This one’s perhaps a little controversial. But still – things to say.
Go to Twitter search, and have a look at all the retweets.
(And this doesn’t even include the internal retweets, which for some reason do not show up on Twitter search. Somebody explain that one to me.)
Take a moment to look at the page and add up what you consider to be worthy of a retweet, and what isn’t.
Sure, this is absolutely subjective. But in a broader, collective sense, you would hope that most people have a rough idea about the value of things, and about when a piece of news or information is significant enough that it warrants sharing with everybody you’re connected to.
It’s not just the little people, either. Roger Ebert is a fantastic movie critic, an inspiration, and seems like a decent guy. He does this thing every evening where he retweets the latest message of his last three followers. It’s cute, and occasionally he sends out a gem, but most of the time it just means putting fluff back into the system, except now it comes with the stamp of approval from a respected celebrity.
And when a celebrity retweets, dozens of people immediately jump on that same bandwagon, often (it appears) without paying much attention to exactly what it is they’re also putting their good name to.
This isn’t a science, and there really shouldn’t be any rules. Absolutely everybody should feel free to retweet whatever they want.
(Exception – don’t be a metweeter.)
I’m simply proposing that a little more thought is given to the consequences of what it means to pass on a message to your network. If these people look to you as a figure of authority and trust the information that you share, then you absolutely have a responsibility to ensure that the messages you’re sending out meet their expectations.
And if they don’t look at you as a figure of authority, and don’t trust the things that you have to say, maybe, just maybe, that has something to do with what you’ve been retweeting.
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