Wednesday, April 29, 2009

To Retweet or Not To Retweet That Is The Question

Recently Dave Winer talked about Retweet which features a petition for Tweeters to sign if they want to incorporate a "retweet feature" into the website design. I'm torn regarding this concept. The website in question doesn't go into detail about how this retweet function would work. Winer says, "Digg does it right, Twitter --> wrong."

I don't mean to pick on Dave Winer. The name may or may not ring a bell for you. He's a big wig on the Internet but not in a way that makes him a household name, unless the household is filled with web geeks. A lot of people look up to him and respect his views and I think other people whine and complain about whatever it is he's saying. Probably cuz he's usually right and they don't wanna admit it. I don't understand the politics of it but the bottom line is he's smarter than me. Chances are he's smarter than you. Let's leave it at that.

I've been on Digg. I've been on Reddit. Yes, their systems are very good at showing how many other people liked whatever it was a person said. Retweeting isn't exactly the same concept. When I "RT" something, it's not just because I agree with the sentiment. It's because for some reason I believe people who are following my tweets (or more specifically my blips cuz I have a few more blippers than I do tweeple) might be interested in seeing a tweet I've happened upon. Rather than just pretend the idea was mine, I want to acknowledge who said it. Personally, I prefer rewording the sentiment, or shortening it and adding my own two cents, but you only get 140 characters to do all this and oftentimes something gets lost in the translation.

What I'd prefer to see on Twitter, is a way to display the tweet I want to retweet, while leaving some or all of the 140 characters of MY Tweet open for me to add my two cents to what's already been said by someone else. I don't want just a retweet button that automates all this. I want to cheat, essentially. I wanna be able to display all of the previous tweet while still maximizing room for my opinion. Be it a rebuttal, a punchline, a ditto, or a crude ascii picture of boobs using parentheses in a way unsuitable to general audiences.

Currently the way it works now is tolerable for me cuz I can manually sculpt the previous RT to suit what I'm trying to say and add my thought, but I have to do all this in 140 characters. I'm a longwinded son of a bitch. Tweeting is already trying my patience as it is.

There's probably a way to just manually link to the other person's tweet, and I could make one of those tinyurls to minimize space, but then someone has to click to that other screen to see what I'm talking about. Since I'm usually going for the funny, that rather ruins the set up; not that what I want to say is going to be funny to the person reading it but it might help if I could better present the intended joke.

So if someone can better explain to me what the petition over at is going to look like, if it matches what I'd like to see, then maybe I can hop on board this particular parade.

No comments: