25.06.2009

What is a retweet? (Twitter explained ;) )

As my German article Was ist ein Retweet? (Twitter erklärt ;) ) is one of my 'all time bestsellers' I am providing an English version here.

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Some people came to this blog searching for "retweet".

So I am happy to answer the question::

What is a retweet?

The term "Retweet" was coined relating to the service "Twitter" and mains that the short message (a Tweet) of another person is repeted (mostly unchanged and uncommented) (re(peat) => retweet).

Example:

UserA: Great collection of Twitter tools at http://tr.im/dpe7

User B new tweets:

UserB: RT @UserA Great collection of Twitter tools at http://tr.im/dpe7

So you repeat the message and put "RT @TwitterNameOfTheOriginalTweeter" in front of it. (If the tweet has now more than 140 characters you need to make it shorter somehow).

Ic you comment the tweet you might want to indicate the originakl quote my quotations marks.


Why would one retweet?

- As with weblogs where you use via-links in these cases you would not want to take credit for the great hint but give the otriginator some 'link love'. This way you both provide your followers with a hint plus suggest a great tweeter to be followed at the same time.

- Some people with VERY many followers retweet often, eg.g Guy Kawasaki or Tim O'Reilly. as these have well over 10.000 Followers, some of the lined pages can experience what used to be called the 'Slashdot effect': they break down unter the traffic. On the other hand the people retweeted gain followers now.

- In the meantime there are services that list the most (re)tweeted URs and thus generate a hitlist of URLs to check out. (It's a little like "Techmeme".)

- Some tended to use a recycling symbol to mark Retweets, this has come out of fashion as it does not show well on all types of operating systems. Typeing RT is much simpler.

- Retweeting can be seen in one row with the quotation rules for Usenet and Mailinglists and the Linking-Netiquette as another way to say:"Take it from the Net, give it to the Net".

You comments on retweeting are very welcome ;)

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