You Suck at Retweeting and Favoriting

Dan Frommer at SplatF on the subject of Twitter:

…it really bums me out how bad many people are at retweeting.

I think his post dovetails into a larger discussion on how I think Twitter intends people to use their product now (but not everyone has caught on or chooses to follow).

I feel most users continue to use Retweets for things they should’ve favorited, or simply replied to:

  • Favorites: interesting things said that I like and want to be able to recall, but need not broadcast directly to my followers, but perhaps indirectly through the Discover tab or third-parties like stellar (positive mentions, links to me, funny video clips)

  • Retweets: things I found interesting and relevant enough that my audience of followers would too, thinking “if I wrote this would I expect others to share it verbatim?” (sharing links including photos and video clips, or quotes from direct sources)

  • Replies: I want to respond to something or someone and if my followership happens to overlap, I can provide a great threaded discussion where context is already known and easy to follow… or I can write an original thought in response to something if I want all to see (by removing the @reply prefix but keeping the reply association)

The biggest violators of the above make for a noisy, circle-jerk of self congratulations, duplicate content, and one-word replies copying entire tweets senselessly. I’ve found these violators sometimes amass a large following and are actually doing the opposite of much of the above intentionally (social media “experts” in some cases).

More and more I’m starting to find the structured-but-not-entirely-enforcable nature of Twitter to be less endearing than a controlled experience like Facebook.