Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Twitter: Attribution

I should probably rename this blog.  I seem to mostly blog when I want to rant about something.  My latest peeve is attribution on Twitter.  I personally feel that I need to give credit where credit is due.  So if I see something interesting that I think my followers and I would be interested in, I retweet it with full attribution.  Sometimes I'll go to read the article linked in the tweet and loose the tweet altogether in my timeline.  I feel more comfortable going back and and finding that tweet and RTing it instead of using the RT button on the page.

One of the things that really disturbs me is when you see people tweet something they should have seen in their timeline, not necessarily from me, but from tweeps we both follow, yet they are tweeting it as if they found it themselves.  I feel this is just lazy. (I can hear the stormy comments coming)

I admit to being lazy sometimes, but I make a real effort not to be.  Lately I've been using a really neat tool called Storify (storify.com).  Part of what it does is allow you to search on a topic of interest and pull out all the tweets related to that topic.  While doing this, I see an ENORMOUS amount of tweets that are exactly the same or point to the same exact article (you can exclude retweets - which I do).  If people are really interested in say data breaches, or computer security, there are many lists out there which follow the leaders in the field on twitter.  It looks to my unpracticed eye like peeps are following these lists and instead of retweeting the original post, tweeting anew, which not only diminishes the power of the RT, but also junks up the twitter stream on that issue.

So what am I getting at?  When you see a tweet you are interested in, do what I do, in Hootsuite I click the RT button which sets up the tweet to be RT'd, but don't click the Send button.  First read the story, if you still want to RT go back to hootsuite (Either on your other screen or minimized) and click the Send button.  Now you've RT'd properly with attribution.
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