ReTweeting is the act of re-posting someones tweet on Twitter by copying their message and adding the prefix “RT @username“. The idea is that you are passing on a tweet or a link that you like and think your followers would also enjoy. It’s also a great way of letting someone know you liked what they had to say.
I guess my only problem is that, at times, the retweets seem to take over my friend stream. I’m also starting to see a lot of people get lazy with their tweets and retweet other people only to fill up space.
I can’t say I don’t like the idea of retweeting because I do it myself sometimes. I just think we abuse it a bit. This is why I think it would be nice if a mind shift took place where people start sharing information along with their own ideas about it.
This is why I made CommenTwitter. There were plenty of plugins and buttons to help Tweet the title of your post along with a link. In other words, there were plenty of ways to contribute to the noise already building up on Twitter. But why weren’t there any plugins that helped fuel the conversation about your blog outside of their comments. Some of the best ideas and conversations can be found in the comments of a good blog post, so why not bring those discussions to Twitter. This is just one way I think we can bring more value to our tweets when we’re all essentially talking about the same thing.
This is actually something I think Tweetworks does a great job of as well. Rather then take the lazy mans way out and just retweet a good post, you can actually jump into a threaded conversation about that post, ON TWITTER.
So in the end, I won’t be signing any petitions to ask Twitter to add a retweet button to it’s interface. I will also refrain from using retweet buttons when I can. I will however keep mine on my blog because I know it won’t die down any time soon. I will also continue to work on CommenTwitter so that it is more appealing to a larger audience and easier to use.
– Photo by Jon R Bishop
3 replies on “How Much Value Is In A ReTweet?”
Thank you very much for the sharing this valuable usage of Tweetworks. Retweeting certainly has its place and we all do it when we see something that we think others might enjoy a certain post. I am fond of retweeting funny things, upcoming events or people’s requests for crowd sourced contributions.
But, as you’ve mentioned in your post, what is most valuable to a person is a continuation of dialogue. Most of us are tweeting to engage others in conversation about a topic that interest us at the moment. Using tools like Commentwitter or Tweetworks can help facilitate this goal in a way that a simple restatement of the original post (retweet) cannot do alone.
Jon, you raise some very interesting points. Personally, I’m a fan of RTs when I read something that I feel deserves attention. But, the 140 characters are limiting and don’t exactly encourage discussion. I will definitely check out both of the other options you mention here, so thanks for sharing them, and great post!
@sameve Thanks for your comment. I think ReTweets do a good job of spreading information easily but I think FriendFeed’s ‘like’ feature is a lot closer to how it should actually work. However, I think Twitter is too far into it’s life to change. I am still hopeful that people might put more thought into what and how they are sharing their information in the future.