Rays post caught my eye the other day. he was talking about why the traditional retweet is much better than the Twitter generated retweet. He’s got some good points that I agree with. i.e, you can’t edit the message, or you can’t add any comments agreeing or disagreeing with the original message. Tracking your retweets aren’t as easy either…
I’ve talked about this before but I still get frustrated at tweets that put the shortened URL at the end of the message, or fill up 140 characters so that the message can’t be manually retweeted. Shorter messages are much more compelling and the trail of retweets brings others into the conversation and expands your twitter network
I can see why Twitter include this feature in the UI.
- It’s easy to retweet any message
- You can have 140 characters
- You can track how many times something has been retweeted
But does it enhance conversation and interaction? I don’t think so. For me, the joy of the traditional RT is to see the level of conversation and interaction that the retweet generates. There often are whole side conversations going on around the retweet, usually preceded by either <= or ^ to denote the break from the original message. These messages sometimes fork off into separate threads, all leading back to the original retweet, and conversation grows and develops.
I’m guilty of using the automatic retweet though – especially when the length of the original message makes it impractical to edit the message and add my own comments, or when the originators twitter alias takes the tweet over the maximum length allowed.
But for pure conversation and propagation (to Facebook and LinkedIn), I’ll use the manual retweet feature. All my networks are kept up do date with one status update from me. Nice and simply letting everyone know what’s happening
So keep using the traditional RT and keep the conversation going