Re-Tweeting

Author: Lyle

Twitter has introduced “re-tweeting”; an easier mechanism for sending someone else’s “tweet” from your account.  In the past you would have had to copy & paste if someone else posted something of interest, which would have been tagged with your account if you didn’t fit in an attribution in your 140 characters.

Re-Tweet Snapshot

Re-Tweet Snapshot

Not a bad idea; it’s nice to make sure the originator is mentioned, and its nice to give re-tweets a special status so you recognize them as a resend of someone else’s message.  Unfortunately, the presentation leaves a lot to be desired.

As you can see in the example on the right, “LauraRubinchuk” was retweeted by “JoanElevatesRE”.  The indication of a “re-tweet” is the little turnaround icon at the start of the post along with the “retweeted by” message at the end.  What is nice is that this is differentiated from a cut & paste job, but it takes up more space and is more prominent than an original post.  I would have preferred to see the account of the person I’m following so it’s easier to see why I’m seeing the post.  Highlighting or a different color would also be nice to recognize the special status of a “re-tweeted” message.  As it is, this looks a lot more like spam with all these accounts and faces I don’t know presented like accounts I’m following.

Even worse is the hovering “help” message bringing more attention to this unknown account and obliterating the posts below it.  A box that isn’t working in my browser, cannot be removed, and sends me to a message that says I can’t block these re-tweets which I don’t want to see.

If I was a heavy Twitter user I might be more upset about this.  However, I only casually use Twitter from time to time because I don’t see any advantage to it over more traditional blogging and RSS readers.  I will say that the 140 character limit is a fun exercise to practice writing more concisely.

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