links and content, I always ensure I leave a minimum of 12 characters at the end of each and every tweet. This is a great habit to adopt. Otherwise, those wanting to retweet you are forced to edit your submissions so that they can give the proper credit. Because f this extra work, many times, they simply won’t bother retweeting you at all.

Worse, your prose can be severely impacted – personally, I hate it when somebody trims down my carefully-worded remark into something that (shudder) looks like text speak. Everybody who reads that now thinks that I write in text speak. The horror, the horror…

As said, I’m always very careful to leave the necessary 12 characters. Recently, however, I started to notice that despite this effort, a few were still editing my prose to fit it all in. At first, I couldn’t understand why they felt the need to do this – after all, I’d made every attempt to ensure that my update could be easily retweeted.

Then it suddenly hit me – they weren’t using Twitter’s more common RT. They were using via.

What’s quite tragic about all of this is I use via, too. That’s pretty much all I use. I like via because it places the emphasis on the content first, and credits the original poster second. Content is king, but it’s also important that credit is given where due.

But it’s not all roses, as via adds an extra couple of characters to each retweet. Typically, via is credited within parentheses, like this:

Want To Get Re-Tweeted? Memorise Your Number (Reloaded)

Because of those parentheses (and the space before the first), I (@Sheamus) actually need to leave a heady 15 characters of blank space in my updates to give myself the best possible chance of a retweet.

Jack Schofield, using the example above, needs to leave 21.

Hence, the mathematics has changed.

Your Number = length of username + eight characters

This is the absolute minimum amount of space you should always leave at the end of each and every tweet. Particularly if you’re sharing linked content or an important message.

That’s assuming, of course, you actually want the world to see it.